Engine Oil Coolers
Back to Frequently Asked Questions
- My shop is telling me my EGR cooler is bad and that I also need an engine oil cooler. What is that? Are they telling me the truth?
The simple answer is that your engine oil cooler is just that, the part that cools your engine oil. It is related to your EGR cooler and, in fact, is often the reason you need a new EGR cooler in the first place! Your shop is not only telling you the truth, they are also very familiar with this Power Stroke pattern failure (not all shops are!) and are doing you a favor in fixing your truck in a comprehensive manner.
- Isn't my engine oil cooler just a small cooler mounted at the front of my truck?
No. Most truck owners are used to what they grew up with, auxiliary coolers at the front of the vehicle, similar to a small radiator. With your 6.0L, your engine needs to be able to cool a lot more oil than most vehicles. In fact, Ford Motor Company states that the 6.0L can require up to 18½ gallons of oil per minute at peak demand! To handle this large cooling load for your engine oil, Ford designed a liquid-on-liquid engine oil cooler. It is situated directly below your engine oil filter, right on top of the engine.
- So my engine oil cooler is bad, why?
This is the MOST IMPORTANT aspect of truly understanding the 6.0L engine. The engine oil cooler needs to be replaced because it clogs up with heavy particles trapped in the engine coolant. The problem arises when the coolant flows through the tight passageways of the engine oil cooler. These pathways are so small that they catch and stop any large particles suspended in the coolant, blocking the channel. While the mileage varies, it typically takes about 50,000 miles before the coolant can no longer flow through the cooler on its way to the EGR cooler, leaving less and less coolant flow for your engine oil cooler AND for your EGR cooler. Putting a new EGR cooler in your Ford without taking care of the root of the problem is just asking for more trouble.
- So how will replacing my Engine Oil Cooler help my truck?
It really helps in lots of ways! The Engine Oil Cooler is a critical component to your engine's operation. By replacing the EOC, you will be helping to improve your engine oiling, improve the cooling of EGR gasses, increase the life expectancy of your EGR cooler, reduce the chance of "puking" of coolant from your overflow bottle and improve the quality of oil running through your injectors.
- Can't I just clean out my old engine oil cooler?
No. The same reason why dirt, sand and other "big" particles get stuck in your Engine Oil Cooler, the coolant pathways are so tight and small, is the same reason why you can't effectively flush it out. To make matters more clear, even if you could flush it out, how would you know when you are finished? What if you think you have it all clean only to reinstall it and discover that, well, it's not as clean as you thought...
- I see that you have the BulletProof Engine Oil Cooler on your webpage; what is that all about?
Understanding the 6.0L and its pattern failures led us to one central point, the Ford Engine Oil Cooler. We studied and learned and kept coming to the same conclusion, unless you deal with the coolant plugging up the pathways through the oil cooler, you are always going to be fighting the same 6.0L issues.
To solve this issue we had to do what one customer easily summed up by stating "You either have to go big or stay stock." The Ford Engine Oil Cooler is, of course, the stock part. The BulletProof Engine Oil Cooler is the "Go Big".
- Why should I go with a BulletProof Engine Oil Cooler over a stock Ford engine oil cooler?
Why you shouldn't is a shorter answer! All kidding aside, replacing the Ford engine oil cooler with another Ford engine oil cooler is simply putting off the problem for another 50,000 miles. The best solution? Upgrade your engine oil cooler to the BulletProof Engine Oil Cooler.
When you upgrade to the BulletProof Engine Oil Cooler you will:
a. Improve engine oil cooling efficacy
b. Have more, cooler coolant flowing through your EGR cooler for increased longevity
c. Improve engine oil filtering
d. Have cooler engine oil running throughout your engine
e. Eliminate the chance of oil / coolant cross-contamination by way of a failed engine oil cooler
f. Feed cooler, better filtered oil to your injectors and high-pressure oil pump
g. Allow your engine oil temperature to run cooler than your coolant temperature (often 195°F or higher since your coolant is controlled by your thermostat!)
- What are the symptoms of a bad engine oil cooler?
The best way to test an engine oil cooler is to measure the temperature of your engine oil and coolant at the same time. When your engine oil cooler is working well, the coolant and the oil temperature track each other fairly closely, within 14°F. Keep in mind, this test requires that the engine is up to temperature and that you measure while cruising down the road, about 40-60 mph. You can't do this test sitting in a parking lot and idling. If the oil cooler is working effectively, you should see less than 14°F difference between the coolant and oil temperature (oil should be hotter in most cases). However, if your engine oil cooler is plugged up, this will be indicated by a temperature spread of 15°F or more (Ford's specified limit). Keep in mind that we often see stock engine oil coolers showing a temperature spread of 40°F or higher!
- How do you measure engine oil and engine coolant temperature?
Most shops have the equipment required to monitor the coolant and oil temperatures at the same time. However, we STRONGLY recommend that you buy a digital monitor for your truck. This will allow you to know what is going on under the hood at all times, and can save you time, money and stress. We recommend either a Scan Gauge II or the EDGE CTS.
Unfortunately, you have to have a running engine in order to perform this test and it's not advisable to run your 6.0L if you have a leaking EGR cooler.
- Wouldn't I have noticed that my Engine Oil Cooler is bad?
Probably not. The best way to know if your engine oil cooler is bad is to measure the temperature of the oil within the engine. Since Ford did not provide a temperature gauge with the 6.0L dashboard, most people don't know what their engine oil temperature actually is. Some tuners and gauges are available that will tell you what the computer is measuring for the engine oil temperature.
The only other way (and not recommended!) is to drive your 6.0L until the EGR cooler ruptures, a strong indicator that your engine oil cooler is ready to be replaced! Wouldn't a warning light on the dash have been simpler?
- What does the HPOP filter do?
The High-Pressure Oil Pump (HPOP) filter is a small plastic screen that sits between your engine oil cooler and your HPOP. The HPOP filter is a last line of defense to stop any large debris from getting into your expensive HPOP and the 8 injectors.
Unfortunately, this small screen often fails and needs to be upgraded with the new version from Ford (with steel mesh, not plastic!) at the same time you replace your engine oil cooler.