Can You Tell When Your Car Oil Cooler Malfunctions? 3 Signs to Watch Out For

Posted on: 17 August 2021


Your vehicle's engine cannot function without oil because it has moving parts that always need lubrication to work. However, during the lubrication process, the engine oil picks up a lot of heat that can damage other parts of the car unless proper cooling happens. The oil cooler helps bring down the temperatures of the oil so it can keep functioning without damaging the engine components. However, with time and the usual wear and tear, the oil cooler could start malfunctioning. Knowing the signs of its malfunction can minimise any damage and losses that you might incur. Here are the top three signs to watch.

When Your Car Starts Leaking Oil

One of the first ways to tell that you need to have the cooler checked is when the engine starts leaking oil. You might notice the leaks underneath your vehicle when you park it or when it is on the driveway. The amount of leaked oil depends on the size of the hole in the system. If the hole is minor, you will get a small stream on the pavement. Conversely, you will get a puddle when the leak is big. Also, check for the presence of oil in the cooling system. You need to have the entire system checked and repaired if your car's coolant has streaks of oil. 

When You See Black Smoke

The colour of the smoke that comes out of your exhaust can also indicate possible issues with the oil. Sometimes, the oil leaks from the cooler and gets into the combustion chamber. When the diesel gets laced with any foreign substances, it produces different exhaust colours. Black means that there is oil in the system. It is advisable to have the system checked and repaired immediately after your vehicle starts giving off black smoke. 

When the Engine Performance Goes Down

Another indication that you need to check the cooling system is when your car engine performance goes down. When the volume of oil in the engine reduces, the engine temperature increases. An increase in engine temperature leads to a drop in acceleration and other complications. You might also experience vibrations and other noises due to small explosions in the cylinders. Vibrations are dangerous as they indicate internal damage.

These are three crucial signs to watch out for when diagnosing oil cooler issues. Take your car to a professional as soon as you realise you have these issues. Timely repairs will save your car's engine. Contact a company that offers oil cooler repairs to learn more.