Periodically drive hard to reduce EGR clogging?

Discussion in 'Gen 3 Prius Main Forum' started by Dagoba, Apr 8, 2022.

  1. Dagoba

    Dagoba New Member

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    I've only been on here a couple of weeks due to my newly acquired 2011, and I haven't seen this mentioned yet in my readings and searchings. Are Italian tune ups an accepted way for you more experienced Prius owners to prolong EGR health? With my old '06 Sprinter I make sure to run 'er hard up a grade once in a while to get everything nice and hot, and hopefully delay the effects of a premature EGR clogging/failure by burning off some of the carbon build-up. I know this is apples/oranges as they are entirely different designs and machines, but that EGR is original at 322K, and when I pulled it off a few thousand miles ago it barely required any cleaning.

    Again, I know the comparison can be flawed as the variables are innumerable (mercedes vs. toyota, diesel vs. gas, etc.) but the concept could still play. I would think that clogging EGR systems at the seemingly 150K-200K mark for these 3rd gens could be exacerbated by the fact that most Prius drivers are always trying to lightfoot their way through the roadways, likely rarely bringing the engine up to a high RPM for a sustained period. I would hazard a guess that driver behavior plays (possibly heavily) into this issue, but I'm interested to hear what those of you with more experience with these cars have to say?

    My "new" 2011 has 180K on the clock, so I will be doing a full EGR/pipe/cooler cleaning asap, and installing an oil catch can. Hoping this is all preventative in time to avoid HG issues. I've also considered doing a preemptive HG replacement, given the mileage, not waiting for the head to warp and coolant to play swimming pool atop a cylinder, but that might be over-cautious.

    Anywho, Italian tune-ups good for EGR health? Or, lacking any measurable data, too hard to know?
     
    #1 Dagoba, Apr 8, 2022
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2022
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  2. ChapmanF

    ChapmanF Senior Member

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    It's not easy to imagine how an Italian tune up would help with the EGR system, which turns off when you push hard.
     
  3. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Underfoot

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    :ROFLMAO:

    You're a little late, hopefully ok.. Just from what I've read here, about how the clogging progresses and when head gaskets blow, 100K miles or 10 years (at the latest) for first cleaning, and 50K or 5 years thereafter, seems prudent. That the same as the Engine Coolant Change maintenance interval btw.

    EGR info in first link in my signature.
     
  4. fuzzy1

    fuzzy1 Senior Member

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    The Prius EGR cooler is a heat exchanger with liquid water / engine coolant flowing through it. I don't see how you could get it hot enough to burn anything out of it, unless the liquid flow was first stopped or boiled away.
     
  5. ChapmanF

    ChapmanF Senior Member

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    If you want a quick check of how late you are, you can ask the car how well EGR is flowing. Takes a matter of seconds, no dirt on your hands.

    We have tended to see numbers around 21 kPa on a freshly cleaned system, decreasing as it gets occluded. Some hold that waiting for the P0401 code is waiting too long (that comes at around 1 kPa). I cleaned mine last summer when it was flowing around 10. (The number has units of pressure instead of flow for nerdy reasons of how the self-test works.)

    Combine that check with a direct examination of the four small passages in the intake manifold. That's a quick easy check, and the built-in self test doesn't catch those, and unbalanced clogging of those may be the single most unhealthy thing that can happen to the EGR system, so it's worth a direct check.
     
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  6. Dagoba

    Dagoba New Member

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    Didn't know that, so I'm glad I asked, thanks!

    Thank you, I've read all of your sig links as I familiarize myself with this car :)

    That makes sense, so my thinking was flawed even moreso without further understanding of how the system is designed. Thanks for clarifying.

    Great, I didn't know that you could test values without pulling the EGR. I will be pulling and cleaning everything regardless, and I will include the manifold in that procedure.

    So as of now my list looks like:
    -Clean EGR, cooler, pipe.
    -Clean intake manifold, check intake ports.
    -Install oil catch can.

    The PO had the throttle body cleaned 12,000 miles ago by the dealer so I can probably skip that one for now.

    Anything else while I'm down there? Does the PCV require any self-service?

    So it seems that I will need to get my hands on Techstream one of these days soon, just need to procure a windows laptop here. I've tried to find some info on how to get Techstream, from what I understand so far it requires a Windows comp, a mini-vci cable, and the software is free and downloadable? Is there a writeup about this somewhere that I just haven't found yet?
     
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  7. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    my engine wasn't shutting down after warm up, so i tried the italian tune up and it worked. i have no idea what it affected though.
     
  8. PriusCamper

    PriusCamper Senior Member

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    This is what an "Italian Tuneup" is:

    "Italian tuneup is a slang automotive term for attempting to restore engine performance by driving a car at high engine speed and load. The term originated from Italian mechanics in the 1950s using this practice to burn off carbon deposits from the spark plugs of sports cars." --Wikipedia
     
  9. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Underfoot

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    Simplest Italian Tune Up would be to take a spin up a hill.
     
  10. PriusCamper

    PriusCamper Senior Member

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    They should of called it the Pollish tune up...
     
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  11. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    i just took her out on the highway and kept flooring her in power mode
     
  12. KamiKKazi

    KamiKKazi Junior Member

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    I run my car pretty hard. My oil was burning a lot in the past and after about 200k miles my egr was completely clogged so I don’t think driving the prius hard will help with the EGR.
     
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  13. ChapmanF

    ChapmanF Senior Member

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    Certainly the flow through the EGR doesn't correspond in any simple way to how hard you're pushing the car. It is used most at moderate loads, and turned off at high loads.
     
  14. OptimusPriustus

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    In other words: egr always on hence the clogging.

    When we bought ours (at 130kmil) and headed home we had to do hours of highway driving. I was in other car following Prius and when it overtook a truck at highway speeds (my son said he was flooring it) very obvious black PUFF came out from exhaust for brief moment. Like diesel type of black smoke. I guess black smoke is often due to mixture being rich but in this case i believe it was some carbon coming out from cat or some other place. But not from egr.
     
  15. nicoj36

    nicoj36 Member

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    Dont forget to change your coolants
     
  16. Johnny Cakes

    Johnny Cakes Senior Member

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    For those of us without Techstream -- any idea whether the dealer would provide that data (for a fee, of course) during other maintenance?
     
  17. burebista

    burebista Member

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    You don't need Techstream, just a decent OBD reader and a free app (Torque, Car Scanner).
     
  18. jzchen

    jzchen Senior Member

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    A decent 20 min freeway run (65 MPH) is good enough, IMHO....

    REVVL V+ 5G ?
     
  19. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Underfoot

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    Ok, I'll bite: for what? To clean out the EGR system?
     
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  20. rjparker

    rjparker Tu Humilde Sirviente

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    The 1.8L engine design is the problem and a clogged egr cooler is a symptom. As you noted, almost no other car has enough of an egr clogging problem to ever code. Occasionally they may experience a failed egr valve.

    The gen3s and many other Toyota engines immediately preceding had oil burning problems caused by piston rings and poor cylinder cooling. The gen3 rings, pistons, cylinder cooling, pcv and egr systems were reengineered in 2016 with the gen4s Prius.

    A preemptive rebuild that included a set of Toyota's recommended pistons and rings, along with a revised intake manifold, quality catch can and a machined head might save the catalytic converter down the road and give the engine another 150k-200k reliable miles. Some are simply replacing it with a newer gen4 engine, usually frankensteined with the gen3 intake and egr system.

    Finally the egr is not absolutely needed in a good gas engine design. It does not exist in a gen2 or the newest Hybrid Max Toyota design. However a disabled egr is not a good option on gen3s.
     
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