Does Fuel Induction service clean the EGR Valves?

Discussion in 'Gen 3 Prius Care, Maintenance & Troubleshooting' started by Pijoto, Jan 1, 2019.

  1. Bill Norton

    Bill Norton Senior Member

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    ^That ^ is exactly what I am now telling people about the subject of EGR circuit cleaning.

    Some evangelists claim the engine will have a head gasket problem eventually if you don't do this service, (which toyota never mentions). Where is the data to support such claims?(n)

    I was also 'worried' about not cleaning the engine's poop pipes on a 185k mile Gen 3 I recently purchased.
    I contacted a 'specialty' repair shop for a quote. The owner said I could post this response he sent me:

    Bill,

    Long story short, we don’t recommend proactively cleaning or replacing the EGR cooler, EGR valve or intake nor updating the ECM software unless it is symptomatic of a failure of these system.

    You’ll have a pretty obvious CEL code for the EGR and/or a cold soak rattle. It isn’t worth your time or money on the small chance you have issue crop up, as the repair for the issue is the same as preventing it (which is unlikely to happen overall).

    The majority of the vehicles that experience the concern are burning oil at high mileage. With routine 5,000 mile oil changes (not 10,000) using a Dexos rated 0w20 synthetic oil you’re less likely to have the concern. The occasional spirited acceleration seems to help prevent moisture and oil vapor pooling in the intake. For that I only have anecdotal evidence, but it seems to help.

    Replacing the intake, EGR valve, cleaning the EGR cooler runs around $1300 plus tax using all Toyota Genuine parts, with the most updated parts as available, including spark plug replacement to the updated plugs. There is a considerable amount of labor to get everything apart.

    We do not install oil catch cans - OEM repairs only. Sorry on that one.

    I’d encourage a DIYer to make the preventative repairs themselves as they are saving a ton of time in repair labor, but I have a hard time selling a guest $1300 in work that is designed to prevent an issue they might not have. Doubly so when preventing it costs the same as fixing it.
    Cheers,
    John
    Owner, carspecmn.com

    If your engine is not a bad oil consumer and you never hear 'Cold Start Knock' I wouldn't worry about it.
    If it is, there is the new topic of the 'Piston Soak' procedure.
     
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  2. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk 'Orrible Oracle

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    Is anyone listening? You're pretty much got yourself convinced, anyway.
     
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  3. Bill Norton

    Bill Norton Senior Member

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    And you're convinced it's necessary routine maintenance, correct? Where's the data? That's all I'm asking.
    I'm not convinced of anything except that I don't like working on cars for no good reason.
     
  4. mjoo

    mjoo Senior Member

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    The purpose of ALL EGR systems is to lower peak cylinder temperatures by several hundred degrees to avoid NOx production. EGR also lowers cylinder pressures. Yes I posted links to studies on engines with/without EGR.

    You spend so much time ranting. Time that could be spent reading our links and putting the facts into your head. You can also do a google search and read.
     
    #24 mjoo, Jan 2, 2019
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2019
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  5. ASRDogman

    ASRDogman Senior Member

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    mmm Repair shop says: " I have a hard time selling a guest $1300 in work that is designed to prevent an issue they might not have."

    I can understand that, tough to spend that money.
    No sense in changing the oil either. Why change the oil designed to prevent an issue that they might not have?
    Why take those meds that might or might not prevent that heart attack or cancer?????
    Show me the data! Show me the data!
    :) :) :)
     
  6. Raytheeagle

    Raytheeagle Senior Member

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    The horse is at the watering hole, we’ve done what we can:cool:.

    Eventually thirst will lead to the reaction to drink;).

    But it may take LONG while(y).
     
  7. Bill Norton

    Bill Norton Senior Member

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    As in what? 300k miles? 500k miles without a head gasket failure? I will try to wait that long,,,,
    or until the EV CCS network expands and I can do road trips with a Chevy Bolt, or similar.

    What if..... the Gen 3 head gasket IS the weak link in this engine? No matter how squeaky clean you keep the EGR system flowing? No matter how often you change the engine coolant?

    If it was a life or death scenario why didn't toyota design in a flow sensor to allow the ECU to know when the EGR system is not operating correctly?
    It has the typical O² sensors and a knock sensor, as most modern engine do.
    Combustion pressures? That varies in relation to power output, correct?
    What else is needed to protect this delicate, efficient, little thing?

