How to Clean the EGR Valve Correctly

As we became more aware of our impact on the environment, we began to adjust in order to minimize that impact. Our vehicles were no exception. One of the parts implemented to reduce noxious emissions is the EGR valve or Exhaust Gas Recirculation valve. The EGR will open and close to allow the proper amount of gas flow to occur so that your vehicle runs smoothly. When it does not function properly, an EGR can cause lowered fuel efficiency, rough idle, a failed emissions test, and hesitation when you attempt to accelerate. If you notice these issues, it may be time to find out how to clean EGR valve.

Lastly, this article will help you learn how to clean EGR valve and get your vehicle back to a better running condition.

Things You Will Need

• Wrench to remove bolts;
• Carburetor cleaner;
• New EGR gasket;
• Needle nose pliers;
• Protective gloves;
• Safety glasses;
• Small wire brushes;
• Electrical tape;
• Liquid penetrant;
• Hammer;
• A small bowl you do not need.


1. First, open the hood of your vehicle and be sure to securely. Disconnect the negative cable of your battery.

2. Next, locate your EGR valve. Typically it will be found bolted to the intake manifold of your engine because it needs to intercept the exhaust flow in order to direct it.

3. Carefully remove the rubber vacuum hose connected to the EGR valve. Do yourself a favor while you learn how to clean EGR valve and check the hose to see if it is punctured or worn to the point that it needs to be replaced. Finally, a good working vacuum system will keep your vehicle working at its peak.

4. Then, some EGR valves have electrical connections. If you notice any wires connected to your EGR valve, they will need to be removed as well. Usually, people use a small piece of electric tape to secure the wiring out of the way.

5. Remove the bolts that hold the EGR to the engine. If they seem stuck, use some liquid penetrant and soak the area around the bolts. Allow it to sit for at least a few hours. If it is still proving difficult to remove, use the hammer and pliers to grip and gently tap the bolts loose.

6. Next, underneath you will find the EGR gasket. Go ahead and toss out the old one. In this method on how to clean the EGR valve, you will replace the gasket. You can use a gasket scraper to clean the old gasket instead, if it seems like it is salvageable. However, if it looks questionable with pitting or tears, it is a good idea to replace it and save yourself headaches in the long run.

7. Examine the EGR valve for signs of heat damage or holes and dents. If it is too banged up it may be a better idea to just replace it all together. If it seems like it has life left, go on to the next step.

8. Equip yourself with your protective gloves and glasses. This will protect your skin from contacting the chemicals in the next step and protect your eyes from fumes and possible splashback.

9. Place the EGR in the small bowl. Locate the bowl in a well-ventilated area because the carburetor cleaner has a strong smell that can make you light headed if inhaled. Fill the container with carburetor cleaner until the EGR valve is immersed fully. Your gloves will protect your hands from this noxious chemical agent. Allow the EGR valve to soak overnight if possible. Otherwise, allow it to soak for at least a few hours. However, if your EGR valve has any wires hanging from it, do not allow them to be submerged in the liquid.

10. Once the soaking of the EGR valve has been completed, you will need to apply some elbow grease in order to further clean it. Take your small wire brush (old toothbrushes work pretty well too) and scrub out any openings and surfaces you can reach. Moreover, the carburetor cleaning brushes make quick work of this task. Furthermore, alternate scrubbing and rinsing the EGR off in the carb cleaner. Finally, the more debris and carbon buildup you can remove using this approach to how to clean an EGR valve, the better.

11. Replace the gasket with a new one before reattaching the EGR valve back into place. Moreover, for added seal add a dab of gasket sealant to ensure a good bond. Securely tighten the bolts without over tightening.

12. Reattach any hoses or wires you removed in the first steps back onto the EGR valve.

13. Reconnect the negative battery cable to the battery terminal.

14. Finally, take some time to test your vehicle to see if your issue has been solved. If not, it is time to completely replace the EGR valve. Luckily, they are fairly inexpensive and are very simple to replace. Otherwise, you can continue to troubleshoot your problem knowing the EGR is not to blame.

You can also watch this clip for a visual explanation of the process:


Bottomline, your EGR valve plays an important role in recirculating your exhaust back to the combustion chamber. It does this to help burn gasoline more efficiently by aiding in making your fuel rise to a warmer temperature. Once your engine is warmed to a good temperature, the EGR valve will then redirect the exhaust elsewhere preventing the engine from overheating. It will also help keep your emissions low and in check. If you notice your vehicle misfiring, “pinging,” stalling, hesitating, or your check engine light illuminates, it may be an issue with the EGR valve. Finally, this article on how to clean your EGR valve will surely help get that valve clean and your vehicle performing back at an optimal level.

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