Fixing a Bad EGR Valve in Your Audi in Thousand Oaks
By Bavarian Performance Specialists June 24, 2019
For vehicles such as the Audi, which have excellent performing engines as their selling point, issues that may compromise their reputation can have damaging effects to both the car and the owner’s driving experience. When small components like the exhaust gas recirculation valve goes bad, it can easily sideline your vehicle since it won’t be road-worthy. The EGR valve, as it is commonly referred to, is part of the exhaust system that helps to reduce the amount of harmful gases from being released into the environment.
In the catalytic converter, there are 2 reactions that take place; oxidation of hydrocarbons and carbon monoxide, and reduction of nitrogen oxides. The EGR valve plays an important role in the reduction part of the redox reaction. It does this by regulating limited amounts of exhaust gases that get recirculated into the engine, where the oxygen and the nitrogen oxides is diluted or reduced to produce a more inert nitrogen gas, which is safe for the environment. This nitrogen further absorbs the heat that is initially achieved when the nitrogen oxides are formed. In doing so, the EGR valve contributes to ensuring that the temperature within the engine compartment is regulated.
Causes of EGR Valve Problems
The EGR valve in your Audi may malfunction due to a number of reasons. Top among these is that the valve may get stuck open or closed. When the valve is stuck on open, there will be a continuous unregulated flow of exhaust gases back into the engine’s combustion chamber.
On the other hand, when the EGR valve gets stuck closed, there will be little to no exhaust gas getting back into the combustion chamber. Both of these scenarios will not only affect the quality of driving but other car parts as well, particularly the engine, which can run into serious damage in the end.
The EGR valve can also develop problems due carbon build up. This carbon is the residual product from the oxidation process that finds its way into the valve. Over time, enough of it can accumulate and cause clogging of the valve. Needless to say, this will prevent free flow of exhaust gas into the internal combustion chamber.
Symptoms of a Bad EGR Valve
Some of the most common effects of a faulty EGR valve include:
- Engine detonation, because there will likely be a second ignition following the first one. The power from both ignitions can create a large burst of energy that can easily damage the engine causing it to stall
- Your car will have poor fuel efficiency because it will burn more fuel with little output in terms of rotational power.
- There will be a strong smell of burning raw fuel due to the increased presence of hydrocarbons in the exhaust coming out of the tailpipe.
- There will be increased temperature in the engine’s combustion chamber that will enable the formation of nitrogen oxides, which are harmful when released into the environment through the tailpipe. This will cause your car to fail emission tests and land you in trouble with environmental law enforcers.
- The check engine light in your car will also come on as a result of the extreme temperature and the reduced general engine performance.
How to Deal with the Problem
Consulting a certified auto mechanic is the surest way of dealing with suspected EGR failure because of the similar symptoms that it may have with other possible faults. This means that the mechanic will have to run diagnostics on the EGR valve. Once they are certain that it is the valve that is faulty, then they can replace it.
In newer model Audis, for instance, the EGR valve is electronically automated, which makes diagnosis much easier. A scan can be performed and the trouble codes retrieved from the vehicle’s internal computer.
For Audi owners in and around Thousand Oaks, Agoura Hills, Westlake, Malibu, and Newbury Park, CA, you do not have to worry because Bavarian Performance Specialists have got you covered. Schedule an appointment with us as soon as you suspect that your EGR valve might have problems and we’ll take it from there.