would you clean this EGR cooler (with pictures)?

Discussion in 'Gen 3 Prius Care, Maintenance & Troubleshooting' started by jack black, Jun 12, 2019 at 10:05 PM.

  1. jack black

    jack black Active Member

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    IMG_20190612_204403096.jpg

    i'm approaching 120,000 miles and plan to a major service this weekend: coolants, spark plugs, piston soak, EGR/intake cleaning, maybe even brake fluid flush time permitting. i have a low mile (43,000 IIRC) EGR cooler/valve from ebay that has minimal deposits, see pictures. is it worth cleaning it before swapping the parts?

    thanks!

    IMG_20190612_204514037.jpg

    edit: the gray spot on the right in the upper image is where the brownish deposits are scraped. the thickness is negligible, probably less than 0.1 mm.
     
    #1 jack black, Jun 12, 2019 at 10:05 PM
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2019 at 10:36 PM
  2. Grit

    Grit Senior Member

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    Long as cold beer is waiting for me in the fridge afterward, 10 out of 10 time I'd clean it. Glug-glug-glug.
     
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  3. jb in NE

    jb in NE Senior Member

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    This is a no-brainer. EGR cooler in hand, used and has some dirt in it. Going into a car where it is hard to get it back out to clean it. Clean it.
     
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  4. jack black

    jack black Active Member

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    i hear you, but see no obstruction. if these light deposits will reappear in 1000 miles or so, it's not worth IMHO, especialsy, since i have to take it apart to remove the EGR valve. I'll try to do the before and after EGR function check according to the method posted in some other thread.
     
  5. jb in NE

    jb in NE Senior Member

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    You did ask. If it were me I would clean it to ensure it was a baseline level of cleanliness. It has 43K miles on it. That's 40% of the mileage where most people have to clean them. I'd want those 43K miles in my pocket.

    You may not see all the dirt just from a surface view.
     
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  6. Raytheeagle

    Raytheeagle Senior Member

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    A pressure washer would have this spotless in 5 minutes ;).

    I’d clean it and forget about it(y).
     
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  7. Tande

    Tande Active Member

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    What is the "Gold/Standard" for "Clean"?.......are we supposed to be able to see light, looking through to the opposite end??.......should water from a garden hose run freely through??.......certainly just because either outer end is "Sparkling Clean" isn't the deciding factor...:confused:
     
  8. jb in NE

    jb in NE Senior Member

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    Soak it in Oxi-Clean and blast with a pressure washer until the exit water runs clean.
     
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  9. mikey_t

    mikey_t Junior Member

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    Agreed with everything said here. Also, the cooler cools exhaust gas flowing through it by thermal conduction. Those fins inside carry the heat outward which is cooled by the coolant flowing through an outer chamber. The carbon coating the inside works against that. IMO there's no point in installing a part that isn't going to work at 100%. That's like installing new computer RAM but one of the sticks is partly bad, or a new hard drive you got used without formatting it first.
     
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  10. Raytheeagle

    Raytheeagle Senior Member

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    I’m from the school of “good enough”;).

    I don’t strive for spotless since it’s only going to get dirty again:cool:.

    This is one case where 95% of fully clean is good enough for me (y).
     
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  11. mjoo

    mjoo Senior Member

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    Have you checked the clearance of passages with a micrometer? Do you have a clean cooler to compare with?

    Installing a dirty EGR cooler in your car is just inviting conditions that lead to head gasket fatigue and lower fuel economy.

    In this scenario, with all passages open enough to allow large surface areas for your cleaner, Oxiclean is the right tool if you don't have a pressure washer. Just cap one end, add a tablespoon of Oxiclean and chase with hot water. Allow a half-hour to hour soak. When I rinse it, I also turn the open end over and vigorously shake to remove lots of carbon flakes.
     
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  12. FrankB

    FrankB Member

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    Don't clean it and change it 43k early, or clean it. The effort to clean it is not that much. I can't tell from the pictures that you can see all the way through it. Light should show from end to end.
     
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  13. jack black

    jack black Active Member

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    IMG_20190613_185319248.jpg IMG_20190613_182923618.jpg

    yeah, the light goes through, i had to remove the EGR valve to see it. the valve was actually dirtier. see picture of the valve before cleaning and cooler after cleaning with power wash (all i could see was clean water going through). i'm thinking some cars don't get as dirty as others. i'll do the surgery starting tomorrow, more pictures to follow.
     
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  14. jb in NE

    jb in NE Senior Member

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    The cooler does look cleaner. You can see bare metal now.
     
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  15. jack black

    jack black Active Member

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    no, it's a light reflection form water right after cleaning.
     
  16. mikey_t

    mikey_t Junior Member

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    Light reflection from water isn't going to make brown things look silver and metallic. You definitely got rid of some crud.
     
  17. jack black

    jack black Active Member

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    i stand corrected. after drying, the powdery layer is gone, the brownish varnish stays.
     
  18. FrankB

    FrankB Member

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    Spray some oven cleaner in there and it will be shiny pretty quickly, maybe 10 minutes?
     
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  19. jb in NE

    jb in NE Senior Member

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    i don't think shiny is required. The brown layer is normal corrosion of the metal surface and appears normal for a piece of metal that has been exposed to exhaust for 30+ thousand miles. It's the buildup on top of the corrosion that needs to be removed, and it looks like it was.
     
  20. mikey_t

    mikey_t Junior Member

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    Interesting. Maybe it doesn't matter but after cleaning mine it went back to shiny silver, and other pics around the forum did as well. Why would some corrode and others not?
     
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