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Engine oil cooler

I will be towing a 1500

















I will be pulling a 1500# camper with my '03 Tundra w/ a 3.4 six cyl engine w/ auto trans. I have already purchased (not yet installed) a transmission cooler. I am considering purchasing an engine oil cooler. The part is about $100. Would it benefit the engine?









Yes. Some vehicles over the years even came from the factory with external engine oil coolers.

If you don’t do much towing it may not be worthwhile but with a lot of towing I could see the benefits to adding one.

I don’t know about the Tundra. It is not possible to say whether an oil cooler will benefit significantly the cooling of an engine. Some vehicles have plenty of cooling capacity and others are pretty close to their limits. I would start by finding out if the Tundra tow package includes an additional oil cooler. How about a bigger radiator or more capable fan? Lastly, ask at a Toyota truck board.

Why don’t you just buy a vehicle rated to tow your camper?

All Crown Vic Cop Cars (P71) have an engine oil cooler. There must be a reason for that…

You probably have enough power to tow your camper. I have never used an engine oil cooler, but have used synthetic oil such as 10W40 or 5W50 in the summer since it can take the heat much better.

Your choice of a transmission oil cooler is wise. I trust you bought one with a proper rating for the size of trailer. Make sure the cooler is installed properly and test for leaks. And stay out of overdrive when you tow the camper.

Happy camping!

The oil cooler will not make any noticeable difference in the temperature the engine operates at. That’s not what it’s for.
What is will do is cool the oil itself which will then lead to the oil holding onto its lubricating properties better.

Doesn’t the 2003 Tundra already have a transmission fluid cooler and a functioning cooling system? I think your tundra can easily handle towing 1,500 pounds without any help. I don’t know about your Tundra, but the 2010 Tundra can tow 10,000 pounds without any major modifications.

The oil cooler will not make any noticeable difference in the temperature the engine operates at. That’s not what it’s for.
What is will do is cool the oil itself which will then lead to the oil holding onto its lubricating properties better.

While you’re sorta right on the oil longevity aspect of it, I don’t agree with your assessment of oil coolers in general. About 30%+ of cooling is done by the oil. What you don’t see is the btu’s going out the oil pan on your coolant temp gauge since it’s regulated to just under 100C/212F.

The best oil coolers are laminar oil coolers. Oil:coolant types. Then all you need is a big enough radiator. They are much more compact than air:oil coolers. The density of the exchange mediums trumps the size difference. Air is a poor conductor of heat.

I’m unsure of the OP’s Toy, but some include one of these laminar coolers at the trans …plumbed right to the engine coolant. No connection to the rad at all (as is customary). The HD setup in that same Toy installation does use a separate trans cooler up front, but it only works when the converter clutch is not locked.

I still have to respectfully disagree. If any noticeable cooling was done by an engine oil cooler then it would show up on gauge comparisons between a cooler equipped model and a non-cooler equipped one.

Some of the older SAAB Turbos used an oil cooler mounted under the front end and they ran at the same temperatures as the non-Turbo, non-cooler equipped cars.
I’ve owned a SAAB previously (non-Turbo) and a current SAAB (Turbo) and not only does the dashboard gauges read the same, my radiator thermometer shows no difference when testing the engine coolant.

P71s have an oil cooler because the sit at idle a lot. Maybe the water pump does not circulate well enough at idle to get the heat out of the motor.