How to Clean the DPF and EGR Valve?

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Environmental regulations are getting stricter. As a motorist, you already notice this and if you haven’t noticed it yet, you will notice it in the coming years. The government is working towards agenda 2030 and there is no room for exhaust gases in that agenda.

Now you may think that the strict European emission standards are only good, but that is not entirely true. Emitting fewer exhaust gases has a positive effect on the environment and therefore our health, but our cars are not so happy with it. Today, toxic exhaust fumes are filtered by various systems in our cars. The exhaust gases come out cleaner, but the polluted substances remain in the car.

These substances contaminate the EGR valve or cause a blockage in the diesel particulate filter. This will hinder the car’s operation and so we will have to spend money to fix these problems.

In this article you will get to know the DPF and the EGR valve, we will tell you how the pollution arises and how you can clean these two parts.

What is the function of the EGR valve?

The EGR valve is found in every modern car. You can find it on the exhaust side of the engine. The exhaust gases enter the combustion chamber through the EGR valve. The component contributes to the reduction of harmful nitrogen oxides, also known as Nox.

This is how the EGR valve gets dirty

It is understandable that the EGR valve does not stay clean forever, its job is to allow polluted gases to pass through. A portion of the exhaust gases is returned to the inlet area. These exhaust gases may contain oil, soot, unburnt fuel, and other contaminants. This dirt can coalesce and adhere to the EGR valve, intake area, and even the diesel particulate filter.

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When this is the case, the EGR valve no longer functions optimally, because it can no longer open and close properly. This creates even more pollution because most of the exhaust gases remain trapped in the combustion chamber. This will result in a clogged inlet section and a contaminated particulate filter.

How can you recognize the pollution?

When the EGR valve is dirty you will notice this on your car, technical problems will arise. The worse the pollution, the bigger the problems. If the valve and the other parts in the intake and exhaust system are only slightly dirty, you will not notice it immediately. The problems below can be linked to a dirty EGR valve.

A malfunctioning EGR valve causes these problems:

  • A fault light comes on.
  • The engine will stutter.
  • You have to fill up more often because the car uses more fuel.
  • The car emits more harmful exhaust fumes.
  • The car loses power.
  • The particulate filter is dirty or clogged.

How can you prevent the EGR valve from getting dirty?

Of course you can never keep the EGR valve completely clean, but it is certainly possible to limit the contamination of the EGR valve. You can do this by using an additive that cleans the entire fuel system and keeps it in top condition. This fluid protects the parts including the EGR valve and the particulate filter.

It is important to know that this additive will not work if the EGR valve is already thoroughly contaminated. In that case, you will have to replace the EGR valve or clean it with a special additive.

Cleaning or replacing the EGR valve?

Try cleaning the EGR valve first, you can do this with an EGR cleaner. EGR valve cleaning is the most affordable solution. Replacing the EGR valve is an expensive expense. It is not easy to reach, so a mechanic spends many hours to realize the replacement. If the EGR cleaner does not provide the desired result, you can always decide to have the EGR valve replaced.

The diesel particulate filter

As you could already read, a heavily polluted EGR valve can cause a polluted particulate filter. This creates even more technical problems. The particulate filter is also known by the abbreviation DPF. The filter is located in the exhaust system and captures fine soot particles, so they do not end up in the outside air.

After every 1000 km, there will be a regeneration of the particulate filter, the particulates are then burned because the filter is full. When the particulate filter is clogged by a malfunctioning EGR valve, this process will not work as well. In that case, you will have to clean the particulate filter yourself or have it replaced.

You can recognize a clogged particulate filter by the following symptoms:

  • The diesel particulate filter light comes on.
  • If your car does not have a particulate filter light, the engine management light will come on.
  • The car stutters.
  • The car suddenly uses more fuel.

Replace or clean the particulate filter?

As with the EGR valve, it is wiser to clean the particulate filter. Replacing the particulate filter is very expensive. You can clean the particulate filter yourself or have it cleaned by a specialized company. Cleaning by such a company is also very expensive.

Now you probably want to know how to clean a diesel particulate filter. As with cleaning the EGR valve, you can use a special cleaner for it. This additive can clear the blockage and is the most affordable solution. If the additive does not work, you can still have it replaced or have it cleaned by a specialist.

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