    Like I said, I know of 2 bank couriers and their mechanics do not "Clean the EGR Circuit" on their VERY high mileage Gen 3's.
     
  8. mjoo

    mjoo Senior Member

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    Does the typical PC'er run a taxi service? How many miles does the typical taxi run versus the regular guys?

    For those that can get a clue: google "EGR thermophoresis". You can learn how the EGR cooler cloggs differently in a warmed up engine compared to a cold engine.

    Pixel XL ?
     
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  9. Pijoto

    Pijoto Active Member

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    Yeah, Apartment dweller and no experience with tinkering under the car hood whatsoever :oops:

    I'll consider the BG Induction service at higher mileage as my Prius still gets incredible gas mileage, I use the Techron stuff every 10K miles, and buy Tier 1 Gas, so hopefully I can put that off till 180K Miles or more.

    At what mileage would you consider switching from 10K Oil maintenance to 5K intervals? Oh, and good to know about some spirited acceleration is actually beneficial, I always max out the Power gauge when accelerating from a stop :D

    Anyway, thanks for all the replies, guys, I look forward to disappointing the dealer everytime they bring up needing to do the Induction service!
     
  10. Lightning Racer

    Lightning Racer Active Member

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    You'll get a Diagnostic Trouble Code (DTC) P0401 for insufficient EGR flow detected when... there is insufficient EGR flow. The manifold absolute pressure (MAP) sensor will detect no or not enough change in pressure in response to changes in EGR valve position.

    It might (or might not;)) very well be safe to wait for the P0401 code before doing anything. When you have a P0401 code, and it's when the EGR valve should be active (rather than a bad MAP), Toyota will first want to replace your EGR valve. There's an enhanced warranty for the EGR valve that is still in effect in the US for Gen 3s less than 10 years old and less than 150,000 miles. (Up until March 2017, the enhanced warranty was good for unlimited miles... I got the one in my car replaced for free in 2016 with 160,000 miles on it). The newer EGR valve is said to be redesigned to less likely to get stuck.

    What I found was that Toyota didn't replace or clean the EGR cooler when they replaced the EGR valve under the enhanced warranty though. I had to do that myself sometime later. I think I did it in response to some misfiring (ended up being a bad spark plug), not sure if I got the P0401 code again.
     
  11. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk 'Orrible Oracle

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    The probably didn't touch the intake manifold either, which is the final leg of the EGR passage, and just as clog prone.

    A design fail and lackluster follow up.
     
  12. royrose

    royrose Senior Member

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    Not just himself. I've made similar comments several times. Then there are hundreds of thousands of Prius drivers who have never heard of Priuschat and are just driving their cars and hearing nothing from dealers, repair shops or Toyota about this. I don't see a lot of Prii broken down on the side of the road.

    We've pretty much beat this issue to death. When somebody new asks about it why not mention that not everyone agrees it has to be done? Then we wouldn't argue about it.

    Is it a good Idea to check the pipe? Sure since it is relatively easy but I still don't agree with predicting certain doom for those that don't do it.
     
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  13. Raytheeagle

    Raytheeagle Senior Member

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    Ever hear from some of the indies or dealer mechanics?

    Guess what they see a lot of: blown head gaskets;).

    That might be because they have not heard of Prius Chat and are not aware of the underlying issues:cool:.

    Living out where Prii roam freely (and are more prevalent than in fly over country), they see them and do their fair share of work on Gen3 ‘s with blown head gaskets;).

    I have a coworker who suffered that fate with a 2012 and over 230 k miles :(.

    He never heard of Prius Chat or the head gasket issue. Burying your head in the sand and claiming you need to see data doesn’t solve the issue. Educating and showing others does:).

    I’m not a smart man (I’m tasked with leading people) , but my old man taught me about hard work and the value of common sense. If I’m aware of a problem and I can fix it, I’ll fix it. If I have the ability to show and help others, I do;).

    Communication and sharing are valuable tools and since I live in an area that is rich in Prii, I listen and talk. And not just for my benefit(y).
     
  14. padroo

    padroo Senior Member

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    I have read through this whole thread and never owned a Gen 3 Prius. It seems to be a fact that the EGR plugs up with time and it is there for a reason. It would take a class action law suite to get Toyota to fix the problem and that is difficult even if it involved safety so good luck.
    It is unknown at this time how the Gen 4 will fare at high mileage. I won't be one of the ones that hits the high mileage to have the problem. I don't drive like I used to and don't plan on keeping a car ten years anymore.
     
