Help! EGR valve "insufficient flow"

Discussion in 'Off-topic' started by Verbal101, Nov 5, 2010.

  1. Verbal101

    Verbal101 Active Member

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    My 1998 Toyota Camry check engine light is on. The code is EGR valve, insufficient flow.

    First I removed the valve and cleaned it with Seafoam deep creep. Reinstalled, disconnected the battery. Check engine light stayed off 3 miles.

    Removed again, cleaned again, this time removed a hose that was completely choked w/carbon. Cleaned it. Reinstalled. Check engine light came back on after 15 miles (but the car runs much better!)

    Bought a new EGR valve. Installed. Check engine light came back on after 10 miles.

    The car has 281,000 miles on it. It runs fine & is in fair condition, but I don't think it's worth dumping a lot of $ into to fix. I would like to be able to sell it as a car that will pass an emmission test, though.

    Is there anything else that could cause the "insufficient flow" error? Any advice is appreciated.
     
  2. BG_Atl

    BG_Atl Active Member

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    I am told - though don't know for sure...
    that the computer needs to have the error manually cleared.
     

  3. psrumors

    psrumors Well-Known Member

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    It could be that or you could have a passage clogged further down stream in the intake. I am not familiar with the Toyota EGR setup but it is possible.
     
  4. echo6gulf

    echo6gulf New Member

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    You need a vacumm test, it could be a pin hole leak in one of the many hoses.
     
  5. Malum Prohibitum

    Malum Prohibitum Moderator Staff Member

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    I have fixed this problem several times in a car, and each time the clog was not in the valve itself but in the passages leading to it (on my car the passages were in the intake manifold). This requires a lot of reaching and spraying (I used the seafoam, too) and soaking.

    At least three different years this effort is what got me to pass the emissions test.

    So that is two votes.
     
  6. Verbal101

    Verbal101 Active Member

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    What does "have the computer manually cleared" mean? All I did was disconnect/reconnect the battery. Does a mechanic need to do something to the computer?

    On the hoses - I did notice one that runs to the intake manifold had a split in it. Should I try replacing it?

    Will also look for gunk further along in the system.

    Thanks! Any other ideas I'd love to seem.
     
  7. psrumors

    psrumors Well-Known Member

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    Hooking a little compurter to the OBDII port and clearing the code. A battery reset really doesn't do this.

    Where are you located....someone close my have the ability to do this for you. I know I do here in Cartersville.
     
  8. Verbal101

    Verbal101 Active Member

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    I'm in Alpharetta but would certainly be willing to drive to get that done.

    The diagnostic computers that parts stores use - will those clear the code?

    Thanks!
     
  9. psrumors

    psrumors Well-Known Member

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    They are capable of clearing codes but I have heard they no longer will due to liability issues. May be worth a try.

    I am sure someone on here has a diagnostic computer and is closer to Alpharetta....if not though I am game. Will probably be going to Woodstock this evening, right on HWY 92 save you a little bit of the trip.
     
  10. ForsythGlock

    ForsythGlock Member

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    I live in Cumming and I have an OBD scanner that can clear the code. I drive by Best Buy (NorthPoint) on the way home from work, and could meet you there about 5:30 if you wanted to clear it.
     
  11. Verbal101

    Verbal101 Active Member

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    ForsythGlock - I just sent you a PM. Thanks to you and psrumors for giving me this advice.

    I suppose if there are any other problems, i.e. leaky vacuum hoses or other gunk upstream, the code will just come back in a few miles anyway? At least then I'd know it's not just an issue of clearing the code.

    Thanks everyone!
     
  12. Wolfram

    Wolfram New Member

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    http://www.check-engine-light.com/reset

    I used to disconnect the battery when i had Check Engine Light problems on my Maxima, if you leave it off long enough it will turn off.

    If you still have the problem it will come back when the sensors reset.

    On a side note, this technique will not work for bypassing an emissions test. If you unplug the battery, it takes approximately 50 miles for the sensors to reset. If you take it in to get emissions inside of this 50 miles you will fail, with an error message along the lines of system not ready.
     
  13. ed4

    ed4 Active Member

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    As said above could be still blockage, but you may also want to look at the vacuum line going to the egr valve from the solenoid and the vacuum line going to the solenoid. IF the light comes back on. Also the solenoid itself could be bad and not sending vacuum when commanded.
     
  14. jsmn4vu

    jsmn4vu New Member

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    Definitely! Something like that can trigger the error code.
     
  15. Adam5

    Adam5 Atlanta Overwatch

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    Toyotas are bad about getting clogged ports. You need a good carb cleaner and a brush on a flexible shaft to clean them out.

    Remove the valve, spray the ports under it with the cleaner, allow the cleaner to soak for a few minutes, scrub with the brush, then spray a little extra.

    You will need an OBD II scanner to clear the codes out. Disconnecting the battery will not clear a stored code any more than unplugging a computer will erase your hard drive.

    edit: Don't forget to check the vacuum lines going to the valve and the EGR vacuum solenoids.
     
  16. Verbal101

    Verbal101 Active Member

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    The port you mentioned - is that the metal tube on which the EGR valve sits? It does look pretty foul but I can't manage to remove it. But if I soak it w/Seafoam or carb cleaner & scrub it in place, does that help? What happens to the excess cleaner? Does it just evaporate?

    Which works better - Seafoam or carb cleaner?

    Do you know where the VSV is located on a Camry? Is that something that can be removed/cleaned too?

    To think - I figured this was going to be as simple as replacing a part. Now I'm learning more than I ever wanted to know about the EGR system in a car I don't even plan to keep!
     
  17. SilentGhost

    SilentGhost New Member

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    On some egr passages I have had to use a coat hanger to break through/break up some of the carbon build-up. Carb cleaner works well; the key is to get as much of the carbon out as possible. Make sure the passages between the egr and intake are clear. As far as the VSV valve, I want to say it is attached under the intake, next to the block.
     
  18. Adam5

    Adam5 Atlanta Overwatch

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    The VSV will be on the side of the intake.
     
  19. JMan

    JMan New Member

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    The problem is with the control VSV valve that tells the EGR system to work..This sensor is located below the intake . The best way to get to it is to raise the car and look about the passside axle above slightly and below the intake is this sensor ....ONLY can buy this sensor from the dealer...

    I am a ASE mechanic and work on these all the time .
     
  20. Typically the ports from the EGR are the problems. I'm not familiar with Toyota's design, but a lot of cars have ports that are accessible when the throttle body is removed.

    As for clearing the codes, the OBDII computer will clear them automatically or a battery disconnect for 20-30 minutes will clear them. My 1995 Grand Marquis (OBDII) had clogged ports at the intake manifold plenum (this is a common problem among Crown Victorias and Grand Marquis from the early to mid 90s), and once I cleaned them out, the Check Engine Light and error code disappeared after about 30-40 miles of driving.