How to Replace Oil Cooler Lines Chevy DIY

Oil cooler lines replacement on Chevy has become a common query among Chevy truck owners.

The engine of a Chevy truck produces a lot of heat as the oil flows through its parts by the pressure of an oil pump. To keep the temperature under an optimum level, auto manufacturers install oil coolers in all heavy-duty vehicles.

The oil cooler gets signals from a temperature sensor which detects the dangerous level of heat and displays it to the driver.

The cooling process of the engine oil is completed with the help of the oil cooler lines. The oil that needs to be chilled passes through the cooler lines mounted between the engine and the cooler.

Sometimes, due to the pressure of the oil and the exertion of the vehicle these oil cooler lines get ruptured, dented, or broken. The damaged lines of the oil cooler hinder the engine cooling system and therefore, need to be replaced.

7 Steps to Replace Oil Cooler Lines Chevy 

Tools and Materials Needed:

Make sure you have all of these tools and materials around you before getting into the oil cooler replacement process:

  • Jack and jack stands
  • Drain pan for oil
  • Ratchet and sockets
  • Line wrench
  • Hand tools set
  • Towels
  • Wheel Chocks
  • Oil cooler lines 

Once you are certain that you have all of these tools, you can start the replacement of the engine oil cooler lines Chevy truck by using these simple steps.

Step 1: Set up the vehicle with jack stands

Before starting the cooler lines replacement procedure, make sure that your Chevy truck is parked at a firm and leveled surface.

Take out the hydraulic jack with filling enough oil and lift the front wheels of your truck enough for you to work underneath safely. Never make the mistake of leaving your vehicle on the jacks, as they are not built for this, use jack stands for setting it up.

To add another level of safety to this procedure, put wheel chocks on the remaining two wheels, that are on the ground.

Step 2: Find and the oil cooler lines

After positioning your Chevy truck on the jack stands, slip underneath and try to pinpoint the oil cooler lines.

Typically, you would find the oil cooler lines near the engine, which is located in the hood of your truck. Take a ratchet and undo screws on one end of the cooler lines that are connected to the engine.

Step 3: Drain the oil from the oil cooler lines

As you remove the oil cooler lines from one end, keep an oil drain pan nearby, to avoid excessive oil from getting spilled.

Lower the loose end of the cooler lines to the drain pan and let all of the oil out into the drip pan. This is to prevent any kind of mess from the engine oil already present in the oil cooler lines.

Keep a rag or a towel with you to clean your hands if there is a spill.

Step 4: Undo the bolts and support brackets

To fully remove the oil cooling lines from the vehicle, look out for all the support brackets and equipment that secure the cooler lines in their spot.

You would see a number of different nuts, screws, and clamps as well, along with the support brackets. Get a wrench and undo all of the equipment that is keeping those lines in place.

You should be able to remove the engine cooler lines after unbolting them and detaching the brackets. Now your cooler lines would be detached from the engine side as well as the oil cooler side.

Step 5: Check the newly bought oil cooler lines

After you have removed the oil cooler lines, put them aside to compare them with the new oil cooler lines. Before you start reinstalling the new cooler lines, it is important that they match with the old ones, in shape, width, and length.

Also, make sure the new cooler lines have all the safety equipment and the stoppers. The perfect fitting of the replaced oil cooler lines between the cooler and the engine is essential.

Step 6: Replace the oil cooler lines on both ends

Once the inspection of the replacement cooler lines is done and the results are satisfactory, it's time for their installation.

Start with the oil cooler side and apply all the seals like O-rings and clamps onto the new cooler lines. Follow the procedure you did before but this time in reverse, and secure all of the equipment in place.

Finally, install the oil cooler lines on the engine side, with the help of a wrench. After carefully mounting them to both sides, reinstall the support brackets.

Step 7: Get rid of the jack stands and check for leaks

To make sure that the oil cooler lines replacement went well, you want to check your engine oil level and the leaks from the cooler lines.

For checking the oil level, you have to take off your truck from the jack stands. Start your vehicle and notice the engine oil level, as well as any leaks, from the new cooler lines.

Undone screws or loose seals on the oil cooler lines can lead to oil spill so check for that and you are good to go.

