Systematic Guide to Cleaning Your Exhaust Gas Recirculation

EGR stands for exhaust gas recirculation. The EGR port holds the EGR valve, and is located between the intake and exhaust air manifolds. This valve pulls in exhaust from the engine, and dilutes the air and fuel mixture being fed to the engine. This has the beneficial effect of lowering the temperature of combustion that is occurring in the engine. Over time, the valve can accumulate excess carbon deposits. When it does so, it can become clogged. This systematic guide will walk you through cleaning the EGR port and valve.



Gather Your Tools

The first step of any car repair is to gather the tools needed to perform the repair. For this repair, you will need a socket set, torque wrench, carb cleaner, protective gloves, pipe cleaners, a medium sized bowl, and a screwdriver set. You may also need a new vacuum line or gasket depending on the condition of these components.


Disconnect Battery

In most new model cars the EGR port will be electrically operated. Since you are dealing with the electrical system, you will want to disconnect the battery before performing any other repairs. The easiest way to do this is to disconnect the negative battery cable.


Disconnect Vacuum Line

The next step is to disconnect the vacuum line. This will be connected to the EGR valve and the EGR solenoid. This will be the main connection coming off the valve, and should be easy to recognize. You want to check the line for damage. If it is frayed, torn, or worn you will want to replace it. A new vacuum line is cheap.


Disconnect From Electrical Components

There are several wires attached to the EGR port in a harness. You will need to disconnect these. They are normally attached with a simple snap connector. Some car models may have the wire harness connected and held in place with bolts or screws. You will need to remove these if this is the case.


Remove EGR Valve

Now you are ready to remove the actual EGR assembly. The valve will be held on with a large bolt. You will likely need to apply a large amount of force to loosen it. After you remove this bolt, you can lift out the valve.


Check Gasket

After removing the EGR valve, you need to check the gasket. This is what forms the seal between the valve and the upper intake manifold. If this is damaged you will need to replace it. The gasket is very affordable. If you notice any damage to it, you should replace it.


Soak the Valve

At this point, you should have the valve removed, and there should be no electrical components attached. If there are electrical components still attached you will want to make sure that you do not let them touch the valve cleaner. You will want to soak the valve overnight in the carb cleaner. Simply fill a bowl with it, and then immerse the valve.


Finish Cleaning the Valve

Soaking the valve will have loosened the carbon deposits. To make sure that they are removed completely you will want to use pipe cleaners to clean each of the passages in the EGR valve. Make sure that you do not allow the cleaner to make contact with your skin. You should wear protective gloves during this procedure.


Reinstall Valve

Place the valve back in the EGR port. Make sure that the gasket is placed securely between the valve and manifold. You will need to tighten the bolt to hold it in place. You will also want to reconnect any components from the electrical harness that you disconnected.


Finish Connections

The last step is to reconnect the vacuum line and battery. The vacuum line needs to be reattached to the EGR valve. Once this connection is complete, connect the negative battery cable to the battery to complete the repair.

You know now how to clean the EGR port and valve. This is a simple auto repair that can easily be performed at home. Most cars will need this procedure to be completed every few years. Doing so will help to ensure that your engine has a long and healthy life.