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EGR Valve -replace or clean?


ServiceGrunt's Avatar
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07-25-03, 04:32 AM   #1  
ServiceGrunt
EGR Valve -replace or clean?

Keep getting EGR engine code. When I take it out and clean out the passages, it will run perfect for a couple of weeks then do the same thing. I was told you have to take it to a dealer and have the control module updated or it will keep on doing this even if I buy a new EGR valve and install it. Is this true ?

 
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07-25-03, 05:57 AM   #2  
Joe_F
It helps to know what type of vehicle we are talking about.

 
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07-25-03, 03:54 PM   #3  
ServiceGrunt
Sorry. `94 GMC Jimmy 4x4. 1GKDT13W1R0515234
W CPC 4.3 V6 CPI 1/2 ton GMC MPC

 
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07-25-03, 03:56 PM   #4  
Joe_F
That's a Vortec V6. Notorious EGR valve clogger/stuffer.

Clean the EGR passages with solvent and a stiff brush, throw out the old EGR and replace it with a new one ($$$ if it's an electronic one, which I think it is), and replace the gasket with one with a screen which will slow down (not prevent) the carbonization of the EGR valve pintle.

 
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07-25-03, 04:10 PM   #5  
ServiceGrunt
Thanks Joe F. Do you have to go to a dealer after you clean the valve passages and replace the valve and have the onboard circut board "updated" as I was told?

 
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07-25-03, 04:48 PM   #6  
I'm not saying I recommend this, but I've seen and heard of other "mechanics" removing the egr valve, and running the engine at a relatively high rpm (1500-2000). The "reasoning" behind this is that on that style engine, it's hardly every just a build up of carbon, it's usually actual little chunks. By running the engine without the valve in there, the loose chunks from inside will get blown out and keep the "repeat" clogging from happening..

Personally, I'm not so bold as to try it..On 1 hand what can it hurt, on the other, I'm not the engineer who designed the system...?
The screen Joe mention should help, and it's easier to replace the screen when ever it need, versus the high dollar valve...(seen them run $250 or more...)

I've never had to reprogram a car for this problem, but clear the codes, yes.

 
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07-25-03, 05:10 PM   #7  
ServiceGrunt
Thanks Sarge. Makes sense in what your saying because like you said, there are definately chunks in there (found some). Sounds kind a spooky running it without the valve in place but I can see how that would work. I think I`ll try a couple of gaskets with screens first before I try that little trick. Since after I clean the EGR passages the truck runs so good, is that saying that the valve I have now is OK and a new screened gasket might slow down this process or you think I should pitch it and buy a new one($$$$)?? Will a new one have the same old problems? Should I slap a for sale sign on the truck when I get it running good? Thanks for your input.

 
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07-25-03, 06:25 PM   #8  
It really depends on what the code REALLY is.. I've seen some people "misread" the code, as saying the egr is bad, when what the code is really saying "inproper egr pintle position" or "excessive egr flow".. They interpet this to mean the valve is bad..If you have the time and patience, then I'd do what you're leaning towards.. Clean it out, clean the valve, put new gaskets and the sreen in, and see how it does.It's a "time versus money" issue for you at this point..
And as I said, I'm not so sure about running it without the valve in there, but have seen it done and work... I'd take any other comments on this "cure-all" from anyone in here...???

 
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07-25-03, 09:12 PM   #9  
i would check with your local dealer to see if there is any technical service bulletins on the problem, i do know they had an updated mem-cal for code 32 on some models however i dont see this as being able to prevent the excessive carbon build up which usually causes the valve to stick open, and can cause symptoms such as rough idle, hard brake pedal due to loss of engine vacum to the brake booster, or stalling, and of course the check engine light to come on.
cleaning out the ports and using a screened gasket usually takes care of the problem from what ive seen.

 
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07-26-03, 04:21 AM   #10  
ServiceGrunt
Thanks BJ & Sarge. I think I`ll try the gaskets first. After I clean out the passages with a wire brush, do you see anything wrong with blowing it out with compressed air or would that be a bad idea? Would a powerfull shopvac be a better tool? It seems to me if I scratch around inside the engine passages with a brush, it would break loose millions of little chunks, causing millions of stuck egr valves without a sure way of getting all the chunks out.

How about if I spray it out with a pressure washer?

Seriously, thanks for the input. I`ll contact local dealer about any possible service buletins and try a new screened washer. Will the air compressor or shopvac work?

 
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07-26-03, 06:27 AM   #11  
Joe_F
Grunt:

Clean out the passages to the best of your ability. Clean the valve and put a screened gasket. If it helps, you're in.

If not, replace the valve, clean the passages again and put another screened gasket there.

Should be good to go. Selling the truck is an option only if you want to replace it for a reason.

 
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08-04-03, 03:22 PM   #12  
ServiceGrunt
I ordered 5 screened egr gaskets ( $10 each-$50 minimun order!!), anyway, I was told by an experienced mechanic that all I would have to do is make a blank off plate the same size as the gasket and totally take the egr out of the picture. Is this possible or is this guy missing a few marbles? What would happen to the electronics (5 pin push in connector)? Wouldn`t this cause your ECM to go bananas? I`m just curious, i`m still going to install my expensive gasket after I clean things up.

 
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08-04-03, 03:52 PM   #13  
Joe_F
He's an ignorant fool.

The EGR valve is there for both emission control and is part of vehicle design/performance.

Fix it correctly and they'll be no problems. Eliminating the emission controls is also a violation of Federal law.

Remind me not to go 50 miles from that "mechanic".

 
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