How To Clean The EGR Valve And Restore Engine Performance
When was the last time you cleaned the EGR valve in your car? The most common answer is probably ‘never’.
Do you have idling problems in your car? Do you encounter engine stalling, surging, and misfiring when the engine is cold? Then you might be looking at a dirty or clogged EGR valve.
I have a friend who spent close to a thousand dollars just to solve the idling problems in his car. The mechanic replaced the air filter, the MAF sensor, the spark plugs, and the fuel filter (in no particular order) to solve the problem. After all was said and done, my friend till had idling problems and poor engine performance.
He talked to me about the problem, and I quickly suggested inspecting the EGR valve. After a couple of hours tinkering with his car and getting our hands dirty, we started the car and behold! The idling problem was gone.
My friend was extremely thankful for the advice, so I decided to share the easy steps on how to clean the EGR valve. Give it a try, this might be the solution that your car is waiting for, especially if you’ve already exhausted each and every possible solution to remedy that pesky idling problem in your vehicle.
But first, here are some things you need to know about the EGR valve.
What Is The EGR Valve?
EGR stands for Exhaust Gas Recirculation. The EGR valve is basically a device that allows a small portion of the exhaust gas to be ‘recirculated’ inside the engine.
The engine will burn the recirculated gas to lower the temperature inside the combustion chamber, thereby reducing the number of harmful pollutants exiting your tailpipe.
In other words, the EGR valve is a device that is designed to lower the exhaust emissions of your vehicle. In order to comply with strict emission standards, modern vehicles are all required to have an EGR system installed in the engine bay.
What Are The Symptoms Of A Dirty Or Clogged EGR Valve?
If the EGR valve is dirty, clogged, leaking, or is on the verge of failing, you can expect these symptoms to occur:
- If the EGR valve is stuck open due to an overflowing amount of carbon deposits, you will experience engine misfiring, poor idling, and engine stalling, which are all commonly manifested when the engine is cold.
- If the EGR valve is stuck in the closed position, there will be an abnormal buildup of nitrous oxide inside the engine causing knocking, pinging, and faulty engine timing.
- If the EGR valve fails or is about to go bad, you can expect a combination of the symptoms listed above.
- Modern cars will usually have a check engine light or malfunction indication light on the console when the CPU detects unusual problems with the EGR valve.
Since the EGR valve is a gateway for hot exhaust gasses, it is only natural for thick and murky carbon deposits to build up inside the valve. Over time, the carbon deposits will totally block the flow of exhaust gasses inside the combustion chamber, which incidentally will lead to serious engine problems in the near future.
How To Clean The EGR Valve
You can save a bit of time and money if you decide to clean the EGR valve in your own garage.
The EGR valve should be cleaned at least every 50,000 miles to maintain peak performance. If you have mysterious idling and performance issues with your ride, then it is probably time to inspect and clean the EGR valve to restore lost engine performance.