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  15. Raytheeagle

    Raytheeagle Senior Member

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    My offer to find a Gen4 out here and do a cooler investigation still stands;).

    I wish @soldierguy never traded theirs in, but oh well. I may have found a courier that has 38k miles on his 2017 :).

    Another 2 years and he’ll be at 100 k miles. Might be a nice glimpse ;).

    But he has to park outside and had a rodent intrusion to the engine wiring harness issue:cool:.

    Bought some filters off of him. Just another example of communication and sharing(y).
     
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  16. padroo

    padroo Senior Member

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    It will be interesting Ray.
     
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  17. royrose

    royrose Senior Member

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    I never said there was zero risk. I may be underestimating it. You may be overestimating it. We're both human and imperfect. Can we really quantify the risk? I see lots of people who make decisions or have opinions that don't make sense to me. They probably see the same in me. Neither of us is better than the other.

    Ray, I respect your dedication. I believe that we are both interested in helping by giving our perspectives.

    I hope that you can believe that I am not trying to argue, just pointing out different opinions.

    Happy New Year!
     
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  18. Raytheeagle

    Raytheeagle Senior Member

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    I don’t mind banter;).

    But I work around things and stuff throughout the day that if I had a pump fail or a seal leak, it’s a bad day. And I fully believe in preventative maintenance for this reason :).

    To me it’s not words, it’s a mindset and way of approaching problems. If I can get to the root of the issue, then find a way to prevent the cause from recurring, I do that as I should be ahead in the long run;).

    An example: I put the Prolong harness on our 2010 Prius and preventatively maintain the hv battery. Could I throw caution to the wind and say “whenever the battery fails, it fails”. I could. I see examples on Craigslist every day of this. I see plenty of Prii on Craigslist where people are trying to sell off their problems to others and think they’ve done a good thing by “replacing” the battery with a rebuilt one and charge a premium for this:cool:.

    There are also plenty of mobile mechanics who do battery rebuilds for a LIVING out here. What I do is maintain ours and it performs very similar to our 2017 Lexus RX450h does:).

    I’ve also helped rebuild 2 batteries with this equipment and share ownership with 2 other members here. So have I gotten my value out of the Prolong equipment: I would say yes and I continue to operate our 2010 with 194 k miles and will until either the engine gives up the ghost or another reason;).

    Happy new year to you as well(y).
     
    #38 Raytheeagle, Jan 3, 2019
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2019
  19. Bill Norton

    Bill Norton Senior Member

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    Ray, I too appreciate your dedication and understanding of preventative maintenance.

    But I still maintain that data is needed.

    Your coworker; 230k miles and needing a head gasket.
    Is that typical?
    Would he have gone longer if he cleaned out his EGR circuit every 60k miles?
    Did he have the engine coolant changed at the proper service intervals?
    Is there a a life limit on this head gasket regardless of preventative maintenance?
    So many questions.....(n)

    It was pointed out up thread that there is a MAF and a MAP in this engine and the MAP is there to ensure adequate EGR flow is present within the intake manifold, correct?
    Toyota may have had a plan. But the head gasket may just be the weak link in this amazing engine design.:(

    You stay with your plan of attack and I'll bury my head in the sand and wait for a CEL or performance problems.
    We'll see which head gasket lasts the longest.

    My issue is I don't like working on cars anymore.:(

    I do my own 5-10k Mobil 1 EXT oil changes and I'm the biggest promoter of changing the ATF you'll find here!:whistle:
    When I recently bought this '11 with 184k miles I had good dealership service records! The coolants had been changed at the proper interval and the ATF was changed multiple times! (Thanks previous owner!:love:)
    I'm on easy street, for a long time !!


    But for the most part,,, it's a good weekend when I don't pop the hood on anything!(y)
    My little S-Box BEV is at +60k miles. I should pop the hood on it someday!:rolleyes:
     
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  20. Bill Norton

    Bill Norton Senior Member

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    To me ,it's a seasonal question. If it's the heat of summer and you are doing road trips, 10k is fine, if not even longer with the extended performance M1.
    If it's winter and you putz around town and never have the engine run for more than 15 minutes at a time, 5k may be too long.

    A simple test for me is wiping the dip stick on a paper towel and looking at the color.
    As for Techron, I'd use it before an oil change, and getting that tank used up before the oil change.
     
    #40 Bill Norton, Jan 3, 2019
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2019
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