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What is an EGR valve?

What is an EGR valve?

The EGR valve is part of the fight against vehicle pollution. It is an essential device in the fight against the toxic gas particles produced by diesel-powered vehicles.  Its purpose is to minimize pollutant emissions from your vehicle. It is mandatory on diesel vehicles, but can also be found on some gasoline vehicles. The EGR valve is mandatory on diesel vehicles and is increasingly being installed on gasoline engines.

What does the EGR valve do?

The EGR (Exhaust Gas Recirculation) valve is designed to limit harmful emissions from combustion. It regulates emissions by recycling exhaust gases, thereby reducing the amount of CO2 released into the atmosphere. The engine can then reuse between 5% and 35% of these gases.

The EGR valve is a flap that opens or closes to release or retain gases for reinjection into the engine. This device is mandatory on all diesel-powered vehicles, as they are considered the most polluting.

A diesel engine that has not warmed up or is running at low rpm is unable to burn all of its exhaust gases, producing large amounts of nitrogen oxides and particulates. The EGR valve redirects these gases to the injectors where they are burned again.

Where is the EGR valve located?

The EGR valve is subject to high stress. This can cause the valve or the injection system to become clogged. If the EGR valve is blocked in the closed position, your car will be more polluted. On the other hand, if the valve is blocked in the open position, the intake system is at risk and could become clogged or even completely damaged.

To do this, you need to locate the EGR valve. Its location can vary from vehicle to vehicle. In most cases, it's located between the intake and exhaust manifolds.

Its opening and closing are controlled by the engine management module. This is done through an electrical connection. To access the EGR valve, you'll usually need to open the hood.

To be sure of the exact location of your EGR valve, we recommend that you refer to your vehicle's service manual or automotive trade publication. You can also contact your local repair shop.

EGR valve types

Pneumatic EGR valves

With pneumatic EGR valves, the electrically operated mobile valve opens and closes in response to a vacuum in the system. However, some EGR valve models incorporate a pressure transducer to provide continuous flow management.

Electric EGR valves

Electric EGR valves are controlled by an ECU. When the vehicle is running at low rpm (for example, when driving in urban areas), it is this ECU that activates the system to inject more or less exhaust gas into the combustion chamber, opening the valve more or less depending on the driving situation.

Why use the EGR valve to return exhaust gas to the engine?

When the vehicle is running at low rpm, the chemical reaction is not complete, and more fine particles are produced than when the vehicle is running at high rpm, particularly nitrogen oxides (NOx), mainly nitric oxide (NO) and nitrogen dioxide (NO2). Once released from the exhaust system, these NOx are extremely harmful not only to the environment, as they contribute to the formation of ozone in the atmosphere, but also to the health of road users, as they penetrate deep into the respiratory tract.

By re-injecting part of the exhaust gases into the combustion chamber, the EGR valve lowers the combustion temperature by reducing the amount of oxygen transferred during combustion, thus preventing premature engine wear and reducing the amount of NOx produced.

How much does an EGR valve cost?

If your emission light comes on, it's probably time to replace or clean your EGR valve. The price of an EGR valve varies widely: from one vehicle model to another, the EGR valve can be very different.

On average, you should expect to pay between $100 and $400 (including labor) for a new EGR valve. The price difference can be explained by the technology used in the EGR valve, but also by its location.

In fact, on some cars, access to the EGR valve is very complicated and requires the disassembly of many other parts. Don't be surprised if prices vary widely from one vehicle to another.

The price of the EGR valve also varies greatly depending on the technology used.

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