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Buyer's Guide

Symptoms of a failed EGR Cooler

 

There are three symptoms of a failed EGR Cooler

Symptom #1: The unexplained loss of coolant from your degas (overflow) bottle or cooling system. This can easily be explained when you have a bad EGR cooler - the EGR cooler is simply leaking the coolant back into the exhaust system, not outside of the engine. Most people make an expensive mistake of ignoring this warning sign. They assume that since they can not find or see the leak, it must not actually be a leak. The longer they ignore it, the more coolant that leaks out of the engine and quickly creates warning sign #2.

Symptom #2: All that white smoke coming out of the tailpipe is actually steam. As the coolant is dumped into the exhaust system, it quickly vaporizes and turns from liquid to steam and comes out of the exhaust.

Symptom #3: That "puking" of coolant out of your degas bottle is actually not a sign, necessarily, of a bad EGR cooler. Its more likely a sign that your engine oil cooler is plugged and is restricting the flow of coolant getting to your EGR cooler. (Click here for more information about this) The EGR cooler is not getting enough coolant flowing through, so the coolant that is inside it quickly begins to boil. When the coolant boils, it creates high-pressure steam pockets which billow out through your degas bottle, pushing and forcing coolant out of the lid. The EGR cooler should be replaced in this instance because its already been overheated and stressed - and very likely to fail in the near future.

So how do you diagnose a bad EGR cooler?

This method is easy to do and is a good "test" if you have any of the three symptoms above. To do this test, turn off your rig. When its all cooled down, remove the EGR valve (between your alternator and oil filter - it looks like a 7-ounce beer can with wires going to it) and look inside with a flash light. If it looks wet, gooey or steam cleaned, then you probably have EGR cooler problems.

Symptoms of a Bad EGR Cooler
Bad EGR Cooler or Blown Head Gasket?

Buy your BulletProof EGR Cooler today!

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What's Wrong with the 6.0L OEM Oil Cooler?

 

The Ford 6.0L Power Stroke diesel has earned quite a reputation. This reputation is hampered by some expensive failures, including:

  • EGR Cooler Rupture/Leaking
  • Engine Oil Temperature overheating
  • Blown Head Gasket
  • Turbo Failure
  • Fuel Injector Failure
  • High-Pressure Oil Pump Failure

All of these failures have a common thread - the OEM Engine Oil Cooler

The problem with the engine oil cooler arises when the coolant flows through the tight passageways of the engine oil cooler (see picture). These pathways are so small that they catch and stop any large particles suspended in the coolant, blocking the channel. While the mileage varies, it typically takes about 50,000 miles before the coolant can no longer flow through the cooler on its way to the EGR cooler, leaving less and less coolant flow for your engine oil cooler AND for your EGR cooler.

A plugged up engine oil cooler can lead to a ruptured EGR cooler, overheated engine oil, overheated fuel injectors, loss of coolant, ruptured engine oil cooler and blown head gaskets.


See the problem with the OEM Oil Cooler?

Here is a close-up view of the OEM oil cooler.  The tall levels are for the oil to pass through, and the narrow levels are the coolant pathways.  Look carefully at the coolant pathways and you will see that there is a residue left behind that plugs the oil cooler over time.

As these pathways become plugged, it limits the efficacy of the OEM oil cooler.  This means hotter, thinner oil running through your 6.0L engine.  This hotter, thinner oil does not lubricate as well nor does it keep components as cool as it could.

What components are affected?  Well... all the components that are dependent on engine oil... including fuel injectors, turbo, high-pressure oil pump, lifters, cam, etc.

Learn about the OEM and BulletProof Engine Oil Coolers

Problems with the OEM Oil Cooler
BulletProof vs. OEM Oil Cooler

Upgrade to the patented BulletProof Oil Cooler! BUY NOW

Why you need an Engine Oil Cooler with your EGR Cooler Upgrade
 
So why replace your Engine Oil Cooler at the same time as your EGR Cooler?
 
What does an engine oil cooler have to do with an EGR cooler??

