How To Clean An EGR Valve And EGR Ports

Needed tools:

Preparation:

  1. Put the vehicle in park and apply the emergency brake. Consult your owner’s/repair manual to locate the EGR valve.
  2. Turn off the engine and disconnect the battery.
  3. Inspect all vacuum lines for rips, tears, and holes. Replace as necessary.
  4. Remove the vacuum line or unplug the electrical connector from the EGR valve.
  5. Remove the bolts that hold the EGR valve to the cylinder head or intake manifold.
  6. Remove the EGR valve. Be careful to protect the open cylinder head or intake manifold from any debris. 

How to Clean EGR Valve?

  1. Spray cleaner in both openings of the EGR valve. The picture below is for reference, but your specific EGR valve may appear different as the ports may be in another configuration.
  2. If it’s really dirty, you may need to use a pick to scrape off the bigger chunks of carbon or a wire brush.
  3. You may also need to let the cleaner sit in the valve for several hours.
  4. Don’t be afraid to use too much cleaner.
  5. After it’s clean, set it aside and move on to the next step of cleaning the ports.

Here’s a helpful video showing the above process.

How To Clean EGR Ports?

This part of cleaning the EGR system is oftentimes overlooked and can make any repairs made to the system invalid due to a restricted, or in some cases completely blocked, passage(s) in the ports themselves. Always check and clean these ports when servicing the EGR system. Here’s a helpful video of the following process.

  1. Note where the EGR Valve connects to the intake manifold or cylinder head. This is where the largest amount of carbon will be built up due to the change in temperature as the hot exhaust gases come into contact with the cool intake manifold gases. This will be where you start the EGR passage cleaning procedure.
  2. Start by spraying the cleaner into the port. 
  3. Then use a pick or a repurposed wire coat hanger to push through the carbon. 
  4. Continue this until you can spray cleaner all the way through the passageway. Tech Tip: Some passageways may not appear to be passageways at all due to being completely blocked. In this case, poke through and slowly work at cleaning the carbon away.

Below are some examples of clogged EGR ports.

  1. Some vehicles may have multiple cleaning ports for the EGR system. Reference your vehicle-specific service manual to see if this applies to your vehicle. If it does, remove the access plugs and clean these ports in the same fashion as above.
  2. After all the ports are cleaned and the EGR valve is cleaned, reassembled all removed parts, clear any codes, and test drive to see if you have resolved your problem. Congratulations, you have now cleaned your car’s entire EGR system!

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