Cleaning the EGR system on a '96 Beretta 3.1

My '96 Beretta has about 150k and is getting a MIL for the EGR system being dirty. What is the best way to clean it?

There is no code that tells you that the EGR system is dirty (all of them are dirty). The codes are more like symptoms where you still need to actually locate the problem. Post the actual code that came out.

Sorry, it was late. Let me rephrase that:

MIL code P0401 : insufficient EGR flow.

Most peaple I have talked to say that there is too much carbon in the EGR system. My girlfriend had this cleaned by the dealer a couple years ago. We need to do it again, but don’t want to pay another $350. I am pretty well versed in mechanics having rebuilt several air cooled Porsche engines and a couple Miatas.

They say to clean out the pipes going into the EGR valve. I noticed the ribbed tube going from the valve into the manifold (I think). My question is: Is that what needs cleaning? If so, how the heck does one effectively do that? If not, what needs to be cleaned that is restricting the flow? And…of course…what’s the best way to clean it?

I really do not want to take the whole manifold/egr system out. I was hoping there was some “trick” some of the Chevy guys out there knew to get this done. I am pretty sure at 150k that the valves are letting a little oil by causing the carbon buildup. I know this could very well get dirty again because I do not see a top-end rebuild happening in the near future.

The ‘insufficient EGR flow’ code covers a lot of possibilities. The ECM is saying that it is commanding EGR gas to flow but not seeing the effects. The problem could be a sticking EGR valve, a broke diaphragm in the EGR valve, a EGR control vacuum hose problem, a solenoid VCV problem, or plugged passages. The fact that cleaning the passages helped the problem previously biases the diagnosis there but check the easy stuff out first. One quick way to check the patency of the passages is to apply vacuum to the EGR valve engine running at idle. If the pintle lifts and the engine dies or idles roughly, the passages are probably okey.

Hope that helps.

i have a 96 buick lesabre… i got the cel and my mechanic found the EGR at fault (stuck open – likely carbon). he was able to use his code reader to “unstick” the EGR from the open position. (he tried tapping it with a flashlight; that did not work). (sounds like yours may be stuck closed.) once unstuck, i dumped a 20oz bottle of techron fuel system cleaner in the gas tank and revved it up to 4000 rpm for 10 seconds, five times. has been good all weekend… try the techron and some high revs