September 2005- Even though I haven’t compiled any hard statistical data on the subject of oil cooler mortality, I can tell you with great certainty that the most common causes of oil cooler damage, poor performance, and catastrophic failure are preventable.
Before continuing any further, I should point out that the number one, most common reason for an aluminum aircraft oil cooler to become unrepairable, it seems, is due to corrosion. Even if everything else that takes place during the oil cooler’s operational lifetime goes exactly as-designed, the effects of time and corrosion will eventually kill it. While not preventable, corrosion can be slowed—and the oil cooler’s useful life extended, with periodic cleaning of its exterior.
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