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The exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) valve helps lower your vehicle’s emissions, and make your car more efficient. As gasses exit the engine, the EGR valve recirculates them into the intake manifold, where the engine is able to burn them again. In essence, the EGR valve helps the vehicle recycle gasses that they didn’t use. A dirty EGR valve often won’t work at all, and will need to be cleaned in order for this system to resume working.
The EGR valve should be inspected anytime your engine and intake manifold are worked on. Consult your owner's manual to see how frequently you should have your EGR valve serviced.
The EGR valve is located near your engine, and captures gasses as they exit the engine. The valve sends these gasses to the intake manifold, where they enter the engine a second time. The EGR valve is responsible for creating this recirculation that allows your vehicle to get the most of its fuel. When your EGR valve is dirty it won’t be able to recirculate fuel efficiently, and your car’s emissions will get worse. In many cases, your vehicle will not be able to pass an emissions inspection under these conditions.