Return to the Help index

Help - Buyer's Guide

Indications of a Failed EGR Cooler

While each make or model varies, there are three indications of a failed EGR cooler

Indication #1 of a Failed EGR Cooler

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.

Indication #2 of a Failed EGR Cooler

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.

Indication #3 of a Failed EGR Cooler

That "puking" of coolant out of your degas bottle is actually not a sign, necessarily, of a bad EGR cooler. On a Ford 6.0L it is 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?

If your EGR cooler is 'upstream' of your EGR valve, then there is a simple way to confirm if you have a leaking or failed 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 it is cooled down, remove the EGR valve and inspect inside with a flash light. If it looks wet, gooey or steam-cleaned, then you probably have a failed EGR cooler.

What to do if you have a failed EGR Cooler?

Besides doing nothing, you really only have two choices - buy another OEM EGR cooler like the one you are cursing at now, or step up your game and buy a BulletProof Diesel EGR cooler. Our EGR coolers are made with one overriding goal: reliability. We guarantee that our EGR coolers will fit, function and last so long that you will forget all about it! That's what you really want, after all - a part so well made you never worry about it again.

Buy your BulletProof EGR Cooler today!

Shop BulletProof EGR Coolrs

Symptoms of a Bad EGR Cooler

Bad EGR Cooler or Blown Head Gasket?

The problem with the Ford 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

BulletProof Your Engine Oil Cooler

Upgrade Now

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.

diesel engine parts
diesel engine parts

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.

BulletProof Your Engine Oil Cooler

Upgrade Now

Learn about the OEM and BulletProof Engine Oil Coolers

Problems with the OEM Oil Cooler

BulletProof vs. OEM Oil Cooler

Tech Tips for Installation of the Bullet Proof Diesel EGR Cooler Upgrade

  1. Tech Tip #1: Use silicon sealer on the intake to EGR cooler flange gasket. This helps prevent small exhaust leaks.
  2. 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.

You have questions - we have answers. Here is a list of frequently asked questions:

  • Understanding the Bullet Proof Diesel Engine Oil Cooling System
  • What is your warranty?
  • What are the symptoms of a bad EGR Cooler?
  • What comes with the EGR Cooler?
  • So my engine oil cooler is bad, why?
  • What is an EGR Cooler?
  • What is the difference between a Round and a Square EGR Cooler?
  • What is an EGR Delete?
  • What does the HPOP filter do and why do I need a new one?
  • 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?
Click Here to Read the Full Article

Why the two parts don't 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 trap, meaning that it catches lots of sediment because it's 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.

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 isn't going to go well. Because the EGR cooler isn't 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 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.

How do I buy/redeem a gift certificate?

To purchase a gift certificate for someone, click here. If you are the recipient of a gift certificate and would like to redeem your gift certificate, click here.

How do I find my product?

To find the product(s) you're looking for, you may (1) use the navigation menus on the top, left & bottom of our website. (2) type a keyword into the SEARCH box. If you have any trouble locating a product, feel free to contact customer service for assistance.

How do I navigate the site?

To navigate this website, simply click on a category you might be interested in. Categories are located on the top, left & bottom of our website. QUICK TIP: Place your mouse cursor over anything you think could be a clickable link. You'll notice that anytime you scroll over something that is a link, your mouse cursor will become a "hand". Whereas scrolling over anything that is NOT a link will leave your cursor as an "arrow". You may also type a keyword into the SEARCH box to quickly find a specific product. If you have any trouble locating a product, feel free to contact customer service for assistance.

How do I use a coupon?

After adding items to your cart, click the "View Cart" link at the top of this site to view your cart. At the bottom of the shopping cart you'll see a box where you may enter your coupon code.