Putney’s Brake and Alignment Service Automotive Tips: EGR Valve
It is pretty amazing how manufacturers have been able to consistently build more vigorous engines in cars that get better fuel economy while at the same time meeting increasing environmental standards. One of the little miracles that helps make this happen is the Exhaust Gas Recirculation (EGR) Valve.
The EGR valve routes some exhaust back into the air intake system in both diesel and non-diesel engines. The exhaust takes up some space in the engine cylinders, replacing some of the oxygen rich air that would otherwise be in there. This means that the fuel burning event is cooler. Cooler combustion means fewer harmful nitrous oxides are produced.
Your EGR valve can get gummed up, messing the timing and amount of exhaust that is supposed to be recirculated in the engine. Symptoms of EGR valve troubles are rough idle and poor engine performance. Hamilton drivers with diesels can restore performance by cleaning or replacing the EGR valve, depending on how dirty it is.
EGR valves in diesel engines are particularly susceptible to becoming clogged because of the high soot content in diesel exhaust. [Note: the soot is ultimately filtered out of the exhaust further down the exhaust system, but not before it passes through the EGR valve].
There are a couple of things you can do lengthen the life of the EGR valve in your diesel engine. First, extended idling allows for more soot build up because the engine operating temperature is reduced as it idles and the valve is not opening and closing, allowing particulates to accumulate in the valve. Next is fuel quality. Diesel fuel has a cetane rating: the higher the rating, the better the combustion will be. Unfortunately, the cetane rating is rarely posted on the pump and can vary from location to location. Adding a cetane booster to the fuel tank is useful.
Moreover, if you observe rough idling or poor performance in your vehicle, have our expert Putney’s Brake and Alignment Service service advisors diagnose the trouble. They can set things right, if necessary, and restore your car’s performance.
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