Basic engine development completely relies on your oil cooler of choice. High-performance cars use small coolers, while off-road heavy equipment cars use huge coolers. Other than these, you have to consider other factors when selecting an oil cooler. Read on and find out.
Types of oil cooler based on function
Tube and fin oil cooler: This type uses cooler lines to circulate air and take up the heat, releasing it into the fins. This will make the air move around the fins and absorb the heat. This cooler also works best when modified to prevent any sludge formation. This has good cooling efficiency but also has a higher pressure drop.
Transmission oil cooler: This is used for automatic transmissions in higher strain applications. This type is not really necessary for highway driving or other low to medium strain applications. Nevertheless, any vehicle whose transmission is subjected to a great deal of stress will need this cooler.
Stacked plate oil cooler: This cooler has plates that are arranged in a stack pattern. The oil passes through this, making the air move quite slowly. This makes it less efficient than the tube and fin oil system. Although this cooler has poor cooling efficiency it has lower pressure, and it is more durable.
Types of oil cooler based on design:
Bundle-type oil cooler: This type of oil cooler has a common design. It has a cylindrical "bundle" of tubes with headers at both ends, enclosed in a housing. The oil inlet is at the opposite end to the coolant inlet. The engine oil at its hottest is first exposed to the coolant at its coolest. This slightly increases cooling efficiency.
Plate-type oil cooler: This cooler allows the oil to circulate within a series of flat plates and the coolant to flow around them within a housing assembly. It is easier to clean and repair, but it has a lower cooling efficiency. It is also cheap, easy to maintain, and compact, making it the more preferred type.