2010 Prius - When Should I have EGR Cleaned?

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

  1. TacoPrius

    TacoPrius New Member

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    EGR system service was the hardest car project that I have ever done. It was a pain in the orifice to remove and reinstall. Cleaning it...um, yeah. It was FULL of carbon crap. I sprayed several cans of brake cleaner through it and soaked it in the sink with Oxi-Clean multiple times for hours each time. Finally got a bottle of Liquid Plum-R and poured that stuff through the stupid cooler. Got it sparking clean but it took a whole bag of tricks to do it! Pain in the anus, I'm not going to sugarcoat it, but I probably saved $1,000. The EGR valve wasn't that bad, I hope I did it right but it wasn't as disgusting as the stupid cooler was.
     
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  2. Raytheeagle

    Raytheeagle Senior Member

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    Try a pressure washer next time ;).

    Good solution to the process:).

    And then allows you to have a more difficult challenge to test your DIY skills on(y).
     
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  3. Montgomery

    Montgomery Senior Member

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    This sound detailed advice coming from Mendal is a diary to a starving mechanic on how to make it through this covid-19 pandemic. Mechanics working at dealerships trying to up-sell oil changes could easily do this type of service on the side. And if waste is an issue, heck, rent a bay somewhere and work on the side. It is 2020, and there are thousands of 2010's out there in need of this service. With the right tools, the right attitude and time, a mechanic could be working now to save for their retirement. With the right tools, a mechanic could knock a job like this out faster than most of us. And if time to clean out the gunk is an issue, I'd be at the local pick your part yards and buying as many of this in advance as I could. I would clean them in advance, set up a system to always have one soaking out, so that I can fix and repair even faster.

    This (in my humble) opinion is an option of what an independent mechanic could be doing. Its good for the public and good for a mechanic's reputation.
     
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  4. royrose

    royrose Senior Member

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    So, is there a middle ground between these two positions? I believe so.

    Extreme: No use cleaning EGR circuit since many don't have blown head gaskets.

    Extreme (and frequently stated or implied on PriusChat): When a noobie asks what they should do when buying a used Prius at 75,000 to 100,000 miles: OMG clean your EGR circuit immediately.

    My take on realistic: Probability of EGR cooler clogging over time: High. Possibility of that leading to head gasket failure: Yes, liklihood unknown. So, what to do: Weigh the cost of time and tool expenditure with how long you may keep the vehicle, how many miles you may put on it, what kind of driving you may do.

    If you have the tools, time and place, it is reasonable to do preventive maintenance but not urgent, and (in my opinion) of little risk below 120,000 miles, especially if you don't do sustained highway driving. If you do it at 75,000 miles and are committed to the conclusion that keeping it clean is important, you will just have to clean it again sooner.

    If you don't have tools, time and place weigh the cost of having it done vs the risk in your particular circumstances.

    I respect those who take great care of their Pri through preventive maintenance, but I also believe that some people (like me) can make an informed decision not to do so. I can explain my choice at length if any one is interested.

    By the way, I'd like to see a sticky on this subject in the gen 3 maintenance section starting with a link to the video and Mendel's and/or Ray's recommendations on how to get started. Then all debates and questions could be referred there.
     
    #24 royrose, Jul 26, 2020
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2020
  5. Krall

    Krall Junior Member

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    I'm not saying they are right or wrong, was just curious how it would run at 100% clog incase I ever run into that. If I had known the EGR circuit was an issue I would have had it serviced sooner. Unfortunately for me most of the mechanics I've taken it to treat it like another vehicle. Hey mechanic, "what service should I do at 150k"? mechanic, ah,"Just read the owner's manual".

    So up to this point I never did any EGR work. The check engine light is on for it so I'm getting it serviced.

    It's kind of an odd thing, but right now it uses a scary amount of oil. Like check it every 5 days if you don't want to blow the engine kind of oil. Once the oil is changed it tends to use a lot less. I haven't figured that out yet. It's always used oil though just not as much as it is now. And again I brought it to a bunch of different mechanics believing that it's a ring issue, but no one wants to touch that. "These engines today are disposable, it's not worth fixing". Yeah okay, that's why it's at 260k....
     
  6. mjoo

    mjoo Senior Member

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    Thermophoresis is accelerated with cold engine temperatures. Thus, highway drivers are somewhat protected from a faster rate of deposits in the EGR cooler.
     
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  7. BZzap!

    BZzap! Senior Member

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    I wish I would have said that!
     
