EGR Cooler Cleaning (What I learned!..)

Discussion in 'Gen 3 Prius Care, Maintenance & Troubleshooting' started by iskoos, Jan 13, 2019.

  1. iskoos

    iskoos Active Member

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2017
    121
    134
    0
    Location:
    Orlando, FL
    Vehicle:
    2010 Prius
    Model:
    III
    Got this job done during my winter break finally. Replaced the spark plugs first and then dived into the EGR system. During the removal of the coolant lines, I used a ziplock bag to catch any coolant that came out. If you drain the bottom two, nothing should come out from the top two. I couldn't let all that stuff to drain down and make a mess. And when I was done, I just put it all (a little over 250cc) back into the expansion tank and I was done. I would highly recommend using a ziplock bag or similar.


    When I removed the EGR cooler, I thought I was going to see a terrible picture (my car is 2010 @ 151k). Especially thinking how my intake ports were, I found my EGR cooler in a much better shape than I was expecting. I started by spraying brake cleaner, ran some wire through the passages. All worked good and I started the Oxi Clean treatment. Mixed about 200ml solution (very hot water), poured it in with one end of the cooler capped off. Solution started bubbling. I left it in for a few hours. Then, I tried to drain the cooler. Only half of what I put in came out. I was wondering where the other half of the Oxi solution. The EGR cooler wasn't feeling empty. I removed the cap from the other end and the missing solution came out!..


    This told me right there that majority of my passages were clogged and not letting the oxi solution move freely. I mixed some more and repeated the treatment several times with no success. I sprayed more brake cleaner but that didn't provide much help either.


    I then went to Ace Hardware to buy a long flex wire. I started inserting the wire into every single passage (there are 65 by the way 5 rows of 13), I couldn't believe the stuff that came out. Spent a good one hour repeating this again and again. Then I capped one end and filled the cooler with brake cleaner. Let it sit for an hour. Incredible mount of black sludge came out. Though despite all the things I have done, the passages still weren't perfectly clean. I wasn't able to see the light when I looked through it.


    I then used an air compressor, and that did the trick. I was spraying the passages with a brake cleaner and then blasting it off with 100+PSI air. Close to an hour of repeating this finally cleaned the damn cooler. I would say I cleaned 95% of the passages. A few that are on the corners are very difficult to get to.


    Please see the attached pictures I picked for you. I now understand why everybody says what they say about this job. I am glad I will not do this again...




    Want to make a comment/recommendation about the Oxi clean. I really didn't see a miracle with this chemical. I think a brake cleaner will do a much better job.


    If I were to do this job again,


    - I would start with a wire, after poking through all the passages,
    - I would spray a brake cleaner through every passage,
    - I would then soak the cooler with brake cleaner (about a 1/3 of a spray can will fill it up entirely). Just cap one end, fill it up and cap the other end so it wouldn't vaporize. Half an hour should be fine.
    - Then blast it with pressurized air immediately. If you repeat this (Spray brake cleaner/then pressurized air) several times, the job will get done.


    If you have a very powerful air compressor (or may even be a pressure washer), this will alone do a better job than any of the chemicals out there. And you will get done literally in minutes. The thing doesn't need to be shiny, it needs to be open.
    20181228_120351.jpg 20181228_120515.jpg 20181230_173142.jpg 20181228_135303.jpg 20181228_135737.jpg 20181228_135805.jpg 20181229_124539.jpg 20181229_124545.jpg 20181230_113412.jpg 20181230_115728.jpg 20181230_115759.jpg 20181229_161142.jpg
     

    Attached Files:

    Raidin, mikey_t, CR94 and 11 others like this.
  2. Raytheeagle

    Raytheeagle Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2016
    7,041
    9,202
    0
    Location:
    Bay Area, CA
    Vehicle:
    2010 Prius
    Model:
    II
    Good pics and thank you for sharing your experience :).

    You’d be amazed how open and quick 1700 psi makes the cooler. 15 minutes including setup is typical for me and then run a quick brake kleen wash through all the ports to ensure flow;).

    Sounds like your surgery went well though(y).
     
    RMB likes this.
  3. iskoos

    iskoos Active Member

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2017
    121
    134
    0
    Location:
    Orlando, FL
    Vehicle:
    2010 Prius
    Model:
    III
    Thanks Ray and yes my surgery went well but was Very Long!... Between figuring what I needed to do and how I needed to do, started Friday finished Sunday:eek:. I wasn't working on it all that time but that was the total down time for the car.
    And after you finish everything and figure out that this could get done in minutes, you get mad at yourself.
    That's why I shared...

