With all new technology comes new terminology to learn and understand. Have you ever had a salesperson tell you about a feature of a product and, rather than risking appearing uninformed, you decided to just smile and nod as though you knew exactly what they were talking about? At RadiatorPros, we want you to be an informed consumer so you can make the best choices for your heavy duty, over the road truck such as a Freightliner FLD, Classic, or Classic XL among others. So today, we’ll talk about charge air coolers.


Charge air coolers aren’t exactly new; most every heavy duty truck now requires them to assist in the best performances in horsepower, the least exhaust emissions, and most efficient fuel economy. Yet, there are differences in the way charge air coolers are manufactured – either in a bar and plate design or a tube and fin design. Both are very capable of handling the cooling process they were intended for; the differences in them are really in the longevity.


A tube and fin type charge air cooler is basically made the same way as a radiator, but of course, designed for air rather than coolant. However, engines are now engineered smaller with an increased horsepower that puts stress on the performance parts such as the turbo cooler and charge air cooler. It’s for this reason that one may decide to go with a bar and plate type cooler. Thermal fatigues failures are mainly found in the header of the charge air cooler. Eliminating the standard header completely, the bar and plate construction allows for the manifold to be directly welded into the center of the cooler. No header; no leaks.


Whether for a T600 or T800 Kenworth, or a 378 or 379 Peterbilt, with less opportunity for leak, the bar and plate will keep fuel efficiencies at peak performance and thereby saving more money overall.

Although you’ll find that the bar and plate is just a bit more expensive, you’ll also discover that it carries a Lifetime Warranty, rather than the two-year warranty of a tube and fin type. Discover the best option of charge air cooler for your heavy duty, over the road truck today by speaking with one of our professional customer sales and service providers today.