 
Why the two parts don۪t seem to be related, they definitely are. First of all, a few facts:
  • The engine oil cooler is NOT in the front of your rig. Its actually located on top of your engine directly underneath your engine oil filter.
  • Your engine oil is cooled down by the coolant from the engine.
  • Your engine oil in a Power Stroke diesel is vital to the operation and longevity of your motor.
So, with all that being said, what does the engine cooler have to do with the EGR cooler? To understand why, you have to know how this system works. The cold۝ coolant coming out of the radiator enters into the water pump. A portion of that coolant, about a gallon per minute, is pushed through the engine oil cooler on its way to the EGR cooler. Said a different way, the ONLY coolant that the EGR cooler gets is whatever coolant comes through the engine oil cooler. The problem comes about when you consider the design and placement of the engine oil cooler. Simply put it has tight, narrow passageways that conduct the oil and coolant through it. It is also set up like a plumbers P۝ trap, meaning that it catches lots of sediment because it۪s a low spot in the plumbing system. All of this sediment, in turn, plugs up and restricts the narrow channels inside the cooler. This, of course, restricts the flow of coolant getting through the cooler, much like an auto accident slows down traffic on a busy road.
 
Cut Away of Oil Cooler
All this restriction of flow through the engine oil cooler starves the EGR cooler of the coolant that it needs to do its job. Its sort of like asking a bunch of fire fighters to put out a forest fire with a garden hose it just isn۪t going to go well. Because the EGR cooler isn۪t being cooled with enough flow, it tends to get upset and starts to crack and/or rupture. This, of course, is probably the reason why you are on BulletProofDiesel.com in the first place! The bad news is that the engine oil cooler is going to cost you a bit more money. The good news is that the labor to change both pieces is about the same if you do one or do both.
 
While your Ford 6.0L has problems, we have the solution.  We have several kits that are designed to help you fix your 6.0, including the engine oil cooler.
 
The first series of kits, the Bullet Proof Kits, feature the Upgraded EGR Cooler, a stock Ford engine oil cooler, a complete Ford gasket set and the new and improved version of the high pressure oil pump screen.  When all of these parts are installed, your 6.0 has a strong foundation going forward.  Click here to learn more about these kits and the options available.
 
If you want the best solution, however, you will need to upgrade your engine oil cooler completely.  For that, we have engineered the BulletProof Engine Oil Cooler.  This product allows you to do what my Texas customers said best: either go big or stay stock.  The BulletProof Oil Cooler kit has lots of features and improvements over the stock Ford engine oil cooler.  Click here to learn more about this kit and the options available.
Understanding the Bullet Proof Diesel Engine Oil Cooling System
 
You have questions - we have answers. Here is a list of frequently asked questions including:
 
 
What is your warranty? What is an EGR Cooler?
What are the symptoms of a bad EGR Cooler? What is the difference between a Round and a Square EGR Cooler?
What comes with the EGR Cooler? What is an EGR Delete?
So my engine oil cooler is bad, why? What does the HPOP filter do and why do I need a new one?
 
What is an EGR Cooler?
 
You have questions - we have answers. Here is a list of frequently asked questions including:
 
 
What is your warranty? What is an EGR Cooler?
What are the symptoms of a bad EGR Cooler? What is the difference between a Round and a Square EGR Cooler?
What comes with the EGR Cooler? What is an EGR Delete?
So my engine oil cooler is bad, why? What does the HPOP filter do and why do I need a new one?
 
Tech Tips for Installation of the Bullet Proof Diesel EGR Cooler Upgrade
 

Tech Tip #1: Use silicon sealer on the intake to EGR cooler flange gasket.  This helps prevent small exhaust leaks.

 

Tech Tip #2:  Turbo charger mounting bolts should not be re-used.  Almost every 6.0L we have replaced the EGR cooler on came in missing one or more of these bolts.  If this is the case for you as well, make sure to check the threads in the turbo charger and pedestal mount.  Use new bolts when re-installing the turbo charger and torque to factory specifications.  If the bolts come loose, the turbo charger will vibrate on the turbo charger pedestal mount.  This could cause a noise that resonates in the exhaust system and damage to the turbo charger.
 
 
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