EGR coolers are designed to improve vehicle performance and reduce NOx emissions, by lowering the temperature of exhaust before it’s recirculated back through the exhaust manifold. A failed EGR cooler leads to increased replacement part costs, and vehicle downtime. To address these failures, there have been several advances made in EGR cooler technology in recent years, and many of these technologies are coming from the aftermarket. John Risch, sales manager for Bullet Proof Diesel, discusses EGR cooler technology, common system failures, and products available to address EGR cooler issues.
Transcription of interview:
Erica Schueller, Fleet Maintenance: Hello and welcome to VSP News: Uptime Update. I am your host Erica Schueller, Editor-in-Chief of Fleet Maintenance magazine, covering all maintenance, all vehicle classes, all management, all the time.
Exhaust gas recirculation coolers, known more commonly as EGR coolers, are an integral part of the EGR system for a diesel engine. EGR coolers are designed to improve vehicle performance and reduce NOx emissions, by lowering the temperature of exhaust before it’s recirculated back through the intake manifold.
A failed EGR cooler leads to increased replacement part costs, and vehicle downtime. To address these failures, there have been several advances made in EGR cooler technology in recent years, and many of these technologies are coming from the aftermarket.
I talked with John Risch, sales manager for Bullet Proof Diesel, about EGR cooler technology, common system failures, and products available to address EGR cooler issues. We first discussed the primary issues technicians face when servicing this part of the vehicle’s exhaust system.
John Risch, Bullet Proof Diesel: The current generation of diesel engines now all require that they have EGR coolers put on them, and they are a federally mandated device. Most all trucks out there are going to be running them.
A lot of the frustrations that technicians run into are multiple EGR cooler failures that they have to replace multiple times over time. The EGR cooler system is something that is not going to go away, so it will always be on the vehicle.
Editor's note: the U.S. EPA provides regulations on the emissions, but does not mandate the device used. EGR coolers are one option to help reduce NOx.
Schueller, Fleet Maintenance: Next, Risch provides some insight on the top causes of EGR cooler failure.
Risch, Bullet Proof Diesel: The most common cause of an EGR cooler failure is due to a loss of coolant in the cooling system. When the EGR cooler loses coolant there is a thermal event, which will cause the internal core to rupture, in most cases.
Other causes of EGR cooler failures are typically going to be plugging off soot from the exhaust system, or even metal fatigue over use of time.
Schueller, Fleet Maintenance: To address EGR cooler failures, there have been a number of advancements to these systems in recent years. In particular, companies like Bullet Proof Diesel have designed components to address the impact of thermal expansion. Risch shares more details.
Risch, Bullet Proof Diesel: The Bullet Proof Diesel EGR coolers, with our patented H-core technology, are designed and built to resist expansion-related ruptures. The H-core technology works by using braided sets of tubing, allowing the tubes to flex and move, greatly reducing stress inside the bulkheads and the seams.
This means that the EGR cooler isn’t likely in danger of expanding to the point of rupturing during the thermal event.
Schueller, Fleet Maintenance: As fuel efficiency and emissions regulations become more stringent, exhaust system advancements will continue. Risch talks more about continuing trends we can expect with regards to EGR coolers and exhaust system components in the future.
Risch, Bullet Proof Diesel: EGR cooler problems from an OE manufacturers don’t seem to be going away. We’re still seeing a significant amount of failures happening in relatively newer trucks.
This is a problem that requires a solution, and in our cases we are rapidly expanding our EGR cooler lineup to accommodate the bigger fleets and the customers out there. We always love to hear from people who have direct experience with real-world applications and problems, so we always invite anyone with EGR cooler troubles to get in touch with us.
Schueller, Fleet Maintenance: If you’d like to know more about managing EGR cooler failures, check out the link to a story from Fleet Maintenance magazine below.
That’s it for this week’s episode! As always, thank you for tuning in to VSP News Uptime Update, I’m your host Erica Schueller.
Until our next broadcast, keep up with this, and other industry topics, by visiting us online at VehicleServicePros.com.
Learn more about managing EGR cooler failures.