An oil intercooler is a mechanical device that uses oil as a coolant. It provides excellent cooling to the fluid and keeps the engine performing better. Oil intercoolers are not needed for most domestic cars and are best suited for high performance and race cars.
How Oil Intercoolers Work
An oil intercooler works like an air-to-water intercooler. The oil enters the oil cooler at a high temperature and then circulates through the tubes. These tubes are lined with heat-releasing fins.
The hot oil goes through these tubes and comes out at a cooler temperature. Once the oil comes out cooler, it is ready to recirculate, and the entire process is repeated.
To get the best results, it is important to use the correct sized oil intercooler. Oil intercoolers are more efficient than the regular air-to-air intercoolers. They are suitable for high performance and racing cars that experience high levels of heat transfer to the fluid due to grueling driving.
Do You Need Oil Intercoolers?
If you use a regular car, you may not need oil intercoolers. Cars used for domestic purposed can rely on the natural cooling properties of the oil lying in the sump. If you decide to use your car for race and track events, you should consider getting an oil intercooler installed.
Lapping a car on the racetrack takes a lot out of it and it is subjected to extreme heat. An oil intercooler helps by cooling the fluid and providing better engine performance. In most cases, a front-mounted oil intercooler is the best position to put them. It can provide effective cooling to the vehicle without detracting excessive water from the water-cooling system.
Benefits of Using Oil Intercoolers
Oil has a higher boiling point than water. Hence, oil intercoolers can be used to provide cooling at temperatures above 100-degrees Celsius. Your vehicle already contains oil as a lubricant. You do not need extra coolant tanks, pumps, or radiators to install an oil intercooler. Air-to-water intercoolers can be corrosive to the engine, so they contain a corrosion or rust inhibitor to protect against the same.
oil on the other hand naturally helps to prevent corrosion. If your vehicle has an oil intercooler, then in case of a gasket failure oil will enter the combustion chamber. This may prove to be inconvenient but not damaging to the engine. However, if coolant water enters the combustion chamber, it can cause major damages to the engine.