Bad EGR Valve Symptoms in a Dodge Durango

by Tony Oldhand

If your Dodge Durango has rough idling, sputters a bit when you press the accelerator and backfires when you let off, stutters and hesitates when driving uphill, has a general lack of power or the "Check Engine Light" comes on, these are symptoms of an exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) system not functioning correctly. By catching the problem early, you will prevent the engine from stalling and leaving you stranded by the side of the road.

Rough Idling

You may have a bad EGR valve when your Durango doesn't idle as smooth as it once did, with the tachometer needle jumping erratically and the engine surging and then almost stalling. This problem is usually more pronounced on a cold morning, when you first start your engine.

Accelerating Hesitation

You can suspect a bad EGR valve when you press down on the accelerator and the Durango doesn't accelerate as smoothly as it once did. The engine "sputters" and acceleration is rough. This symptom is especially more pronounced when you try to accelerate going up a hill. This could be due to a plugged PCV valve, which is part of the the overall EGR system.

Backfiring

The EGR valve may be the culprit if the engine backfires a little bit. This symptom becomes more pronounced usually when you let off on the accelerator. This symptom may be due to several reasons, such as the electrical system, but the chief suspect is usually a faulty EGR valve system, which includes the PCV valve and clogged lines to the evaporative canister.

Loss of Power

When it was new, your Dodge Durango felt pretty "peppy" and accelerated smoothly. Lately, though, it feels like it has a smaller engine, and it takes a lot longer to accelerate. This is another classic symptom of a bad EGR valve system. What happens is that back pressure starts to build up inside the crankcase, and the engine has to fight itself to overcome the pressure. The end result of this is less horsepower going to the wheels.

Check Engine Light

When the "Check Engine Light" comes on in your Dodge Durango, you know for a fact that something is wrong. Some mechanics offer a free diagnostic service where they plug in a diagnostic code reader to your data port, and the Durango's on-board computer (which has a built-in black box recorder) details where all the faults are. Using the information presented, you can then buy new parts to fix your faulty EGR valve system.

About the Author

Tony Oldhand has been technical writing since 1995. He has worked in the skilled trades and diversified into Human Services in 1998, working with the developmentally disabled. He is also heavily involved in auto restoration and in the do-it-yourself sector of craftsman trades. Oldhand has an associate degree in electronics and has studied management at the State University of New York.