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3 Easy Indicators of a Bad EGR Cooler

Last week we shared the Four Signs of a Bad EGR Valve, this week we’re moving down the line to the EGR Cooler and three sure signs you’ve got trouble.

So, what is an EGR Cooler and what does it do? An integral part of the aftertreatment system, your EGR Cooler is the “radiator” of exhaust gases lowering the temperature during the recirculation process. Made up of “internal fins” that use cool air to lower the temperature of exhaust gas before returning it to the engine. Trouble with the EGR Cooler causes a host of engine and performance issues that need to be addressed before more trouble arrives.

Here are three indicators of a bad EGR Cooler:

  1. White Smoke - while that pesky Valve can cause an abundance of black smoke billowing from the pipes, a failing EGR Cooler actually emits white smoke, or steam, caused by evaporating coolant inside the cooler. When you see white smoke, call for help.
  2. Loss of Coolant - all that coolant evaporating inside the cooler and then blown out through the exhaust will ultimately cause your coolant levels to drop. Now, a loss of coolant isn’t always indicative of EGR Cooler failure, but when accompanied by white smoke, it’s a pretty safe bet. If you’re noticing a loss of coolant, but don’t see a visible leak, it’s a good sign that you’ve got cooler trouble.
  3. Check Engine Light - the indicator light that nobody wants to see rears its ugly head once again, but your computer can sometimes detect issues that you can’t visibly see such as insufficient or high temperature exhaust flow.

While the EGR Cooler is generally more reliable than its EGR Valve cousin, when it goes bad it’s best to address the issue as quickly as possible to avoid further trouble. Got questions? The Joe team at BIG Machine Parts are experts in aftertreatment systems and are always ready to help.

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