How to Clean an EGR Valve on Cars

by Contributing Writer; Updated June 12, 2017

Cadillac car manufactures a wide range of vehicles from sedans and sports cars to minivans, SUVs and trucks. Cadillac car sells these vehicles under many different name brands, such as Chevrolet, Cadillac car Buick, Cadillac car and more. Cadillac car vehicles are equipped with internal computers that send signals for the "Check Engine" light to appear when a component has failed. When the light comes on, a Cadillac car is sent out, which you can read using a scan tool. When Cadillac car appears, the Exhaust Gas Recirculation (EGR) valve has failed. Cleaning the EGR valve can sometimes clear the Cadillac car. It's best to clean the valve before replacing the entire unit.

Under The Hood:

 How to Clean an EGR Valve on a Dodge Sprinter

Allow the Dodge Sprinter to cool down for at least 20 minutes before beginning any work under the hood.

Locate the EGR valve under the hood. The valve will be located on top of the engine’s intake manifold. Refer to your owner’s manual for exact location and diagram.

Remove the bolts that hold the EGR valve in place using a socket wrench. Once all the bolts are removed, pull the EGR valve off the manifold. It may require a little bit of force.

Spray carburetor cleaner on the valve cover and inside the valve itself. Be careful not to spray any cleaner on any other parts of the valve housing. Clean away the loosened dirt with a rag and wire brush until the valve moves up and down smoothly and the buildup is gone.

Locate the engine intake manifold where the EGR valve sits. You will see two holes under the valve mount; spray the cleaner into them and wipe the holes clean with a rag.

Insert the EGR valve back into place on the manifold and replace each bolt, making sure to tighten each bolt with a socket wrench. Close the hood of your Dodge Sprinter.

Items you will need

  • Socket wrench

  • Carburetor cleaner

  • Clean rag

  • Wire brush

 How to Clean the EGR Valve on a Dodge Caravan

Allow the Dodge Caravan to cool down for at least 20 minutes before beginning any work on the vehicle.

Use the hood release lever inside the Caravan to pop open the hood. Find the EGR valve, which is located on the engine intake manifold. Refer to your Dodge Caravan owner’s manual for exact location of the manifold.

Use a socket wrench to loosen and remove the bolts that secure the valve in place. Remove the valve from the manifold.

Spray carburetor cleaner inside the EGR valve and on the cover of the valve. Wipe away grime and dirt with a rag. Continue cleaning the valve with the cleaner until the valve moves up and down smoothly once again.

Use the carburetor cleaner to clean the valve mount and the two holes that hold the valve into place. If needed, use the rag to wipe away excess grim and dirt.

Insert the EGR valve back onto the valve mount. Replace each bolt and tighten with the socket wrench. Close the hood of your Dodge Caravan and pull back up to ensure to hood latched shut correctly.

Items you will need

  • Socket wrench

  • Carburetor cleaner

  • Rags

 How to Clean an EGR Valve on a Dodge HEMI

Open the hood of your Dodge HEMI and remove the air filter housing by undoing the clips on the side and pulling it straight off its holder.

Locate the EGR valve. It is in the front of the engine block, located just underneath the alternator. The top of the valve looks like a brass "flying saucer" and it is connected to the engine block with four bolts. There will also be an electrical connection (wires from the valve unit that plug into the wires from the vehicles electrical harness using a plastic block plug) plugged into the EGR unit.

Grab the electrical connection and press the two tabs on the sides of the plug block in, then pull the two halves apart.

Remove the four bolts holding the EGR unit in the engine, using a socket wrench (there are two different sized bolts--8-mm and 10-mm--on the unit). Pull the EGR unit from the block.

Spray the EGR cleaner into the unit, holding the can about six inches away while spraying. Make sure you get the spray inside the valve (where the piston is) by spraying through the breath holes in the brass "flying saucer" top. This will loosen the carbon deposits inside and free up the plunger.

Re-install the EGR valve unit onto the engine block. Tighten the bolts until they are hand tight, then turn them 1/4 turn more. Reconnect the electrical plug.

Disconnect the positive cable from the battery by loosening the retaining bolt with a socket wrench and pulling the cable off the positive (+) battery post. Wait one minute, then reconnect it. (This will clear the engine code for the EGR valve.)

Items you will need

  • Socket wrench

  • 8-mm socket

  • 10-mm socket

  • EGR spray cleaner

 How to Clean the EGR Valve in an Isuzu Rodeo

Turn the EGR valve upside down so that the valve opening is visible. The top part of the EGR valve is where the electrical connector is, and the bottom is where the mounting holes are.

