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Oil Cooler Failure
My oil cooler sprung a pin hole leak in it the other day, when I was about
90 miles from home and about 10 miles from where I needed to go. Was
driving down the highway to my sales call (a nuclear power plant) and saw
my oil pressure fluctuating about .4 bar. Still about 4 bar at 2800 RPM,
but had never seen it before. The oil temperatue was just on the fat side
of 60 C, well below normal.
I stopped at the first gas station, and found to my delight, that there was
a large pool of oil under my right front of the car at the oil cooler.
Looked at it, everything was full of oil! I moved the braided stainless
steel lines around and found there was oil pissing out of the cooler
(engine still running). After closer inspection, I found that the braided
hose that goes around to the passenger side of the cooler was rubbing the
cooler on the driver's side. Just barely touching it, but over the weeks,
months, or years, had worn it away to where it expose the cooling coil and
broke into it. Only about 1/4" into the cooler.
Bought some duck tape and rags. Placed the rag over the hole and duck
tapped it in place. Added two quarts of oil and was off ten miles to my
sales call. After I got done, I posted to the 20V list and quattro list
that I needed a used oil cooler (from the power plant). Our list mister,
Dan, left me a voicemail within five minutes of somebody to get a cooler
from (Cool!). Bendon Hull also left me a voicemail with a cooler from a
trashed 91 200q for $75 which I bought.
In the meantime, went out to the parking lot, had some tools with me (thank
god) and pulled the cooler off its mounts. Then taped it better with more
rags and duck tape. Drove 15 miles to the closest town, stopped at Wal
Mart, got some price slashed 72 cent oil (five quarts) and figured it
leaked about 1 quart per 30 miles. Watched oil pressure and temperatuere
closely, everything back to normal and drove home the 90 miles stopping
three times. Oil level never went below the low mark on the dipstick,
Got the cooler coming tomorrow, on a business trip to another power plant
outside of Houston, will replace the cooler on Friday......hopefully only
$75 plus some seals and oil.
So you might want to tie wrap those stainless steel lines away from the
cooler, they just might wear it down someday and cause a leak!
Oak Park, IL