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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Comments 3

Jim

February 4, 2020

Thank you that helps tremendously.

Steve

January 6, 2021

Anytime we can save 🤑
doing it yourself is a great thing..thank you 👏👍

Steve

January 6, 2021

Anytime we can save 🤑doing it yourself is a great thing..thanks👍👏

Karyl Lawson

February 6, 2020

Thank you! I would never have known this without this message! Unfortunately I am a 67 year old woman that may no longer be able to handle this issue. In the past I’d have been right on it. Getting old is tough. LOL

Edward Mcgurk

February 13, 2020

If you have no mechanical ability, what is cost at auto repair shop?

Jrpgdude

January 6, 2021

150 to 300$

Jerry

January 6, 2021

Very good too know it saves from getting a new one! Thanks

Roger

January 6, 2021

when your chipping the clog from the intake wont the carbon fall into it and go into the head, valves, cylinders, etc.?????

wallis

January 6, 2021

Thank you great reminder. Will help millions of people to help,prevent breakdowns and keep our air cleaner.

FIXD

January 20, 2021

You’re welcome, Wallis! Thank you for the feedback and stoping by our blog. 🙂

Frank

January 6, 2021

Excellent detailed guide and photos, I plan to have a go at this when the weather is warmer in the UK.

FIXD

January 20, 2021

Awesome to hear, Frank! Let us know how it goes 🙂 Thank you for the kind feedback.

David Kohnen

January 6, 2021

what problem does a clogged or dirty EGR valve cause to engine performance

Vance Fitzgerald

January 6, 2021

Can you clean an 2006-3500 LT Diesel Chevy Truck?

CindyK

January 8, 2021

I’m a 71 yr old woman that used to work on my own car when I was young but today it’s no longer an option. What would it cost at a garage? “Curious minds want to know!” 😄

Marc

January 17, 2021

About $400.

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