Oil cooling do's and dont's - Performance DIY by DIY Guru

Performance DIY by DIY Guru

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Oil Cooling
A common misconception concerning fluid dynamics is that cooler is better. Although generally speaking it usually is, there are exceptions. Before assuming you need the biggest oil cooler money can buy, it's important to understand how oil works and why your particular engine might benefit from running cooler. Oil needs to operate within a given temperature range in order to provide the appropriate viscosity the engine requires. Too high and it will overheat the system, too low and it will exhibit way too much friction. The same is true of oil pressure and volume: Excess of either robs power and can raise temperatures so be sure to think twice before your next top off. The key is using the correct oil viscosity and making sure it operates at the correct temperature. If you're reading this chances are you're already using synthetic-based oil in your engine. Synthetic oils are better suited for higher temperatures-at least 40 degrees F higher than conventional oils. However, neither synthetic nor conventional oils function well at temperatures below 150 degrees F. The only real way to know whether or not you would benefit from an oil cooler is to record your initial oil temperature readings and see where you're at. A properly set up oil cooler can do more than just cool oil. Oftentimes water temperatures will drop due to the oil's lower temperatures. It's not uncommon to see water temperatures drop by as much as 10-20 degrees F without ever touching the cooling system. Either way, if you're in the market for an oil cooler, make sure you pick something up that's sturdy and can withstand some abuse. Steel braided lines and AN fittings are also a must when it comes to a long-term oil cooling solution.


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