The Exhaust Gas Recirculation valve, or EGR for short, is responsible for the recycling of noxious emissions and placing them on a second run through your car’s engine. If the EGR valve is going or gone, your engine will be experiencing all kinds of issues, from a rattling noise to fuel inefficiency where it’s just guzzling the gallons and eating your wallet every few days. Since other things can cause similar problems in the engine, the only sure fire way of eliminating the EGR valve is by removing it, shaking it, listening, and cleaning it.
Cleaning the EGR valve is a simple six step procedure, simple enough if you can and are willing to identify the right parts of your car or truck’s engine and then take it apart. The EGR valve will be in a slightly different location depending on the make and model of the car or truck, but generally it will be to either side of the main engine block and the ignition control module. It might be cylindrical and vertical or horizontal and almost UFO shaped.
Once you have figured out where the EGR valve is, remove the vacuum line that connects it to the valve to ignition module. Then remove the electrical harness that provides power to the valve and surrounding area. Finally unbolt the valve itself.
Shake the valve. A side to side rattle means the valve is probably still good to use, but this isn’t a full proof detection method. No rattling means the valve definitely needs to be cleaned and hopefully will still be usable afterwards. Take the gasket off and check for problems with all the parts at this point. If it all looks good, just set it aside.
Carb cleaner in a bowl is perfect for soaking and cleaning the valve, unless there’s electrical components; then you will have to clean it by hand. An overnight soak otherwise should do the trick. The following day put everything back the way you found it, and you should be good to go.