Inspect the valve opening for carbon buildup. Then, fill the valve opening with carburetor cleaner and allow it to soak for several hours. Be sure that you do not get any cleaner onto the electrical contacts of the valve.

Dump the carburetor cleaner out into a bucket and clean the valve opening with a bendable pipe cleaner brush. You may also need to chip away at hard deposits with a small flat-head screwdriver.

Spray the valve opening again with carburetor cleaner and dump the cleaner out into the bucket.

Wipe the valve off with a rag and reinstall the valve when it is dry.

Items you will need

  • Carburetor cleaner

  • Pipe cleaner brush

  • Small flat-head screwdriver

  • Bucket

  • Rag

 How to Clean the EGR Valve for GM Code P1406

Park the GM and allow the vehicle ample time to cool off, up to a half hour.

Open the hood of the vehicle and locate the EGR valve. You can find the EGR on GM models on the intake manifold. Location may vary slightly from model to model, so it's best to refer to your repair manual. The valve looks like a mushroom top component with a hose and electrical connector coming off it.

Pull the vacuum hose gently from the valve to remove it. Squeeze the sides of the electrical connector and pull the connector straight off. Place both components to the side to ensure they do not get damaged during the removal process.

Use a socket wrench to loosen and remove the two bolts securing the valve to the mount. Turn the wrench counterclockwise until you remove both bolts. You can now remove the loose valve. Lift the valve straight off the mount using some force.

Place the EGR valve in a small bowl with about an inch of carburetor cleaner. Make sure only the bottom part of the valve is soaked. Leave the valve overnight to allow the cleaner to penetrate the carbon.

Use a wire brush, small pick and a rag to clean the valve. Push open the valve and clean any carbon debris or build up. The valve should now move freely. Allow the valve to air dry completely.

Reinstall the valve. Align the valve on the mount so the holes on the valve match the holes on the mount. Insert the two bolts and tighten using the socket wrench. Plug the vacuum hose back into the valve. Reconnect the electrical connector, then push it into place until you hear it click secured. Close the hood of the GM vehicle.

Items you will need

  • Socket wrench

  • Carburetor cleaner

  • Small bowl

  • Wire brush

  • Pick

  • Rag

 How to Clean the EGR Valve on a 1998 Nissan Maxima

Disconnect the EGR valve’s vacuum lines by pulling them off the EGR valve. If the vacuum lines have clamps, loosen the clamps with a screwdriver. The EGR valve is on the rear of the intake manifold.

Loosen the exhaust inlet pipe, using the appropriate wrench. Remove the EGR valve retaining nuts, then lift the EGR valve off the manifold, taking care not to damage the gasket. Though you can reuse the gasket, it is recommended that you replace it.

Spray carburetor cleaner on the gasket mating surfaces on the EGR valve and the intake mounting service. Wipe the surfaces with a rag. Spray the carburetor cleaner into the valve opening and shake it out to loosen the carbon buildup. Repeat until the carbon is out of the valve.

Line the gasket and the EGR valve up on the intake manifold-mounting surface. Insert the bolts and tighten them to 13 foot-pounds of torque. Reconnect the EGR vacuum lines and tighten exhaust inlet pipe using the appropriate wrench.

Items you will need

  • Screwdriver

  • Set of wrenches

  • Carburetor cleaner

  • Torque wrench

 How to Clean the EGR Valve in a Honda Accord

Remove the vacuum lines and the wiring harness connector from the EGR valve. The vacuum line may or many not have a clamp. Loosen the clamp and pull the hose off, or simply pull the hose off if there is no clamp. Press the plastic tabs in on the electrical connector to remove the plug.

Unbolt and remove the two retaining bolts on the bottom of the valve. Lift the valve off the engine. Clean the gasket mating surfaces thoroughly, using a screwdriver if needed. Be careful not to gouge or scratch the gasket mating surfaces.

Inspect the EGR valve. If there is a small wire across the front of the valve, it cannot be cleaned. The wire is very thin and will be damaged by any pressure and/or chemicals. If there is no wire, continue.

Spray the inside of the EGR valve with carburetor cleaner, then shake the EGR valve out. Carefully scrape stubborn soot off with a screwdriver. Wipe out the inside of the valve with a rag, making sure it is completely dry before reinstalling the valve.

