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Fuchs915

Oil cooler - known for leaks?

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Fired up the old girl this morning for the first time in a while.  Ran for a bit whilst doing a few other jobs and got a fair few drips righthand side front from the heat exchanger.  Neighbours hopefully like the smell of burning oil...

It's not a great area to get your head in but I can't see any obvious areas where the oil is running from so, as the oil cooler sits right above this area, wondered if it was a leak suspect.  Car has always had a little oil smoke on this side, but this is more than usual.  Any other suggestions welcomed.

Cheers

Kevin

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Could be a leak from the "triangle of death" and running down. Could also be the seals where the oil cooler joins the engine. You really need to do a partial engine drop to be sure or get some small mirrors and plenty of light behind the CIS to see. An endoscope might do the trick. Which ever way it goes remedy is a pain in the proverbial.

Hopefully it won't be the oil cooler itself. Mega expensive nowadays. Even when I did mine 10 years ago or so it was £400! They are not repairable.

To be sure you need to take it off and pressure test it in a bowl of water.

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I have a wireless endoscope (DEPSTECH) which was quite cheap but is fantastic for this kind of diagnosis. Way better than a mirror. 

Couid also be too high an oil level if you’ve topped up recently. It gets pushed through the breather into the air box and then finds its way out around the oil cooler. 

David 

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Thanks for the feedback. I have an endoscope for my iPhone so will give that a go. I’ll double check the oil level as well to hopefully eliminate one thing. The triangle of death is pretty dry, no fresh oil but I have new gaskets etc to do this anyway so if I need to do a partial drop, I’ll do these at the same time. Some crawling round under the car tomorrow.


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The oil cooler seals can be done with a partial drop as well, you could always get it pressure tested whilst you’re at it if there aren’t any other obvious explanations for the leak.

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I had to get access to replace oil cooler seals years ago and it wasn't too bad a job. Turned out it was the cooler itself that was failing but got one from Sportwagen Eckert at a sensible price. Can't remember how much but was still cheaper than anything in the UK.

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As said earlier, oil cooler (or it's seals) can be done with a partial engine drop. While access is improved, why not take a look at the obvious candidates on the top of the engine too. Finally, are you 100% sure it's not residue from oil spilt while trying to fill or top up the engine..... Been there etc! 

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My oil cooler was covered in oil and I was convinced it was the oil cooler or the Seals. 

However, I washed down the oil cooler, replaced the ‘triangle of death seals’ and all was resolved. It’s amazing where oil gets from these 3 seals - but despite their colloquial name, I found them relatively straight forward to replace. 

You might try replacing these first before assuming it’s the oil cooler. 

M. 

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Thanks all for the feedback.  Triangle of death look relatively dry, although a bit of moisture around the end of the vent pipe, so I'll have a closer look at that. Oil cooler is showing signs of oil, see pic, hopefully nothing major.  In the meantime, still getting oil smoke off the heat exchanger but no visible signs of fresh oil running down externally.   

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