Diesel EGR Maintenance Tips
CLEANING OUT CARBON BUILD-UP
How to improve idle quality, acceleration and fuel economy in older Duramax and Power Stroke diesels
by Steve Temple
Everybody complains about the weather, but nobody does anything about it. Some might say the same thing about carbon buildup on the EGR valves and induction systems of older diesel trucks.
Clogged EGR valves and manifolds are a primary cause of poor performance and fuel economy.
Cleaning the EGR valve and manifold is both dirty and time consuming—but worth the effort. It should be done at lest once every 100,000 miles.
You can take one of two approaches: chemical or physical cleaning.
On the chemical side, BG Products has a cleaner that is said to work well. It requires pulling out the intake hose and EGR valve, installing a block-off plate on the intake, and using a special adapter with an injector where the EGR valve normally is located to run a bottle of the treatment through the fuel system.
Then the injector is moved to the intake side and another bottle of cleaner is run through the engine.
Total time for the chemical cleanout is about 1-1/2 hours, after which you run BG’s oil flush/treatment and do an oil/filter change.
Of course, the “old school” method of cleaning the EGR system is to carefully pull the valve and intake manifold off the engine, and clean both by hand. (See “EGR Manifold Cleaning.”)
Use carb cleaner, a screwdriver and wire brush to get rid of the carbon buildup. Then soak the valve in carburetor cleaner (but not brake cleaner, as that can damage the O-rings) before reassembling. –Pro