Place a new gasket on the intake's mating surface. Install the EGR valve and tighten the bolts firmly. Plug the vacuum line and the electrical connector in.

Items you will need

  • Set of sockets

  • Screwdriver

  • Carburetor cleaner

 How to Clean an EGR Valve in a Honda

Unhook the car battery. You should always unhook your car's power source when working beneath the hood.

Remove the engine cover if your Honda has one and find the EGR valve. The valve location will vary between vehicles. It is toward the front of the engine on the driver's side for most Hondas. The owner's manual will have a diagram to help you find the exact location of the EGR valve.

Remove the EGR valve from the engine. In a Honda, the EGR valve will have one electrical connection to the engine and may also have 1 to 2 hoses attached. These connections will likely be held with retainer clips that will just need to be pressed to release the plug. Hoses may be held in place with screws. The valve will also be bolted in with 1 or 2 bolts. Use a socket wrench to take the bolts out and you will be able to slide the EGR valve right out of the engine.

Look for holes in the valve. If there are any holes in the EGR valve or weak places that look as if they are about to become holes, you should replace the valve instead of cleaning it.

Clean the valve with carbon cleaner. Carbon cleaners can be purchased at auto stores. Just turn the valve upside down on a stable surface and fill it up with cleaner. Let it soak in the cleaner for at least 8 hours.

Use a wire brush to remove any visible deposits left on the EGR valve. After soaking in the cleaner, any deposits should brush right off.

Replace the EGR valve. Put it back exactly as you found it, hook the wires and hoses back up and bolt the valve back into place.

Items you will need

  • Owner's manual

  • Screwdriver

  • 12mm wrench

  • Carbon cleaner

  • Wire brush

 How to Clean an EGR Valve on a Ford Ranger

Turn the valve on its side and use the pick tool to dislodge any loose carbon deposits from both valve openings. Be careful on the bottom valve opening that you do not damage the threads.

Spray the valve openings on the Ranger with carburetor cleaner.

Scrub the valve openings with a pipe cleaning tool. If you are having trouble removing the carbon, you may need to put some carburetor cleaner into a small catch pan and allow the valves to soak in it overnight. Only soak the valve openings. Do not submerge the entire unit.

Wipe down the EGR valve assembly and make sure that you've removed most or all of the carbon build up before reinstalling the valve.

Items you will need

  • Pipe cleaner brush

  • Carburetor cleaner

  • Pick tool

  • Shop towel

  • Catch pan

 How to Clean an EGR Valve on a Ford F150

Ensure the Ford F150 is set in "Park" on a level surface. Leave the vehicle to sit and cool for a half hour.

Open the hood of the F150 and locate the exhaust gas recirculation valve. Look for the valve on the engine intake manifold; the valve is a small, circular, metal component.

Loosen the bolts that secure the valve in place, using a socket wrench. Once all bolts are loose enough, remove them and place them to the side. Remove the valve from the manifold; this may require a bit of force due to carbon buildup.

Clean the inside and the outside of the valve with carburetor cleaner. Clear away carbon build-up, using a wire brush and rag. Spray cleaner on the valve mount and wipe away with a rag--this will ensure a clean connection.

Reinstall the valve onto the valve mount. Place each bolt back onto the valve and tighten with the socket wrench. Once all bolts are replaced and tightened, close the hood of the F150.

Items you will need

  • Socket wrench

  • Carburetor cleaner

  • Wire brush

  • Rags

 How to Clean an EGR Valve on a Crown Victoria

Removing the EGR Valve

Make sure your engine is cool. If it has been running recently, let it cool for 30 minutes. Put shop gloves on for the procedure. Open the hood and unhook the negative (black) battery cable.

Locate the EGR valve in the center of the engine bay, close to the firewall. It's mounted right next to the throttle body. Unhook the wiring harness from the EGR valve. Remove the two hoses with your hand.

Spray the EGR-valve bolts with a solvent. Use Liquid Wrench or a similar product to help you remove the bolts. Let the solvent sit for about 10 minutes.

Remove the two EGR-valve mounting bolts. You'll need a socket extension to reach them.

Pull the EGR valve away and remove the gasket. Discard the gasket.

Cleaning the EGR Valve

Bring the EGR valve to a flat workstation. Spray it thoroughly with carbon cleaner. Let it soak for a few minutes.

Clean the outside of the EGR valve with a shop rag. The carbon buildup will be heavy if you have not recently cleaned the valve.

