Top 7 Symptoms of a Bad EGR Valve
An exhaust gas recirculation valve (EGR) is one of the most critical factors you should consider when it comes to making your vehicle eco-friendlier.
This component can help keep your vehicle running smoothly and avoid harmful emissions. The purpose of an exhaust gas recirculation valve is to regulate the chemical and thermal inevitabilities of your vehicle's engine while running.
Having an effective and efficient valve can help keep the temperature of your engine's cylinder and reduce the emissions that come from the exhaust.
If you're unaware that your car has an issue with this component, it can cause various problems.
Let’s discuss the various symptoms of a bad EGR valve and how to identify and fix it.
Table of Contents
- What Is an EGR Valve?
- Symptoms of a Bad EGR Valve
- How To Test Your EGR Valve
- What Happens if You Ignore a Faulty EGR Valve?
- How Much Does It Cost To Replace an EGR Valve?
- Best Car Deals by Category
What Is an EGR Valve?
When your car is running, it needs oxygen to function. However, since the air from outside is only about 80% nitrogen and 20% oxygen, it can't function properly. Fuel is then mixed with this and ignited using the spark plugs.
When the nitrogen is burned, it creates a compound known as nitrogen oxide, which is the primary component of harmful emissions.
An exhaust gas recirculation valve is designed to either allow the gas to return to the exhaust or send it out through the tailpipe. There are two types of EGR valves: a vacuum-operated valve and an electronically controlled one.
The main advantage of an electronically controlled valve is that it can improve your vehicle's efficiency by optimizing its position. This type of valve is commonly used in modern cars because it's more efficient than a vacuum-operated one.
Symptoms of a Bad EGR Valve
If your vehicle has any of the following symptoms, your car's engine may have an issue with the EGR.
These symptoms should be noted immediately. The symptoms of a bad EGR valve include the following:
1. Rough Idle
When your vehicle idles, it vibrates or goes through a rough idle. This could mean that you're having a rough time driving.
You might also notice a misfire when you hold the steering wheel while driving. If you have an issue with the exhaust gas recirculation valve, your vehicle may experience this issue.
This means that the vehicle's engine will not be able to idle correctly because there's not enough gas coming into the combustion chamber.
Likewise, if the valve doesn't close or open properly, the engine will not be able to start. Again, this could mean insufficient gas in the vehicle's internal combustion chamber.
2. Poor Acceleration
If the engine valve is blocked, the excess air will flow into the vehicle's intake system before it needs it. This could cause your car to have poor acceleration.
In addition, the excess air will create a lean mixture in the combustion chamber without the proper atmospheric oxygen levels, leading to less power.
3. Overheating of Your Vehicle
A blocked or defective exhaust gas recirculation valve can cause your vehicle's engine to overheat.
It can also release harmful nitrogen oxide into the atmosphere, which could cause dangerous temperature levels.
If your car has unburned fuel in its exhaust, this could cause a strong gasoline smell inside the car. Eventually, this issue will cause your engine to knock.
4. High Fuel Consumption
If your vehicle's exhaust gas recirculation valve is defective or damaged, it could use up a lot of fuel than it should.
For instance, if your vehicle's fuel economy is at 25 miles per gallon, having a faulty valve could cause it to use more gas than it should.
The purpose of the exhaust gas recirculation valve is to increase the vehicle's fuel economy.
Unfortunately, if the valve gets damaged, this function will no longer be able to perform, which means that you'll have to increase your fuel consumption.
If the valve doesn't work, the combustion chamber will get a very high temperature, which could cause harmful nitrogen oxide to be released into the environment.
5. Low Engine Performance
The first sign that your vehicle's engine has an issue with its exhaust gas recirculation valve is its performance.
If this happens, you'll start to notice various problems, such as a reduction in the engine's power and the effectiveness of the gas pedal.
Another sign that your vehicle's air-fuel ratio is imbalanced could be causing the car to run inefficiently.
Your vehicle will also start to sputter and become very noisy as it starts to stall. A faulty spark plug could cause this.
If this happens, then you'll have to deal with higher fuel consumption as your car will no longer be able to run efficiently.
6. Strong Gas Fumes
A bad exhaust gas recirculation valve can cause your engine to use more fuel than it should. This issue can also cause the exhaust system to release fuel into the atmosphere.
If this happens, you'll have to pay attention to your vehicle's exhaust system. In addition, a strong gas odor can be detected in your car's cabin, regardless of its location.
7. Engine Check Light Turns On
When you're driving, make sure that you regularly check your vehicle's engine indicators. The check light will illuminate if there's a faulty exhaust gas recirculation valve.
However, it will not turn on if your vehicle's computer identifies a negative signal from the component or other engine parts. Whenever you see this light, inspect your vehicle's engine thoroughly.
How To Test Your EGR Valve
Having the proper knowledge about how to test your vehicle's exhaust gas recirculation valve will allow you to save money and time.
After a long time of using your vehicle's engine, the carbon particles that come from the exhaust system can accumulate on the inside surface of the valve passages. One of the easiest ways to test your vehicle's exhaust gas recirculation valve is by following these steps.
This will allow you to check the condition of the vacuum-type and computer-operated valve. One of the easiest ways to check the condition of the vacuum-type valve is by following these steps. If the diaphragm begins to leak, the valve is in bad shape.
You can also test this type of valve by buying a vacuum tester. Aside from being used to check the condition of the valve, this item can also be utilized for other automotive maintenance. The vacuum tester will allow you to check if the needle holds when you apply the vacuum to the valve.
This is a good sign that the valve is working correctly. However, if it doesn't hold, then it means that the diaphragm is in bad condition and needs to be replaced.
If you're not planning on spending money on a vacuum tester, then you can use another method to check the condition of the valve. This method involves finding and locating the exhaust gas recirculation valve.
Then, after looking at the manufacturer's guide for your vehicle, start by putting on your car's engine and accelerating to around 2000 rpm. Now that you've identified the component that needs to be replaced, it's time to start testing the vacuum-type valve.
If the valve is working correctly, you'll see a component moving up and down in the valve. If you don't see this movement, then it means that the valve is in bad condition.
An electric EGR valve requires a multimeter to use this test, referred to as an "ohms test." After you've connected the device, you should be able to see a reading of around 20 to 24 volts. After you've connected the device, you should be able to see a reading of around 20 to 24 volts.
Next, use the multimeter's negative and positive probes to test the various terminals of the valve. If the readings are within the expected range, the valve works correctly.
What Happens if You Ignore a Faulty EGR Valve?
If you've read about the symptoms that a faulty exhaust gas recirculation valve could cause, then it's probably a good idea to look at the issue.
However, ignoring a vital component can lead to various problems, such as a reduction in fuel economy.
If your vehicle fails an inspection, it will not be allowed to drive legally. If you're pulled over while driving a car that's not eligible, you'll most likely be issued a fee and have to pay the fine after the said vehicle is impounded.
How Much Does It Cost To Replace an EGR Valve?
The cost of replacing an exhaust gas recirculation valve can be higher than $500, depending on the make and model of the vehicle. However, this can be as low as $150 if you have a cheaper model.
If soot particles only block the valve, it's probably a good idea to have it cleaned. However, if you're not comfortable with the process, you can use a spray can of cleaner. This can cost around $15 for the product and approximately $70 to $490 for the part.