The physical process of particulate fouling in EGR coolers is analyzed in this paper. Various particulate-deposition mechanisms are discussed and an order of magnitude comparison suggests that thermophoresis is the dominant mechanism for the EGR cooler fouling. The EGR temperature at the cooler inlet, the soot particle concentration in EGR, and the EGR mass flow rate are found to be the parameters governing the EGR cooler fouling. The structure for the soot deposit buildup on the cooler wall is also discussed. It is found that the surface layer of the deposit governs the fouling factor. A comprehensive model for soot particle depositions is developed employing heat, mass, and momentum transfer theories for the particle-gas system. The fouling model developed in this study can predict the process of deterioration in the effectiveness. The predictions of EGR cooler fouling are compared with experimental data and good agreement is observed. This indicates that the EGR-cooler fouling model reasonably characterizes the fouling process.