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It has been argued that the use of plastics can cause problems during design and manufacture owing to their low strength, relatively poor thermal conductivity and large thermal expansion. However, the advantages of plastics e.g., corrosion resistance, low cost, curtailment of weight, design flexibility etc., can compensate abundantly for the disadvantages. This study analyzes and compares the heat transfer performance characteristics of automotive compact oil cooler composed of plastic tube bundle with conventional metal oil cooler on the same core area basis as diameter, tube thickness, number of tube or tube arrangement varies. The performance analyses are accomplished by use of computational fluid dynamics program Fluent 6.2, which is verified and compared with the results of performance tests. The result of analyses is coincided with that of experiments. Flow pattern at air side according to tube arrangement is dominant factor which affects heat dissipation in case of similar total heat transfer surface area.