Diagnosing and Replacing a Faulty EGR Valve

Have you noticed your car’s performance degrading? Perhaps it has started running rough or the check engine light has started to come on. While there are many possible causes to any of these problems, one possible cause can be the EGR valve. It plays an important role in both regulating engine emissions and proper engine function. The replacement cost for an EGR valve can be high, but is well worth it to keep your engine running properly should it start to develop problems. This guide will explain what is involved in diagnosing and replacing this essential auto part.

What is the Function of the EGR Valve?

The EGR (Exhaust Gas Recirculation) valve plays a critical role in regulating engine emissions. It redirects some of the exhaust back into the engine during the intake cycle, along with fresh air. By recirculating exhaust gas, the engine not only runs a little cooler, but it also produces less nitrous gases. Another benefit is that the engine will burn less fuel. The engine’s computer controls when the valve is open to ensure optimum performance and minimal fuel consumption. Unfortunately, they can wear out or become clogged, leading to replacement, which can be costly.

What are the Signs of a Faulty EGR Valve?

It is relatively easy and common for EGR valves to become stuck. When this happens, engine performance can decrease severely. Furthermore, your engine may start running rough or stalling. The car’s check engine may also come on. A code scanner can reveal if the EGR valve is the culprit. Your engine may also start to combust before the combustion cycle, which is known as detonation. When this happens, you will likely need to replace or clean your EGR valve. Cleaning is preferable, since the EGR valve replacement cost is usually rather high.

How Much Does It Cost to Replace an EGR Valve?

It depends significantly on the make and model of your car. If the EGR valve is in a location that is difficult to reach, labor cost will be high. Expect to spend anywhere from $300 to $800 to replace the EGR valve. EGR valves themselves cost between $75 and $400. Domestic brands, such as Chevy and Ford, run from $75 to $120, for instance. Labor can be another $200 to $600, depending on your car and the rates charged for labor at your local shop.

What Additional Costs Will You Encounter?

Keep in mind that there may be additional parts that need to be replaced as well, such as hose connections, screens, and gaskets. Gaskets are generally $1 to $20, and screens may either be integrated into the gasket or will be an additional $1 to $20. Some EGR valves may have hose connections, especially diesels, and these can cost from $150 to $650.

How Much Does It Cost to Clean an EGR Valve?

In some cases, you may be able to have the EGR valve cleaned, rather than replaced. This will reduce the cost, since you won’t need a new EGR valve, but you should still expect to pay for labor. In addition, most auto repair shops will install a new screen and gasket, if needed. Screens and gaskets can cost anywhere from $1 to $20. Expect to pay for about 1 to 2 hours of labor, with average shop labor costing between $70 and $150. You may be able to clean it yourself, if you are mechanically inclined.

What is Involved in Replacing an EGR Valve?

If you are mechanically inclined, you may wish to see if you can replace the EGR valve yourself, which can reduce your replacement costs. It would be helpful to have a shop repair manual for your vehicle, which can help you locate the EGR valve and give you specific instructions for removing it. Generally, you will want to disconnect the negative terminal of the car’s battery, as a safety precaution. Disconnect any hoses and wiring harnesses from the valve. Unbolt it, and gently remove it from the car. Watch out for any gaskets or screens that may come off when you remove it. Take the new valve and put it back on by reversing the steps you just took. Be sure to put a new gasket and screen on first.

The EGR valve is vital for proper engine function. They help to regulate exhaust emissions and reduce car pollution. Just as important, they also help reduce fuel consumption and lower engine operating temperature. A faulty EGR valve can cause serious problems for a engine, including a rough idle and stalling. While it may seem like a trivial part, replacing a malfunctioning EGR valve is important for engine health, so be sure to replace yours if your car starts having problems. The replacement cost for an EGR valve can seem high, but it is a good investment in keeping your car running, lowering fuel consumption, and regulating emissions. Of course, the EGR valve replacement cost for your vehicle will depend greatly on your make and model, as well as your location. You can save on replacement costs by doing the work yourself, and in many cases, it won’t be too hard. Either way, don’t wait if yours needs to be replaced.