EGR coolers are a well known fragile point on most diesel engines. It is important to take care of your truck's EGR exhaust cooling system and protect your engine.
What Does an EGR Cooler Do?
The cooler in your truck's EGR system works with the EGR valve to create a mix of air, fuel, and exhaust gasses that lower emissions. Exhaust Gas Recirculation (EGR) lowers combustion temperatures by diluting the air/fuel mixture with a small amount of inert exhaust gas. This process has no effect on the performance of your truck but it does reduce the change of chemical reactions that form pollutants. That being said, it is far more effective if the exhaust gas is cool, not hot. That is where the cooler comes in. The flow of exhaust gases through the EGR cooler is controlled by the vehicle’s computer via the EGR valve. Since the EGR cooler connects the exhaust and cooling systems of your engine, failures inside the cooler may lead to coolant loss, overheating, and engine damage, among other issues.
How Do I Know My Cooler is Going Bad?
Complete failure of your EGR’s cooling system could cause major damage to your engine. If you know what to look for, you may be able to spot your cooler’s failure before it becomes disastrous.
The most common first sign of failure is white exhaust smoke. This “smoke” is really steam from boiling water or coolant. This steam can be caused by a head gasket failure, a cracked EGR cooler or condensation inside the exhaust system.
As with any coolant leak, you may start noticing a lack of coolant in your overflow bottle. If you have to keep refilling your coolant system, and you don’t notice any drips on the ground, that coolant may be exiting through the exhaust via a leaking cooler.
Severe failures can lead to more serious problems such as connecting rods to bend, stretch head bolts, or blow the head gaskets, all causing severe engine damage.
How Can I Clean My EGR Cooler?
Replacing a cooler can get expensive. Failure is probably unavoidable, you may be able to extend the life of this part by keeping it clean. Clearing out soot and debris can restore an even flow through the cooler, which can reduce internal pressures and improve cooling performance.
There are several methods for cooler cleaning, but they all boil down to the same steps:
- Remove the cooler from the vehicle.
- Fill the cooler with a detergent.
- Let the cooler soak in the detergent to dissolve deposits.
- Thoroughly rinse the cooler to remove the loose deposits.
- Let the cooler dry, then reinstall it.
To clean really dirty passages, some repair shops place EGR coolers inside an ultrasonic cleaner. The ultrasonic waves vibrate the carbon loss while circulating detergent through the passages. This can speed up the cleaning process.
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Had brakes repaired on my 2012 Expedition. Completely satisfied. Owner is honest and makes a great effort to see that each repair is to done correctly and that the customer is satisfied. Brant Jones has been my mechanic for 18 years. An honest and helpful mechanic is a good find. Any one star reviews are most likely written by someone who cannot be pleased or by a competing auto repair shop.
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The team were fantastic. They came to our location where our truck was disabled several blocks from their business, they got under the hood and quickly and correctly diagnosed an obscure broken part in our power steering assembly, ordered the part and had it installed the next week, and did the entire thing so affordably we couldn’t believe we were in Nashville. 10 stars if possible.
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Brought my truck in because the air vents were not working right. When I turned on my heat it would blow cold out the a/c vents. The tech Kevin had my dash tore apart and fix the problem and had it all back together in an hour. Thanks for the great job.
Called the shop spoke to John. Explained to him how my driver was at Love's Truck stop near by. He couldn't move because the diesel pump was cracked Love's kept trying to send me to Freightliner. Glad i came across Specialized truck repair in Google. John got my truck towed to his shop for a reasonable prices. They got the part for me from freightliner and got it in the truck in half a day. Price was very reasonable and since they own the tow truck I got a good price on that. I highly recommend this shop If you are a OTR driver and are looking for a shop that won't take advantage of you.
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