During a 2007 engine scorecard session at the 2010 TMC Spring Meeting, EGR cooler concerns were mentioned by several on the panel.
It appears that heavy-duty diesels, by and large, are not susceptible to cooler problems as are the Power Stroke in the Ford full-size pickup and the VT-365 in International school buses.
The problem with the Ford is that the cooler pipes mechanically fail where they are attached to the casing, allowing coolant and exhaust to mingle. In the case of the Internationals, the coolers overheat because they are inline with the oil cooler and if the oil coolers overheat, the EGR cooler also overheats.
However, all EGR coolers are susceptible to trapped air in the cooling system when a drain and recharge is performed. One fleet maintenance manager said his shop has experienced better luck by jacking the front axle up 24 inches on a lift to "get the last gallon of air" out of the system.
Another suggestion is to fill the cooling system using a vacuum tool to ensure no trapped air can find its way into the EGR cooler and cause local overheating.
One of the questions raised at the earliest TMC EGR cooler Task Force meeting was how to clean out a cooler if it becomes contaminated. The suggestion is to send out to a specialist shop for an ultrasonic cleaning, especially the dual-pass coolers that cannot be cleaned any other way.
From the June 2010 issue of Heavy Duty Trucking.