The exhaust gas recirculation valve (EGR valve) is an integral part of your Chevrolet Duramax. Over time, carbon deposits and other pollutants can build up in the EGR valve, diminishing its performance and sacrificing both its power and its efficiency. In this article, we’ll look at what the EGR valve does, discuss some common signs that your pickup’s valve needs to be cleaned, and look at the negative effects of a dirty valve on truck performance.
Purpose of a EGR Valve
The EGR valve cycles exhaust gas back into the combustion cylinder of your truck. This cycling ensures that combustion temperatures will remain cooler than they would otherwise and prevents the formation of NOx gases, which are poisonous fumes that result from the combustion of nitrogen and oxygen under high pressure and temperatures.
Because of this, the EGR valve is exposed to high levels of heat and various carbon deposits. Between the deposits and high heat, the EGR valve can become stuck in an open or shut position, or it can slightly warp. This is why it’s important to schedule regular maintenance, especially for diesel pickups, and make sure to get your EGR valve looked at in the process in case it needs to be cleaned.
Most Common Signs of a Dirty EGR Valve
There are 2 ways that dirty EGR valves can affect engine performance. When enough deposits build up, the valve can become stuck in the open or closed position instead of oscillating back and forth as it should. If the valve is stuck open, it will increase your pickup’s fuel consumption and result in an extremely rough idle at lower rpms. An open valve will also cause more hydrocarbons to pour out of the exhaust pipe. People often report a mild to strong fuel odor while operating their vehicles during this phenomenon.
If the EGR valve is stuck in the closed position, you may notice a pinging noise coming from your pickup’s engine when you drive at lower speeds. Since the purpose of an EGR valve is to keep the combustion environment cool, if it gets stuck in the closed position, then internal combustion temperatures can increase dramatically. This increase can cause fuel to ignite early. This early ignition is what causes low rpm pinging noises.
More serious issues that can result from this increase in temperature are loud detonations. These happen when a second ignition combines with the primary ignition or comes immediately after it. These can cause engine damage.
In either case, the check engine light or malfunction indicator light will illuminate on the dashboard. You should take your truck in for inspection and diagnosing when either of these indicators come on.
Diesel Pickup Pros
One way to make sure that your EGR valve remains fully functional is to take it in for regular cleaning according to manufacturer instructions. Most often EGR valves should be cleaned every 50,000 miles. However, if your pickup experiences any of the symptoms listed above, you shouldn’t hesitate to bring it in for a checkup.
At Diesel Pickup Pros, we have years of experience servicing diesel-powered pickup trucks. We know that diesel engines are used for their superior performance and power as compared to standard gas engines. We understand that receiving proper care and maintenance will keep your truck performing at its best. Timely check ups are vital in order to ensure that your truck performs at the level it was designed for.
When it comes to maintenance, diesel engines need specialized tools, equipment, and experience. At Diesel Pickup Pros, our mechanics understand the services needed to maintain the quality that drivers expect from a truck. That is why we have committed ourselves to providing the highest quality service to all Louisville area diesel pickup owners.
Whether your pickup needs an EGR valve inspection and cleaning or a simple tune up, our ASE certified mechanics will deliver the highest-quality service every time. We’ll help get your truck back on the road as quickly as possible. Give us a call today to book an appointment or stop by to speak with one of our expert mechanics.