    Sparkplug replacement and the EGR system cleaning were the last set of the preventative maintenance jobs I planned for the engine (after the intake manifold and intake ports cleaning). My roommate had witnessed all the stuff I went through.
    When I was done, he asked me if my car was running any better, I said no and there was a weird smile on his face.:)
    This is the part that is very difficult to explain.
    My car is running the same way it was running before all of these work I have done but I am pretty sure it is running happier right now. And that makes me happy:).
     
    RMB and Raytheeagle like this.
  4. Raytheeagle

    Raytheeagle Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2016
    7,041
    9,202
    0
    Location:
    Bay Area, CA
    Vehicle:
    2010 Prius
    Model:
    II
    Only other preventative maintenance on the engine side i would consider is a water pump replacement ;).

    While a weekend down isn’t optimal, think how much faster it’ll go the next time now that you don’t have to learn how to do it(y).
     
  5. iskoos

    iskoos Active Member

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2017
    121
    134
    0
    Location:
    Orlando, FL
    Vehicle:
    2010 Prius
    Model:
    III
    Absolutely(y). I could do it in one day if I were to do it again.

    Water pump always comes to mind believe it or not but it is hard for me to just replace that as a preventative maintenance at the moment. That are so many other things and all are at 150+k miles:)

    What symptoms would I get? With this car, I don't have an engine temp gauge as all cars do...
     
    Raytheeagle likes this.
  6. padroo

    padroo Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2008
    2,566
    2,051
    12
    Location:
    Chesterton, Indiana Another third world country.
    Vehicle:
    2016 Prius
    Model:
    Four
    Whether it helped or not now it is off your mind, sometimes that's worth a lot. If you had no problem this time, would you do it again?
     
    mjoo likes this.
  7. gliderman

    gliderman Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2011
    688
    172
    0
    Location:
    Texas
    Vehicle:
    2010 Prius
    Model:
    IV
    ScanGauge II! You will love it!
     
  8. Raytheeagle

    Raytheeagle Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2016
    7,041
    9,202
    0
    Location:
    Bay Area, CA
    Vehicle:
    2010 Prius
    Model:
    II
    Since the pump is magnetically driven, there are no overt signs :cool:.

    The 3 pumps i have from those that are out of service from preventative replacement show more resistance when spinning the impeller by hand when compared to the new replacement pump;).

    The thermostat should also be done at the same time as you have all the coolant out and it is directly across from the water pump:).

    While all components are at 150k miles, some will go before others and depending on your long term ownership vision, replacement of components will extend the life of te car(y).
     
    SFO, Robert Holt and Grit like this.
  9. Grit

    Grit Senior Member

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2017
    1,539
    1,373
    1
    Location:
    BOY
    Vehicle:
    2012 Prius
    Model:
    Four
    There a fella on here that said in another thread “if you pay close attention, you can tell the engine temp going down.”
     
  10. Grit

    Grit Senior Member

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2017
    1,539
    1,373
    1
    Location:
    BOY
    Vehicle:
    2012 Prius
    Model:
    Four
    With an extra $150, scan gauge will love you back.
     
    RMB, Raytheeagle and Robert Holt like this.
  11. Out2fly

    Out2fly New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2019
    2
    0
    0
    Location:
    Arizona
    Vehicle:
    2010 Prius
    Model:
    Three
     
  12. Out2fly

    Out2fly New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2019
    2
    0
    0
    Location:
    Arizona
    Vehicle:
    2010 Prius
    Model:
    Three
    I have 179K on mine and got the P0141 code. I used oven cleaner and hot water. Would hit it with a cut off coat hanger. A thinner gauge would be better as it is a tight fit. Getting better after a few hours of work.
     

    Attached Files:

  13. padroo

    padroo Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2008
    2,566
    2,051
    12
    Location:
    Chesterton, Indiana Another third world country.
    Vehicle:
    2016 Prius
    Model:
    Four
    Looks really rough.
     
  14. Raytheeagle

    Raytheeagle Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2016
    7,041
    9,202
    0
    Location:
    Bay Area, CA
    Vehicle:
    2010 Prius
    Model:
    II
    Looks caked :eek:.

    Your Prius burn or consume any oil:whistle:?

    I’d take that to the car wash and hit it with the pressure washer;).

    You’d be done in 5 minutes (y).
     
    RMB and mikey_t like this.
Loading...