2010 Prius - When Should I have EGR Cleaned?

Discussion in 'Gen 3 Prius Main Forum' started by Jzerot1437, Jul 23, 2020.

  1. Jzerot1437

    Jzerot1437 New Member

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    I recently purchased a 2010 Toyota Prius with 74,480 miles on it. Drives great and based on Dr Prius, the battery is in great health, which has left me with only one concern from the research I've done--the EGR Valve.

    I'm not much of a DIY type of guy, but I'm definitely interested in keeping this car running happy and healthy; when would you recommend that I have a mechanic go in and clean it up?
     
  2. BZzap!

    BZzap! Senior Member

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    As a preventative measure, 75,000 miles might be a good time to have it serviced.
     
  3. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    agreed, from what i've read. could be anywhere from relatively clean to fairly clogged.

    either way, it's good insurance against head gasket failure
     
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  4. ETC(SS)

    ETC(SS) The OTHER One Percenter.....

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    +1
    Just be sure that the mechanic that you use is familiar with the procedure....and bring money.
     
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  5. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Senior Member

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    Yeah now would be an excellent time. A little early. FWIW I did ours at 70K kms, no regrets.

    It's too bad there aren't some reasonably price pro-services for this. They all need it, and the dealerships are useless. I suspect all they would do (reluctantly, while insisting a fuel injection cleaning service would be more worthwhile) is replace the:

    intake manifold
    EGR Valve
    EGR Cooler
    All associated gaskets

    It might be possible to convince them to just clean the EGR pipe, if you really pushed.

    All those parts would be closing in on a grand, then probably another grand for labour.

    DIY you can do this in about a day. If you know someone with a lift, or floor jack, or ramps, with basic tools, maybe they could help you out?

    Info:

    The simplest way to see where you're at, is to check the degree of carbon build up in the EGR pipe, a stainless steel connecting pipe between the EGR valve and intake manifold. Watch @NutzAboutBolts video #16 here:

    Nutz About Bolts Prius Maintenance Videos | PriusChat

    Two or three other videos linked there too, for the full cleaning of the intake manifold, full EGR clean, and Oil Catch Can install.

    Good thread:

    EGR & Intake Manifold Clean Results | PriusChat

    Another:

    Oil Catch Can, Eliminate that knock! | PriusChat

    Some tools worth having:

    E8 Torx socket (mandatory)
    E6 Torx socket (optional, but good to have, to remove the throttle body studs from intake manifold)
    3/8" ratchet wrench, regular and long handle, flex head, you can never have enough (or 1/2 plus reducer)
    1/4" ratchet wrench, or 3/8" to 1/4" reducer
    Ratchet extensions: you can never have enough
    Long needle nose piers, straight and bent tip
    Ratcheting 12mm box wrench (optional, but makes disconnection of the EGR cooler from exhaust easier)
    Torque wrench (3/8" and 1/4" both good to have)
    Floor jack and safety stands (or ramps): basically some method to raise front, if you need to take underpanel off, which you may need to, both for access and to recover dropped items.

    Comment regarding clamping of coolant hose, mentioned and or shown in videos:

    1. When removing the intake manifold for cleaning, you do need to lift the throttle body off the intake manifold. Still, the coolant hoses connected to the throttle body have ample slack, enough that you can leave them connected, and just tie the throttle body to something adjacent, say the inverter wiring harness.

    2. When removing the EGR cooler, removing coolant hoses is necessary, but if you drain 2 liters/quarts from the radiator drain spigot prior (into a clean container), the coolant level in the system will be dropped below the EGR components, and you won't spill anything. Just be sure to not tip the cooler when lifting it off (and catch the rear gasket): there are a few tablespoons of coolant trapped at the lower back corner.

    Pour that into your previous drained coolant, and when done pour it back into the reservoir. If you've got the coolant bleed bolt (2010, 2011 model years), leave it open while pouring the coolant back in, till coolant starts coming out. For later model years, leave the topmost coolant hose on EGR disconnected till coolant starts coming out. Also, might help to burp the main radiator hose as you pour the coolant back in.
     
  6. ttou68

    ttou68 Active Member

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    Cleaned my son's @ 90K along with intake manifold, transmission, both engine and inverter coolant change..
    It's not clogged but definitely not pretty, so I'm very glad I didn't wait till 120K to clean it while change spark plugs...
    Posted via the PriusChat mobile app.
     
    #6 ttou68, Jul 23, 2020
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2020
  7. Krall

    Krall Junior Member

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    Do you know what's in the EGR kit? The dealer said gasket and seals along with the valve. They didn't mention the cooler. Is it necessary to perform maintenance on the intake?
     
  8. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Senior Member

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    I'm not sure about "kit". In a nutshell: everything needs thorough cleanout, from exhaust connection to the intake ports. Or replacement, which is dealership's more usual (and expensive) approach. Gasket replacement at your miles pretty much for sure, they're not that expensive though. And verification EGR valve is functional.

