Remove and clean the valve
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Photo 1: Spray the valve
Hold the EGR valve so the cleaning
spray drips away from the electric solenoid
and vacuum motor. Continue spraying
until the parts are free of carbon buildup.
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Photo 2: Check the metering rod
Check for smooth operation of the metering rod by pushing it in and out with a
screwdriver. If it slides roughly, clean it with a cotton ball or swab soaked in cleaner.
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Replace the EGR gasket as part of the cleaning procedure.
Idling and stalling problems can really
add stress to your daily commute.
The most common culprit is carbon
buildup on the throttle body, exhaust
gas recirculation (EGR) valve and idle
air control (IAC) valve. In this article, we’ll
show you how to clean an EGR valve.
This simple procedure can often bring
an EGR valve back from the dead and
restore a smooth idle. If the cleaning
doesn’t work, you’ll have to replace the
Refer to a shop manual to find the
location of your EGR valve. If it’s fairly
accessible, stop at an auto parts store
and buy a new EGR gasket, a spray can
of throttle body cleaner, and rust penetrant.
Spray the EGR retaining bolts
with rust penetrant and let them sit
while you disconnect the electrical and
vacuum lines from the valve (label the
vacuum lines so you know which ports
they came from). Then remove the retaining bolts and lift the EGR valve
out of the engine compartment.
Place the valve on a bed of paper
towels and tilt it so the cleaning solvent
won’t drain into the electric solenoid
or vacuum motor, which operates
the metering rod—the solvent can damage
those components. Spray the port
and metering rod until they’re clean
(wear eye protection and gloves). Once
the parts are clean, check for smooth
metering rod operation by forcing the
rod in and out of the port with a screwdriver.
It should slide smoothly and
close completely in the port. If not,
apply solvent to a cotton swab and
clean the shaft and port.
Check the passage under the EGR
valve to see if it’s clogged with carbon.
If it is, gently chip out the carbon with
a small screwdriver and vacuum it out
with a shop vacuum. Then reinstall the
EGR valve using the new gasket.