Northern Radiator

Charge Air Cooler Test Kits

If nothing is overheating, you may think your cooling system is running just fine, but what if a leaking Charge Air Cooler was actually creating a loss in MPG and horsepower? Leaking charge air coolers decrease turbo boost, creating more heat. Low or no turbo boost means lower fuel efficiency and massive horsepower loss. 

What Causes a Charge Air Cooler to fail?
50% of all Charge Air Cooler failures are the direct results of failed turbochargers. Excessive heat and vibration can also be culprits. Over time, internal pressure cycling will eventually create stress cracking and metal fatigue. On average, Charge Air Coolers are usually replaced about every 3-5 years. A major failure tends to be more noticeable, with symptoms like loss of engine power, increased fuel consumption, elevated coolant temps, exhaust manifold failure, and more. A slight leak may not be as noticeable, even while it’s causing a loss in horsepower and costing you more on fuel. 

The Solution: Charge Air Cooler Testing
Testing Charge Air Coolers on a regular interval is a must to keep your system operating at top performance. Unlike a radiator, Charge Air Coolers won’t provide a visible sign of a leak, so they must be pressure tested to confirm their integrity. According to most OEM specifications, Charge Air Coolers with a pressure drop of greater than 5 PSI within 15 seconds when pressurized at 30 PSI should be replaced. (Charge Air Cooler’s are not designed to be 100% air tight and leak free, so it’s important to know the acceptable limits for your particular brand or model.)

Manufacturer Acceptable Loss Timing Pressure
Caterpillar 5 psi 15 seconds 30 psi
Cummins (ISB, ISC, N14) 7 psi 15 seconds 30 psi
Cummins (ISX, M11) 5 psi 15 seconds 30 psi
Detroit Diesel 5 psi 30 seconds 25psi
Dodge 7 psi 15 seconds 30 psi
Ford 1.5 psi 60 seconds 28 psi
International 5 psi 15 seconds 30 psi
GMC/Chevy 5 psi 15 seconds 30 psi
Mack 5 psi 15 seconds 30 psi
Mercedes 5 psi 15 seconds 25 psi
Volvo 7 psi 15 seconds 30 psi

The good news is that testing is fast, affordable and effective. Northern Radiator’s Charge Air Cooler Test Kit offers a universal design that’s compatible with most manufacturers’ Charge Air Coolers. Testing is usually done in about 10 minutes in most applications, and doesn’t require the Charge Air Cooler to be removed. It’s a small investment to avoid bigger problems.

Don’t let a small leak add up to big fuel costs and less power for your customers. Order your Charge Air Cooler Test Kit now.