EGR coolers were first installed in automobiles in the 1970s. General Motors installed the first ones in 1973, and other automobile manufacturers quickly followed suit. Since then, EGR coolers have been working to reduce automobile emissions and help the environment.
What EGR Coolers Do
EGR coolers reduce the number of nitrous oxide gasses (NOx compounds) produced during the combustion of gasoline. Nitrous oxides are a known greenhouse gasses that harm the environment. They both damage the ozone layer high above the earth’s ground and contribute to smog that forms just above the ground. NOx compounds also make the atmosphere more acidic, which promotes acid rain and even aggravates some people’s lungs when they breathe. EGR coolers valves help reduce the number of these harmful gasses that are in the earth’s atmosphere.
The Science Behind EGR Coolers
EGR cooler’s name, exhaust gas recirculation coolers (or valves) describe exactly what these parts do. They are valves that recalculate exhaust gasses. By sending some exhaust back to the combustion chamber, they slow the combustion process slightly. This in turn cools down the combustion chamber. At cooler temperatures, fuel is still efficiently burned, but fewer nitrous gasses are created in the combustion. Thus, EGR coolers reduce nitrous oxides by recalculating exhaust, which cools the combustion chamber.
The Benefits of EGR Coolers
In addition to the environmental benefits, EGR valves have other benefits as well. By burning fuel more cleanly, gas is used more efficiently and overall engine performance is improved. While helping the environment, EGR coolers also save drivers money at the fuel pump.
The Reliability of EGR Coolers
When first installed in the 1970s, EGR valves were not extremely reliable, to say the least. Since then, though, they have become much more effective. Today, they are regulated by onboard computers, which use sensors to ensure the valves are used efficiently.
Having a properly working EGR cooler installed in a vehicle is part of being a responsible driver. Checking these valves is not just good for the environment, but it also helps make sure a vehicle runs efficiently. Any mechanic is able to help drivers understand more about their car’s EGR cooler.