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Why You Need To Test Your Charge Air Cooler

Diesel engines run hot, and it’s your charge air cooler’s job to keep temperatures down and ensure the engine can work at peak efficiency. Test your charge air cooler (CAC) regularly to ensure it’s performing its best.

Over 40% of all charge air coolers two years or older have a leak. When your CAC leaks, it can’t cool the air from the turbo efficiently, leading to a host of expensive problems for your truck. A CAC test can help you keep costs to a minimum and make sure your charge air cooler can effectively do its job.

Bad Charge Air Coolers Can Hurt Your Fleet

When your charge air cooler isn’t operating correctly, extra heat will enter the engine, which is never a good thing. All that excess heat will cause your engine to work inefficiently, causing major problems for your truck:

  • Reduced fuel efficiency
  • Loss of engine power
  • Elevated soot levels in oil
  • More frequent DPF regeneration
  • Premature engine failure
  • Turbo or exhaust manifold failure
  • Higher engine coolant temperatures

By testing your charge air cooler, you can keep your CAC running properly to protect your truck from the harmful effects of high heat.

Loss of Fuel Efficiency

A fully functioning charge air cooler can boost fuel efficiency by 0.5 miles per gallon. While that might not seem like a lot, half a mile per gallon can seriously add up.

The average trucker drives around 600-miles per day. If your charge air cooler isn’t functioning properly, it could be costing you $4,000 extra per year in fuel costs for a single truck. If you own or operate a fleet of more than 25 vehicles, that can easily break $100,000 per year!

Find out how much money a leaking charge air cooler could be costing you with our leaking CAC calculator.

Reduction of Engine Power

Combustion engines love cool air. Cooler air packs in more oxygen, leading to improved combustion quality and more power to the driveshaft. If your charge air cooler isn’t cooling the air entering your engine, your truck won’t have the power it needs to function efficiently.

While this also has an effect on fuel efficiency, it could make the difference between pulling that load up a hill or not having the power to get over the top.

Premature Wear on Engine Components

Heat isn’t good for your engine components. It can cause premature wear on your pistons, rings, valves, and any connector hoses and clamps. If your CAC stops working, it could cost you much more than just some extra fuel charges.

Replacing engine components is expensive. Protect them by making sure your charge air cooler is functioning properly.

CAC Tests are Simple and Cost-Effective

It can be difficult to tell whether your charge air cooler is working properly. Unlike a leaking radiator which leaves a puddle on the ground, a leaking CAC likely won’t fail in a spectacular fashion. Luckily, CAC tests are easy to perform and will tell you if there’s a hidden leak in just a few minutes.

You can purchase a Dura-Lite CAC Tester-Kit that comes with all the components you’ll need to test your charge air cooler. The entire process takes under 20 minutes, and the savings you’ll enjoy with a fully functioning CAC will more than makeup for the time and cost of the test.

You should test your charge air cooler every time you change the oil or perform preventive maintenance on your truck. That way, you know your truck and its systems are always ready to handle whatever jobs are thrown their way.

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