Cleaning EGR

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Staff member
Dec 14, 2002
New Jersey
I cleaned my EGR valve on my 98 S10 ZR2. It has around 55k on it... definitely not needed.

I bought a replacement gasket. Far softer (mica or vermiculite perhaps) than the OE one, and this one has a screen on the exhaust port side.

I took pictures, but somehow they didnt save... dont know why. I was suprised at this, but oh well... wasnt much to see.

I cleaned the EGR and the intake side and exhaust side with both throttle body cleaner and seafoam deep creep. I put deep creep into the EGR, so that whatever moving parts are inside are lubricated.

After all this, still slight engine shake... but the engine did seem to idle a tiny bit higher. Still, suprised that there were no deposits, nothing dirty, and the surface black coating was effectively non-existent - ultra thin and just surface staining.

So, my question is, how often does one actually clean an EGR? Im sure many do it never, but if it is done, are there typically solids present? Does a lot of carbon typically come out?

I wonder if the consistent use of fuel adds helped in any way...
Yes, both sprayed in, swabbed in, and vacuumed out. Nothing to report...
I've attempted to clean some out that were blocked solid at 100K or so. An 83 or 84 cougar a freind owned years ago. I've also cleaned mine out at 200K plus and there wasn't much in there.

I use a piece of a speedometer cable off a big truck. The inside part. With the end frayed a bit as a mini wire brush. Chucked up in a corded or cordless drill works nicely on passages down to 1/4 or so pretty easy unless there are really tight bends. You have to make sure to spin it the right way or the cable might untwist itself.
scrub the inside, eh? Did that with just a coiled paper towel... spum it around multiple times, filling it with B12 chemtool and then draining it out. Perhaps the towels were not tough enough?

Nothing really came out, just a mild tan coloration to the B12/throttle body cleaner soaked towels for the first few times.

I also plugged the intake part of the manifold and let the exhaust side blow out - nothing came out... I was hoping for a poof of soot!
It's not uncommon to find EGR passages completely clogged with soot. Yours was clearly not the problem.
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