Symptoms of the Bad or Failing Oil Cooler Lines

Recognizing the common signs which indicate that your oil cooler lines are failing is extremely important. It not only tells you when it's time to change the cooler lines but also saves the drivers from a lot of trouble.

The symptoms of failing oil cooler lines are listed below:

Oil stains under your vehicle

The most usual and visible symptom of the faulty oil cooler lines is the oil stains that you see when your car moves from the spot it was parked on.

Failing oil cooler lines leak engine oil, due to ruptures in their lining. The oil puddles that appear under your vehicle can also be due to the weak seals placed on the cooler lines after replacement.

Sometimes, even newly installed cooler lines spill oil, which can be due to the lines getting clogged or being hit by rubble on the road.

Reduced levels of engine oil

Even if you don’t notice the oil stains on the surface under your vehicle, you can tell that your cooler lines are bad by checking the oil levels.

A sudden decrease in the engine oil levels of your vehicle is another symptom of failing oil cooler lines.

Typically, when the oil cooler lines get corroded or rusted, they leak engine oil, which leads to reduced levels shown on the dashboard.

Twists on the cooler lines

When the oil cooler lines age, they start to get bends and curves on their surface which makes them vulnerable to oil spillage. The twisted oil cooler lines are not able to withstand the pressure from the oil cooler and need immediate replacement.

So if you notice any crimps, bends, or grooves on the oil cooler lines, it indicates they are damaged.

Engine Oil Cooler Line Replacement Cost

The replacement cost of engine oil cooler lines revolves around $200 -$250, but this cost is without the labor expenses.

Since the changing of the oil cooler lines requires the capabilities of auto technicians, the labor cost is slightly greater than the installation cost. Combined with the cost of the new oil cooler lines, the labor charges go up to $470.

You can buy new oil cooler lines and replacement gadgets for as low as $40 and as high as $200. Apart from that, the oil leak repairs caused by the faulty oil cooler lines can be as expensive as $1,100.

The engine oil cooler lines are not present in every other vehicle, they are typically found in heavy-duty trucks like Chevy and SUVs like Ford Escape 2013.

The regular cost for the oil cooler lines replacement for the Ford Escape 2013 and 2016 is almost $250.

Whereas, you need up to $250- $300 for the changing of the oil cooler lines of a Chevrolet Silverado engine.

The oil cooler lines replacement parts for the Chevrolet Silverado engine can be bought for under $100. But the labor expenses for the Chevy trucks lie between $150 - $210.


1. What are the oil cooler lines, and what do they do? 

Made up of hard metals, oil cooler lines are accessories that connect the oil cooler to the engine of a vehicle. The role of the oil cooler lines is to cool down the circulation of oil passing between the engine parts, like a radiator.

2. What causes the oil cooler lines to leak? 

The oil cooler lines leak due to the ruptures in the interior surface of the cooler lines, as well as due to the defective seals on the lines. In some cases, old age and the bends on the lines also cause them to leak oil.

3. Can you bypass oil cooler lines? 

Yes, you can bypass oil cooler lines, using a bypass valve. The bypass valve is used to open up the clogged and thick lines of the oil cooler to allow the oil to pass through them.

4. What happens if my oil cooler fails?

When the oil cooler fails, there is no coolant left in the engine which can lead to serious troubles, due to the overheated engine. The performance of the engine is also affected and the vehicle covers low mileage.

Final Verdict

The tougher a vehicle is, the more heat it is likely to produce, which is why the oil cooler lines are typically present in most heavy-duty vehicles only.

The function of the oil cooler lines as a modifier for the cooling systems in such vehicles. As the oil from the engine to the oil cooler passes through the cooler lines, the temperature of the circulating oil is automatically lowered.

The purpose of the oil cooler lines is hampered when the lines get bent or leaked. In such situations, the knowledge about the symptoms of defective lines and how to replace oil cooler lines come in handy.

The installation cost of the new oil cooler lines is not as much if you do it yourself. This way you can save the labor charges which are often pretty high in the replacement process.

Just keep following the steps of the oil cooler lines replacement mentioned here and your Chevy truck is good to go.

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