Why does the EGR valve get dirty ?
The EGR valve is designed to cool exhaust gas by burning exhaust for a second time within the intake system. This results in the reduction of nitrogen oxide emissions. Recirculation of the exhaust leads to a gradual accumulation of carbon particles inside the inlet. These deposits eventually develop into a black layer of soot, which can lead to various engine problems and even engine failure.
The short-term benefits of the EGR valve lead to a faster saturation rate inside the engine. Soot forms where the exhaust passes into the intake, and even within the valve itself, causing various problems. Fuel injectors, which are delicate and expensive components of the engine, may become partially clogged. As for the EGR valve, soot and grime may prevent it from properly opening and closing. If it becomes stuck in the closed position, it will lose all function. The vehicle will continue to run properly, however it will emit nitrogen oxides at levels beyond the threshold of what is legally tolerated according to area regulations. On the other hand, if the EGR valve becomes stuck in an open position, the engine will become saturated at an even faster rate. Over time, the vehicle will lose acceleration power and certain symptoms will manifest, such as persistent stalling.
How to clean the EGR Valve?
There are several ways to clean or change your EGR valve, falling within a broad price range.
The moderately expensive option entails a little bit more time as well as some mechanical skills. It involves the complete removal of the valve in order to clean it with an appropriate solution. This can be difficult for novice mechanics as the EGR valve is not always easily accessible. Furthermore, the operation, if performed incorrectly, may cause an electronic malfunction of the valve. On average, a garage will charge between $200 and $350 for this service.
The least expensive option, with no need for disassembly and entailing the shortest service time, and which is an alternative to part replacement, is hydrogen treatment via the Carbon Cleaning station. This service works as a preventative treatment, recommended every 10,000 miles, but can also resolve existing problems in the engine. This operation costs only $95.