I live in FL (after years in MA) where cars are not inspected. My Camry is a 1998, and the check engine light came on for the first time. Diagnostic at trusted local mechanic ($45 will be applied to repair) said the EGR & TPES valves need replacing. Though they said it’s still safe to drive, it will effect the pistons, and they give the car about 6 months to live if not replaced (said engine will stop). Cost will be $406 + tax. My Dad says it’s just an emissions part, and it won’t effect the car’s performance except allowing it to corrode a little faster. He thinks I shouldn’t bother. We checked the warranty covering this for 14 years, and it is too late (by 2 years). Do my trusted Car Talk guys agree that it needs fixing or it will be damaged or unsafe within the year? I can have it done ($ IS an issue), but my Dad used to fix our cars for a hobby before he retired, and I value his opinion as well. I need to keep this car running as long as possible. (90,000 miles on it so far.) I’ve listened to your show for years, but this is my first question. Thanks!
@Rabbitpam…you need to have your vehicle repaired but get it done at another shop. Those “mechanics” have no idea what they are talking about. The EGR valve and TPS (Throttle Position Sensor) will not affect your pistons or affect the life of your vehicle. Visit another good independent mechanic for the CEL problem and don’t tell them one word that those weenies told you.
There is no such thing as a “tpes” valve. There is a tps. (Throttle position sensor(. But in 15 years, I’ve never replaced a single one. I need your code! If its p0401, take it to a Totota dealer and tell them to replace the egr vsv (vacuum switching valve). It’s common, and a lot of techs “shotgun” the repair and put the egr and the egr vsv on, but a Toyota scan tool us svle to active test the vsv. I should stop there b/c I don’t know the code. But our of experience and generosity, of you give me the code and any symptoms, I can diagnose or properly over thd chat. Taking your car to “Joes Garage” may be cheaper for brakes
, but their misdiagnosis in this case us going to cost you substantially more. I see it year after year. Code?
Not fixing an egr problem COULD create a bac pressure issue, theoriticaly, but your real problem will be that if you don’t have the egr vsv working, you run the risk of carbon build up, whuch could cause a sticky egr and a stalling condition. It’s a little more than just a “emissions” issue, but them telling you your car won’t last by not fixing…that’s a stretch and honestly a hard sell/bs.
Those parts are not under warranty for anywhere near 14 years.
Yes, an EGR fault can cause engine damage if the engine is under load a lot (climbing grades, etc) and pinging exists. Over time it can destroy pistons if severe enough.
The EGR is a part that controls NOX emissions, true enough, but it also lowers combustion chamber temperatures so as to prevent pinging.
It could be that the problem with the EGR is clogged up passages and cleaning them out will cure the problem. A chimney sweep does the same thing with the fireplace in a home.
Look at your work order and post back the actual codes pulled from your cars computer. As long as your car is operating normally, there is no engine damage risk. Like your Dad said, it’s emissions related …
ok4450 is correct. Most of the time the ERG can be cleaned and you are on your way for cheap.