EGR COOLER REPAIRS ON THE INCREASE
A growing number of vehicles in Australia are reaching the age where the EGR cooler is causing problems
Adrad explains that these issues can develop either from simple wear and tear or may be a result of other factors such as corrosion, thermal stress or blockages.
The EGR cooler is essential to maintain correct operation of the emission control system and fuel efficiency on modern diesel engines.
Recirculating the hot exhaust gas back through the engine intake helps to reduce the creation of nitrogen oxide gases (NOx). However, the high temperature gas requires cooling to avoid compromising the combustion process.
The temperature of the exhaust gas can reach 800°C at the entry point to the EGR cooler which reduces it down to around 200°C. Such a large temperature variance across the part can place significant thermal stress on components inside the EGR cooler and also on the body of the unit.
Problems with EGR coolers can include splitting or corrosion around fitting flanges or damage to internal tubes.
Leaks that occur inside the EGR cooler may not be visible externally but if coolant is being introduced to the exhaust it will usually escape as steam. A simple test is to observe the exhaust gases when the engine reaches normal temperature and the EGR cooler is operating.
If the EGR cooler becomes restricted or does not function properly, the engine’s control management system may alter settings which cause the environmental and engine efficiency performance to be compromised. Usually the ‘check engine’ warning light will appear.
Warning signs of EGR cooler failure can be a gradual loss of coolant with no apparent leaks. To check for this, look for white smoke or steam at the exhaust.
A sign of extreme high temperatures in the EGR cooler can be “puking” from the overflow reservoir. This is because coolant entering a very hot EGR cooler can boil inside the unit. The sudden expansion of gas creates pressure which will force liquid coolant into the overflow reservoir and leave air pockets in the engine block cooling channels which will prevent effective engine cooling.
Whenever a cooling issue is detected, it is important to examine the entire cooling system for failures or restrictions. A problem component can produce issues with downstream parts, especially when coolant flow is restricted.
External leaks are relatively easy to identify due to drips under the vehicle or dried coolant residue build up on the EGR Cooler where the leak occurs. All these leaks will contribute to loss of coolant and increased engine operating temperatures. If left unchecked, overheating will worsen and can cause serious engine damage.
Depending on the problem identified, it may be possible to clean out the EGR cooler and refit it to the vehicle.
This can only be determined after the part has been removed and inspected and cost savings from cleaning rather than replacing the part are debateable as the same labour cost is involved to remove and refit in both cases, says Adrad.
Cleaning involves extra labour and treatment costs which will reduce the price benefit for the customer and with no guarantee as to the quality or service life of a cleaned part, Adrad says replacing the EGR cooler with a new unit often provides the better outcome both as a repair solution and delivering value-for-money to the vehicle owner.
Some vehicle owners may contemplate removing the EGR cooler and applying a blanking plate or similar device to bypass the EGR system. However, Adrad says this is not recommended as it will prevent the engine from processing pollutants as it was designed to and importantly will impact the vehicle’s ability to pass a roadworthiness inspection. Adrad says that instead a much better solution is to fit the appropriate parts required and restore the engine to correct operating condition.
The company states that fortunately, you don’t have to go far to find quality replacement parts with the largest aftermarket range of EGR Coolers in Australia and New Zealand available from Adrad.
Traditionally, Adrad is a radiator manufacturer and supplier, so it says it has a wealth of experience when it comes to quality parts for cooling system repairs.
Like many replacement parts, the quality of aftermarket EGR coolers can vary depending on the supplier. Part of the process when introducing Adrad EGR coolers to Australia back in 2017 involved back-to-back testing to compare the performance of the aftermarket and OE parts.
Through its group of businesses in Australia, Adrad has access to testing facilities that were able to confirm the new aftermarket products met and surpassed the OE product on test simulations.
Adrad aftermarket EGR coolers are manufactured to meet or exceed original equipment specifications and are supported by a nationwide warranty.
More than 600 vehicle applications are covered including popular models such as Amarok, Ranger, BT-50, Hiace, Pathfinder and Navara. Large vehicles are also catered for with Adrad aftermarket EGR Coolers to suit Iveco, Scania, Cummins, Detroit and Volvo applications.
You’ll find quality aftermarket EGR coolers available from stockists of Adrad parts across the country including Natrad, Adrad Radiator Experts and many other workshops and auto parts stores.
For assistance, call Adrad customer service on 1800 882 043.