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What is an EGR valve and what does it do?

EGR stands for Exhaust Gas Recirculation. As the name already implies, the EGR valve recirculates the exhaust gasses from your car, making it more environmentally friendly, as it lowers the levels of pollution that are caused by the car.

Dirty exhaust gasses are simply sent back to the combustion chamber to be reused.

Many car owners experience symptoms of a faulty EGR valve from time to time, which causes troubles while driving and increases pollution levels. As diesel cars usually produce more soot which can clog up the system, the EGR valve can get clogged up, which will cause it to not function fully anymore.

What are the symptoms of a faulty EGR valve?

When the EGR valve gets sooty as a result of recirculating the exhaust gasses, it may become faulty. This causes problems during driving and increases the air pollution levels.

Here are a few examples of the way it affects the driving:

  • Loss of traction - weary, heavy or slow start
  • Vibrations
  • Uneven idling
  • Black smoke from the exhaust

It’s easy to detect the problem, if you can see the warning symbol for the motor being lit on your dashboard, which is usually a sign of a faulty EGR valve.

You can try to do a test and see if you can clean the EGR yourself.

This is done by revving up to full gas and trying to blow out the soot from the valve itself. This process needs so much oxygen that the gasses won’t be recirculated.

If the problems are still there, you should have you EGR valve checked.

Is EGR valve cleaning an option when it needs fixing?

As stated, you can try to “clean” the valve by giving full gas. But usually, EGR valve cleaning has to be done at the garage.

Make sure you ask your mechanic to check if it’s enough to simply clean the valve, or if you need to replace it. If cleaning is enough, that will save you a lot of money, as a new EGR valve is expensive.

Often, however, you will find that this is not enough, and a replacement has to be done.

What does a new EGR valve cost?

A new EGR valve can be quite an expense. The spare part itself can cost anything from £140 to £460 - on average £300. On top of that, you need the replacement done which can take hours.

In general, it is a costly repair, and it can be a complicated task for the mechanic if for example the EGR valve is connected to the cooling system in the engine.

We suggest you use autobutler.co.uk and get quotes for the repair job. That gives you an overview of the price and time is will take to fix you EGR valve.

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Prices on engine repairs, cleaning and replacement

The average prices and savings for the car brands shown are based on different models and years. You must therefore create a job and compare quotes to see your actual price and savings.
Make Compare and save* You save on average* Ratings
Audi £158 25%
5.0 (6)
BMW £129 28%
3.7 (3)
Citroën £153 22%
5.0 (1)
Ford £138 25%
4.7 (10)
Mercedes-Benz £145 27%
4.8 (4)
Mini £138 28%
3.7 (3)
Peugeot £131 25%
4.5 (8)
Renault £161 25%
5.0 (1)
Vauxhall £118 25%
5.0 (15)
Volkswagen £156 26%
4.8 (8)

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