Clean the inside part of the EGR valve. Push your shop rag inside and remove as much of the carbon buildup as you can.

Clean the two recirculation tubes. A typical cotton swab works perfectly for this. Insert it into the tubes and twist it around a few times. Repeat the process with several swabs until they are no longer soiled when you remove them.

Clean the mounting surface on the throttle body. Spray the carbon cleaner and let it sit for a few minutes. Use a shop rag to clean the ports.

Replacing the EGR Valve

Using a new gasket, attach the EGR valve back on its mount.

Tighten the bolts to between 25 and 35 foot-pounds of torque. Reattach the two hoses and reconnect the wiring harness.

Reconnect the negative battery cable. Start the engine and let it cycle a few times. If your check-engine light was caused by a dirty EGR valve, it should go off after 10 to 15 minutes.

Items you will need

  • Gloves

  • Pliers

  • Liquid wrench or similar

  • Socket wrench set with extension

  • Carbon cleaner

  • Shop rags

  • Cotton swabs

  • Replacement EGR gasket

  • Torque wrench

 How to Clean an EGR Valve on a Miata

Disconnect the negative battery cable using a ratchet and socket, locate the EGR valve on the passenger side of the engine near the intake manifold and the throttle body, then pull the electrical cable and the two vacuum hoses from the EGR valve using your hands.

Unbolt the EGR valve using the ratchet and socket with an extension, then pull the gasket from the EGR valve mount. Spray the surface of the mount and the EGR valve liberally with carbon cleaner and allow the solution to sit for a few minutes before wiping it off with a rag.

Spray the hoses, inside and outside, down with carbon cleaner. Wipe the outside of the hose down with a clean rag, then wipe the inside of the hose down using long cotton swabs.

Inspect the EGR valve, mount and hoses to be sure that all the carbon has been removed.

Allow the valve and hoses to dry, then follow the previous steps in reverse to complete the job.

Items you will need

  • Ratchet and socket

  • Ratchet extension

  • Carbon cleaner, compatible with your vehicle's catalytic converter (check manufacturer's specifications)

  • Rag

  • Long cotton swabs

  • Gasket sealer

  • Replacement gasket

  • Replacement valve

 How to Clean an EGR Valve for a Monte Carlo SS

Place the Monte Carlo SS in "Park" and give the vehicle twenty minutes to cool down.

Locate the EGR valve under the hood of the Monte Carlo. The valve is located on the engine intake manifold and is a small, circular valve.

Use a socket wrench to loosen and remove each of the bolts surrounding the valve, holding it in place. Lift the valve off the manifold, once all bolts are removed. The valve may require a bit of force to remove, especially if there is a lot of carbon build up.

Spray carburetor cleaner on the outside of the valve and also inside the valve itself. Spray cleaner on the valve mount as well. Allow the cleaner to sit for three to five minutes, giving the cleaner time to dissolve built-up carbon. Clean the valve and valve mount using a wire brush and rag.

Place the valve back onto the intake manifold and replace each bolt. Use the socket wrench to tighten and secure the bolts ensuring the valve is securely in place. Close the hood of the Monte Carlo SS.

Items you will need

  • Owner's manual

  • Carburetor cleaner

  • Wire brush

  • Rags

 How to Clean an EGR Valve on a Geo Metro

Open the hood and locate the EGR valve. The component is located around the top of the engine. It resembles a metal, flattened mushroom between 2 and 3 inches in diameter.

Detach the vacuum hose from the top of the EGR valve with your hand.

Remove the one or two valve mounting bolts, depending on your particular model, using a ratchet, ratchet extension and socket. Discard the valve gasket.

Clean the valve bottom passage from carbon deposits using a scratch awl. Be careful no to damage the valve-sealing surface to avoid exhaust gas leaks. Tap the bottom of the valve lightly on a hard surface to get rid of loose carbon inside the valve.

Clean the exhaust and intake port passages using the scratch awl. Also, be careful not to damage the sealing surfaces.

Scratch any gasket material off the exhaust, intake and valve sealing surfaces using a plastic scraper, if necessary.

Set the EGR valve in place on the engine along with a new gasket. Start the mounting bolt or bolts by hand to avoid damage to the threads.

Tighten the EGR valve mounting bolts with the ratchet, ratchet extension and socket but do not over tighten them.

Attach the vacuum hose to the top of the EGR valve.

Items you will need

  • Ratchet and socket

  • Ratchet extension

  • Scratch owl

  • Plastic scraper

  • New EGR valve gasket