Why decarbonise an engine?
Simple put a clean engine is a healthy engine
The purpose of the EGR (Engine Gas Recirculation) system is to reduce nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions that primarily forms when nitrogen and oxygen is subject to high heat and pressure. Nearly all modern engines require an EGR system to meet emissions regulations. The system is designed to recirculate exhaust gases back into the intake system which reduces either O2 in diesel engines intake stream or combustible matter in a petrol engines intake stream. These gases have little or no ability to react to the second combustion cycle they are subjected too thus helping to reduce combustion heat and in-cylinder temperatures.
Unfortunately these recirculated exhaust gases carry a lot of carbon, unspent fuel (including varnishes) and oil vapour which gradual accumulates and bonds as carbon particles inside the inlet and re-circulatory system and especially on and around the valve itself. This leads to numerous engine problems and worst case even engine failure.
The specific purpose of the EGR valve determines if, when and how much exhaust gases are recirculated. As carbon deposits build up in and around the valve it prevents the opening and closing of the valve operation, and worst case the valve can become stuck losing all functionality.
Usually the initial driver symptoms of the clogging of an EGR valve is lose of power and engine stalling, especially when coming off load. Eventually the valve will stick in either the open or shut position. If stuck open the carbon build up saturation will be accelerated whilst if stuck shut it will cause excessively high emissions and ultimately MOT and/or roadside emission test failures.
There are numerous ways to clean or replace the EGR valve with varying prices.
The costliest option is a complete replacement part. Most mechanics will recommend this – Why? Because they’ll earn a profit from the part and it’s a quicker job for them. The price of a EGR valve varies on average between £300 and £800 plus labour for fitting.
The moderately expensive alternative is to remove the valve a manually clean it which requires mechanical skill and time. The problem is not all valves are so easy to remove and refit and the outcome may not always be successful. As there are no replacement parts involved the cost of this service will be purely based on your mechanics labour charges so expect anywhere from £200 – £400.
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