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            EGR Cooler

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            Buying Guides

            EGR Cooler: How to Find the Best Emissions Device for Your Ride

            Your vehicle can easily become a major source of air pollution as it spews out poisonous gases from the exhaust. To keep loads of nitrogen oxides from exiting the tailpipe and recklessly polluting the atmosphere, the exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) cooler is used—it lowers the temperature of the exhaust gases that will be cycled back to the engine. When this device becomes overheated and reaches the point of deterioration (with white smoke exiting the tailpipe and the degas bottle or cooling system losing ample supply of coolant), EGR delete is never the answer. What you need is a new cooler that can effectively minimize emissions without interfering with other vehicle systems. Here are the things you have to consider in order to find the right one:


            In some vehicles, the EGR cooler is admittedly one of the weakest links because it has to be replaced twice or thrice in the first 100,000 miles. For cases like this, an upgrade to any high-performance cooler is recommended to avoid costly repairs. Otherwise, a standard stock replacement may be a good enough option. The most reliable EGR coolers are designed to resist clogging and maintain low emissions in diesel engines. If you want a device that can last through various driving conditions, look for coolers made from top-standard materials such as high-grade aluminum or stainless steel. Find coolers that are TIG-welded and pressure-tested. Also make sure that the one you’ll get meets system requirements. It shouldn’t set the check engine light on and shouldn’t interfere with the EGR system.


            While many replacement EGR coolers are exact replicas of the original device, other coolers come with new designs for improved performance. Some have bigger tubes to minimize clogs and failure while others are designed with double-thick tube walls on the heat exchanger—features that prevent the cooler from wearing out easily. Some designs even help prevent engine damage caused by hydro-locking. EGR coolers may come in a straight tube designed to reduce soot buildup and increase durability, as well as to be fully compatible with radiator-style coolers. Higher-performance coolers may also be built with a flat tube and inner fin for better flow and easier installation. Some of these are built to reduce thermal stress by allowing expansion (when it gets hot) and contraction (when it cools down) in the same direction and at the same rate. If you’re upgrading to a higher-performance cooler, check if it is compatible with the existing EGR system; use your VIN or vehicle manual as a guide.


            Whether it’s a simple replacement or upgrade, the cooler should be able to fit into the EGR system easily. Search for a direct replacement that won’t require tedious modifications. Also take note that the style of the cooler may vary for different vehicle models and engine types. The main differences can be in the outer shape and length, as in the case of round cooler (with a tube-type heat exchanger) and square cooler (with radiator-type channels and fins). These styles aren’t interchangeable; they may not fit into the same type of intake manifold. Also remember to double check fine prints and waivers. Some devices restrict the application to off-road use and may not fully comply with federal standards. Buy only a cooler that’s guaranteed to be street legal. For the best options, look for one with a lifetime warranty, even just for the parts.

            Repair Guides

            Maintenance Tricks for DIYers: How to Clean the EGR Cooler

            Why wait for the time when the EGR cooler has already gone bad, when your cooling system or overflow bottle is already losing coolant unexplainably, or when there’s already white smoke or steam being expelled out of your car? You can prevent EGR-related problems such as high emission levels and poor engine performance by keeping the EGR cooler clean. Remove the carbon buildup and exhaust deposits that gather in the cooling unit during the cycle. Doing so will result in a cooler that can perform better and last longer. With a handy vehicle manual and the right set of tools, any DIYer can clean the EGR cooler in just a few minutes. Here’s how you can do it in 5 easy steps:

            Difficulty level: Moderate

            Tools that you’ll need:

            • Brush
            • De-greaser
            • Mirror
            • Pliers
            • Bolt removers
            • Ball-end hex key and socket
            • New gaskets

            Step 1: Disconnect the hose of the intake manifold and then unplug the air intake hose from the manifold.

            Note: Before you open the hood and locate these parts, which are typically found on the engine’s side, make sure that the vehicle is turned off and that everything is cooled down under the hood.

            Step 2: Disengage the PVC heating element. After this, remove the two hex bolts to pull out the intake manifold’s change-over valve.

            Step 3: Locate the vacuum lines of the EGR and anti-shudder valve, and then carefully remove them. Pull out the turbo intake pipe by disconnecting the clamp and removing the hex bolt. The bolts that hold the EGR in place should then be taken out.

            Step 4: Use the de-greaser to clean the EGR intake. Apply a good amount of de-greaser on the intake and then spread it evenly. Wipe the unit clean until the cooler is free of carbon buildup and other deposits.

            Step 5: Put back all the hoses, lines, components, and hardware that were temporarily removed from the engine compartment. Use new gaskets to reassemble and reconnect them.

            Note: You have to double-check the connections and test-drive the vehicle to see if everything’s in place.

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