    The labour to pull everything out, and then to clean, is a killer.

    In past IIRC they were replacing valve (under extended warranty) and doing nothing else.
     
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  9. royrose

    royrose Senior Member

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    I'll be the contrarian (as I have in the past): I did a quick search for discussions on PriusChat about blown head gaskets. Most were 190,000+ miles. the least was 143,000. If you are going to pay someone else to do it, I would wait to 120,000 miles when spark plugs are due, then do plugs and egr. Or do the plugs early at 100,000 and do the egr circuit then.

    For reference, my 2010 is just short of 100,000 miles, runs perfectly. I plan to do Mendel's check of the egr pipe soon and will report back.

    Mendel, I've been meaning to ask. Once the egr cooler is fully clogged, then the pipe won't clog any more. Correct? So, how much build up in the pipe would indicate a problem?

    Jerzot, how long do you expect to keep your Prius? How many miles do you hope to put on it?
     
  10. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Senior Member

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    I'm not sure, but my seat-of-pants judgement: if you're seeing moderate carbon build up in the pipe, say thicker than 1/16", the cooler will be well along, worth cleaning, and ditto for the intake.

    I really like to err on the side of caution though; don't see the EGR condition as "fine" until it isn't. Also, any amount of carbon build-up in the cooler will also tend to insulate the radiator, reduce its cooling efficacy?

    And, clogging of the EGR capillaries in the intake tends to progress fastest towards cylinder one end, so overall flow maybe not so bad, but cylinder one taking the brunt.
     
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  11. Paul E. Highway

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    With my 2010 I had time constraints, so bought a new EGR cooler, EGR valve, EGR pipe, and a new intake manifold (latest revision). At 155K miles I thought I might be on borrowed time. Cooler was about 90% clogged. Did it all in one afternoon, and replaced PCV valve plus installed oil catch can as well. Fingers crossed, car does not use a drop of oil or coolant at this time. Hawaii climate may help, no condensation issues. Dodged a bullet, hopefully.

    BTW, I've cleaned the EGR cooler with Oxi Clean, purple clean, and oven cleaner and STILL get black gunk coming out. This will be my spare for the next cleanup. Amazing how much crap that cooler will hold!
     
  12. Raytheeagle

    Raytheeagle Senior Member

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    2nd time since I've been counting this week:p.

    Good to have the boiler plate handy;).

    Still sound advice for dealing with the Achilles heel of the Gen3(y).
     
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  13. NorCal PiP

    NorCal PiP New Member

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    Given that the kiss of death of these delicate motors is the water pump failure and near immediate overheat to blow the head gasket, I would replace the 10 year old plastic impeller based electric water pump at the first opportunity along with the other maintenance items.
    2013 blew friggin motor outa no where @ 155,000 miles. That is on the extreme low range of reported failures. Nor Cal car saw highway miles mostly.
     
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  14. pjksr02

    pjksr02 Active Member

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    If it were my car, and I was doing the labor, I'd put in 4 new spark plugs while the cowl is off, because the specified spark plug has changed. Then, the car would be good for another long interval. Something to consider, but the plugs aren't due to be changed until 144 months/120,000 miles (150,000 in some states--see the manual), and many (like me) have gone farther than that with no issues with the OEM plug.
     
  15. MelonPrius

    MelonPrius Active Member

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    Please post about the costs and experience if paying a mechanic to clean the EGR. It seems that nearly everyone does this DIY style due to the high cost of labor.
     
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  16. ATlam

    ATlam Member

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    I think I was quoted close to $400 just to replace the egr cooler (100% clogged) with another used one I bought...it was crazy.
     
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  17. jimontheocean

    jimontheocean Junior Member

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    I replaced my egr cooler with a new one also, cost from toyo was 400.00.
    Old one was so clogged, I couldnt get it cleaned out. Plan on boiling it for future use.

    Posted via the PriusChat mobile app.
     
  18. Krall

    Krall Junior Member

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    How does it run at 100% clogged? I bought mine with 90k or so and it now has 260k and really it drives exceptionally well. I never have done anything other than coolant flushes, plugs and normal maintenance.
     
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  19. bettergolf

    bettergolf Active Member

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    Krall, you are among the many thousands that never did this egr cleaning and never had a problem. The people here would have everyone believe that they WILL blow a head gasket if they don't clean it. Maybe it contributes to but I don't think anyone has any proof, it appears to be deductive speculation for what a head gasket goes bad (sometimes). Does your use any oil at 260k?
     
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  20. Raytheeagle

    Raytheeagle Senior Member

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    Just know out here in Prii land that mobile businesses have sprouted up to replace head gaskets;).

    Do you really think that'd happen if it wasn't an issue:whistle:?

    Do preventative maintenance while you can before it becomes a bigger issue(y).
     
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