Is your engine losing power or stalling unexpectedly? The cause could be a faulty EGR valve.
Let’s look at the most common symptoms of a bad exhaust gas recirculation valve (including what trouble codes will typically show and how much you can expect to pay for this repair.
3 Bad EGR Valve Symptoms
#1 – Check Engine Light
If the “Check Engine” light on your vehicle’s dashboard turns on, your car’s computer is letting you know there is a problem with a specific part or system in your vehicle. One possibility is a bad EGR valve.
Usually, the computer of the vehicle will be able to sense the position or circuit of the EGR valve. If it senses an issue with one of these, the Check Engine light will illuminate and then the driver can use a diagnostic scanner or take it to a mechanic to confirm the issue.
Since an illuminated Check Engine light can indicate any of over a hundred issues, a specific trouble code relating to the part will need to appear. A few common trouble codes for an EGR problem are P0400, P0401, P0402, P0403, P0404, P0405. Check various online resources to verify what the actual trouble code means.
#2 – Reduced Engine Power
If there is an EGR valve problem, the first symptom you’ll notice is a performance problem with the engine. If your EGR valve is malfunctioning or just clogged, the air-to-fuel ratio of your vehicle will be disrupted.
This will cause all kinds of engine problems like a reduction in acceleration, fuel efficiency, and power.
#3 – Rough Engine Idle
A common symptom that arises from a bad EGR valve in a vehicle is something called rough idle where the RPM fluctuates and/or drops below a certain threshold.
When malfunctioning occurs with EGR valves, they end up stalling in their open position. Then a rough idle condition will form from the recirculation of the exhaust gas, no matter if there are desirable conditions or not.
See Also: P0325 (Knock Sensor Malfunction)
EGR Valve Replacement Cost
The average cost of replacing the EGR valve in your vehicle is anywhere from $250 to $350 on average, depending on your vehicle’s year, make, and model as well as the type of system it has.
The cost of parts will be somewhere around $190 to $270, while the cost of labor will be anywhere from $60 to $80. Of course, these costs estimates don’t factor in the fees and taxes that will get added onto the total as well.
When you get the replacement done, the service should include an EGR transducer test, inspection of vacuum hoses connected to the EGR valve, a clearing of all the trouble codes, a cleaning of carbon deposits from the EGR pintle, and a test of the EGR valve to ensure it operates smoothly.
Causes of EGR Valve Failure
Over time, carbon deposits can accumulate in the EGR valve and cause it to stick open or closed. Exhaust gases contain carbon particles, and these can build up on the pintle and valve seat. This restricts their movement and ability to regulate exhaust gas recirculation.
The passages that allow exhaust gas to flow through the EGR valve can become clogged with carbon deposits, oil ash, and combustion byproducts. This debris obstructs the flow of gas through the valve, leading to improper EGR operation.
The solenoid or motor that controls EGR valve opening and closing can fail electrically. This may prevent the valve from operating properly or at all. Solenoid failure is often caused by power surges or voltage spikes.
Vacuum lines control EGR valve operation in many vehicles. Leaks in these lines prevent accurate valve control, as the valve relies on vacuum for appropriate positioning. This leads to poor EGR performance.
Age and Wear
Like any mechanical component, EGR valves will simply wear out from many heating and cooling cycles. The valve seat and pintle will erode, leading to leaks and poor exhaust gas flow control. Most EGR valves last 80,000 to 100,000 miles before needing replacement.
EGR Valve Maintenance Tips
Every 50,000 miles, you should have an air induction service done on your vehicle because it will clean the carbon and sludge that accumulates in your vehicle’s air intake system.
And, of course, get regular oil changes too, because it will reduce the chances of sludge accumulating in your engine.
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