EGR flow insufficient

My “check engine” light came on today and the code was for “EGR flow insufficient”. Is that something I can fix? Will it be costly? Should I get this fixed ASAP or can it wait a bit?

Your EGR valve reintroduces exhaust gases into the combustion chamber to prevent knocking (premature detonation). This problem could damage your engine. If you can’t get the repair done right away, I suggest you try using high octane gas until you can get it fixed. Of course, that assumes you are not already using high octane gas.

Thanks! Do you know if this will be a costly repair? I know that may be hard to answer without actually looking at my car.

What is the year, make, and model of the car?

What does the owner’s manual say about the type of gas you should use?

What type of gas do you use?

99 Dodge Stratus. Not sure what owner’s manual says but I use regular octane.

In that case, high octane gas might buy you some time, but you really should read the owner’s manual. There is a small chance this problem was caused by using the wrong octane gas. I am afraid I don’t know how much it should cost.

Get it fixed.

The EGR valve introduces a bit of inert exhaust gas into the airstream to displace a bit of the oxygen and keep the cylinder temperatures from getting too high for two reasons, to prevent pinging and to reduce production of NOx.

While you can compensate for the tendency to ping with higher octane, and the extra NOx will be a tiny percentage of the amount the average diesel adds to the air, if something else should go wrong you’ll never know if the CEL light is already glowing.

Oh, and correcting teh problem may be as simple as cleaning the EGR valve, a readily accessible item. The cost should be very affordable.

I agree with the last poster, try to clean it. Most EGR valves are usually held on with two or three bolts or nuts. The biggest problem is that you sometimes will break the gasket between the valve the the manifold when removing the valve. This is a cheap part at autozone, checker, etc. Then you should be able to poke around the gunk (black built-up carbon) and clean off what might be keeping the valve from opening properly. It’s free, or really cheap to at least take a look at it prior to buying a new one. If it is an electronic one, it could be as cheap as under a hundred, or as expensive as 300 bucks.

Do make sure that if you decide to pull it you have a new gasket handy. I wouldn’t even try to use the old one.

Also, if cleaning it does no good, before you throw a new EGR valve at it, be aware that there is also a sensor in the EGR system that can actually be the cause of the problem (it might have different names, but, e.g. differential pressure feedback sensor, or EGR Pressure Feedback Sensor). I know that there are some models of Dodges (among others I’m sure) that have chronic problems with the sensor that show up as an EGR valve code.

Maybe someone here can tell you how to test that, or you can a) buy a shop manual (best) or b) check out Autozone’s online repair manuals (maybe enough). Either way you can at least use Autozone online stuff to find the relevant parts of the system.

Good suggestion about the gasket. A solvent (spray cleaner, like a carb cleaner) would be a good idea too. And a Haynes manual.

I looked at the AZ website. They don’t have a repair guide for this car.

What kind of car repair stuff have you done before? This is not tough, you do need a basic set of tools and a manual.

If you are not subjected to emissions testing, you can wait forever if you want to. It will do no harm…

The EGR “low flow” code means a passage is plugged up. Some cars have external plumbing and in others the passage is internal. The plumbing connects the exhaust manifold with the intake manifold, the flow controlled by the EGR valve. By removing the valve, sometimes you can make some homemade tools (coat hanger) and clean out the passage and remove the chips with a shop vac…Good Luck.

Very surprising - but oops - I should have checked first.