How to Install the Oil Cooler Gasket
Leaking is the subsequent problem that arises when a gasket is severely stressed out or if it has become worn due to age. In such a condition, replacement is the sole solution. But if upon checking, you found out that the gasket is simply loose, tightening would already do away with the leak. So, how do you fix a leaking oil cooler gasket?
Difficulty Level: Moderate
What you'll need:
- Putty knife
- Straight hedge
- Torque wrench
Step 1: Ready the new gasket that you will use. Make sure that what you got is an oil cooler gasket with the correct size and shape for your car. Some car owners choose to buy oil cooler gasket set, just so they have spare for the other types of gaskets at hand. In case another gasket fails, going to the shop should no longer eat up their time. You can do so as well.
Step 2: Pop the hood open for you to be able to gain access to the oil cooler. Make sure that the hood stand gets a secure hold of the hood in order to prevent any untoward accident. The latter is a large body panel that could hurt you if you unintentionally unlatched the stand while still working.
Step 3: If the engine is still hot, let the heat dissipate first before touching anything under the hood. Whether you are working with the engine oil cooler itself or the separate oil cooler device, it is best to work with the engine cooled down. Keep the hood open for the heat to dissipate faster.
Step 4: After the engine has cooled down, clean the mating surfaces. Use the putty knife to scrape away every remnant of the old gasket as well as of the sealant. Be careful, however, not to gouge the metal. Clean the mating surfaces better with alcohol or trichloroethylene solvent, and let it dry.
Step 5: Check the mating surfaces for any warping with the aid of a straightedge. Lay it across several directions of the surfaces. Warp is present if you notice light between the straightedge and the mating surface. A slight warp is repairable with a hammer or a gasket and pliable gasket sealer. Severe warping, though, may need to be machined or replaced.
Step 6: Position and align the gasket correctly on one of the surfaces. Apply a pliable gasket sealer or RTV sealant as necessary before pressing the gasket in place.
Step 7: Join the assembly with the bolts when the gasket is already secured in place. After finger-tightening each bolt, use a torque wrench to partially tighten them. Go over all bolts once again to have them fully tightened.
Step 8: Run the engine to test for leaks. If RTV sealant was applied, wait for about an hour before running the engine. If leaks are present, tighten the bolts a little more. If it fails, start the process all over again.
The process may take around 20 minutes to complete. Note that an oil cooler gasket set is necessitated during an overhaul of either the engine or the transmission. At this point, it is best to leave everything in the hands of your trusted mechanic.