– EGR valve: a little technology
– EGR valve cleaning techniques
Ouch!… My EGR valve is clogged… Which EGR circuit cleaner should I use? What is the purpose of the EGR valve anyway? How does it work? How do I clean it? Many questions that we answer here.
EGR valve: a little technology
In an engine, better efficiency and lower consumption conditions are met when the temperature and speed of combustion are high. At this time, the pollutants that are unburned hydrocarbons (HC) and carbon monoxide (CO) are non-existent.
On the other hand, this is when the famous NOx (nitrogen oxides) appear, responsible for the greenhouse effect and acid rain.
To eliminate these NOx, you have to lower the combustion temperature and its speed. This is the role of the EGR valve, which, by recirculating exhaust gases (inert gases without oxygen) through the intake pipes into the combustion chamber, creates these conditions, thus stopping the formation of these pollutants.
Its perverse effects
This technological solution, hated by professionals, leads to soot and carbon deposits in the EGR valve itself, the intake pipes, and the combustion chambers (valves, injector noses, etc.).
This fouling can cause malfunctions by clogging the pipes by seizing the EGR valve…
EGR valve cleaning techniques
Several solutions exist, more or less effective.
Disassembly and cleaning
The complete cleaning of the EGR valve with its dismantling is a radical solution.
Read here: 4 Steps to Successfully Dismantling an EGR Valve.
This technique allows a complete cleaning with a specific product in an aerosol.
Note: you can advantageously replace this product with brake cleaner.
– often, the valve is difficult to access, so a lot of labour time is required;
– If the valve is well cleaned, the same cannot be said for the intake system and the combustion chamber.
Good to know: the cost of the operation by a professional will be from $70 to $300, depending on accessibility.
Treatment with a cleaning kit
In general, this involves injecting the aerosol product into the intake with the engine running, completed by diluting a second liquid product in the fuel tank.
– no need to remove the EGR valve;
– fast operation.
– dubious effectiveness: some severe fouling resists this type of treatment;
– Danger: operation to be carried out meticulously because an excess of product can cause the engine to run away (do not carry out yourself if you are not a mechanical expert).
Good to know: the cleaning kit costs ~ $40, to which you must add the labour if you entrust the operation to a professional (+ $50).
Specific treatments by injection station
Professionals use a station that connects to the vehicle’s intake system. The treatment lasts from 45 minutes to 2 hours.
Examples: treatment by injection of a specific product by injection of hydrogen.
– Efficiency of the device: the prolonged treatment allows most of the time a correct cleaning of the intake circuit and the EGR valve, with significant improvements in the engine operation;
– control of the operation by a professional = guarantee of safety and efficiency.
The only reservation lies in the case of severe clogging leading to a deterioration of the valve. The only solution will be to replace it.
The cost is modest, ranging from $60 to $90, making this treatment the best solution in most cases.
Note: In this topic, we have talked mainly about curative treatments. But a good solution is a preventive treatment, to be done every 15,000 to 20,000 km.