Oil coolers keep your engine oil within an optimum temperature to ensure it can handle extreme conditions.
Oil coolers are similar to a radiator. It consists of tubes and fins that allow for air to pass through. Oil coolers are usually placed in front of or behind radiator or fans to get maximum air flow and attach to an adapter near the oil filter to ensure adequate pressure through the system. Oil is air cooled as it circulates through the cooler before it returns to the engine.
Oil coolers reduce the chance of overheating under extreme conditions.
If installed correctly, oil coolers won't need much maintenance. Like radiators, make sure to keep the cooler clean of debris, and check for leaks. And always change your oil at the recommended intervals. This helps to reduce the chance that the cooler will plug internally.
Some of the most common problems are cracks and leaks in the cooler. Rust often causes leaks, but vibrations can also contribute to this problem.
Another common problem is either the coolant leaks into the oil or vice versa. This could result in oil inside the combustion chamber or a swollen radiator. If you don’t catch this problem early, then you could have serious engine problems. Coolant in the oil is especially bad because it lessens the oil's lubrication ability.