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  8. royrose

    royrose Senior Member

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    I'm not claiming that there is less deposit. My pure speculation is that once the EGR cooler is clogged the risk of engine overheating may be less with short, lower speed drives. Believe me, I have no scientific basis to back this up. Maybe it is wishful thinking on my part since that is the kind of driving that I do with my Prius these days.
     
  9. mjoo

    mjoo Senior Member

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    Yeah I know. :cool:

    If you find another way to cool peak combustion temperatures besides adding EGR or shortening the piston travel by hydrolock :ROFLMAO:;) please let me know. I'm really interested.
     
    #29 mjoo, Jul 27, 2020
    Last edited: Jul 27, 2020
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  10. Jzerot1437

    Jzerot1437 New Member

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    Thanks for all of the feedback!

    Based on what most people here have said, I'm going to have the EGR valve cleaned/replaced this year.

    To answer some of the questions people have asked, I would like to keep the car running for the next 3-5 years. I live in NYC and mostly only drive on the weekends, but usually for long highway rides--I'm clocking about 200 miles each weekend, so expect ~10-12k mileage per year, mostly highway driving, or about 110,000 miles -135,000 miles by the time I'm looking to get a different car.

    My main concern right now is age of the car--I don't expect too many malfunctions due to mileage, but given the vehicle is 10 years old, I feel as if there are probably a few preventative procedures I should have completed since the old plastic parts are probably nearing their life's end.
     
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  11. MelonPrius

    MelonPrius Active Member

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    In terms of the EGR getting clogged, is there a consensus on whether city driving or highway driving contributes more?
     
  12. Rocky Mountain Priusman

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    Im trying to plan a full preventative maint course of action on my 2010 prius with 160,000 Kms (100,000 miles) and I've read about every thread and watched all the videos. This one comment is throwing me off. Do I need to order new gasgets for everything in the EGR system? Not sure what you meant here by "Gasget replacement pretty much for sure". Also how does one verify the EGR valve is functional? I was hoping just to clean, but if I need to replace as preventative measure I can replace.

    I live in a small town with no toyota dealership so I need to do my very best to order all the necessary parts beforehand.
     
  13. royrose

    royrose Senior Member

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    And what a beautiful place to live!

    I have a 2010 with 101,000, so I would very much like to hear how your project goes. How long do you expect to keep your Prius and how many miles per year?
     
  14. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Senior Member

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    Maybe just get the pliable gaskets; the ones touching the intake manifold. There’s 3:

    1. IM to head (4 port gasket, orange)
    2. IM to EGR pipe (o-ring of sorts, orange)
    3, IM to throttle body (circular, black)

    The rest, at various EGR interfaces, are durable metal. Just be careful not to drop the rear EGR cooler to exhaust manifold gasket during removal, it’s way too easy, and can be hard to find or retrieve.


    FWIW I’ve yet to replace ANY gaskets, though at much lower kms: last time I had IM off was around 88k kms.
     
    #34 Mendel Leisk, Mar 16, 2021
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2021
  15. Rocky Mountain Priusman

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    Thank you that is very helpful information. Appreciate those details.
     
  16. Rocky Mountain Priusman

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    I am from Colorado so I also know that is a beautiful (and considerably warmer) place to live as well.

    I hope to keep my prius for another 100,000 miles. My old car is a 2005 Prius with 200,000 miles on it. Still running well, I've had to do minimal maintenance and repairs to that vehicle.
     
  17. royrose

    royrose Senior Member

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    It does make sense for you to do the EGR system. Then you should be good for that next 100,000 miles.
     
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  18. Rocky Mountain Priusman

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    I got the EGR pipe off. See attached photos of the pipe and the holes connecting the pipe to the intake manifold and EGR valve. There is gunk in there but its not clogged up. After a weekend of working I'm tired and wondering if I can skip the EGR clean. After reading more it seems like so many people have had head gasget blow, even when they did an EGR clean. A part of me just wants to give up on the EGR clean, install an oil catch can, and drive it until the head gasget blows and then spend the money to have a shop swap in a 2015 or a 4th gen engine into it. Maybe I am just tired and should think about it again another day...
     

    Attached Files:

  19. ChapmanF

    ChapmanF Senior Member

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    Have you collected the ECM's EGR flow test results for your system? That might give you some more quantitative basis for deciding whether you're content putting it off a while longer or want to dive into it soon.
     
  20. Rocky Mountain Priusman

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    I havn't. I dont even have an OBD scanner. Looking at getting techstream. But also just convinced myself after taking the afternoon off that I should go through with it. I've already disassembled the wipers and cowling and drained the coolant. I still have a backup car so this is the best time to do it. Giving myself the next month or two to slowly pick away at it.
     
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