Symptoms of a Ford Freestar EGR Valve Near Surrender
The Exhaust Gas Recirculation (EGR) system is a part of the exhaust system of your Ford Freestar that is made to regulate the amount of exhaust gas returned to the intake manifold. The valve in the EGR is responsible for that task. EGR valves are extremely important because they give the vehicle the ability to be fuel-efficient and decrease pollution, both at the same time. Consequently, when something goes wrong with the valve, it affects the car in two ways. It's a Double Whammy to be exact. Therefore being able to understand symptoms of a uncooperative EGR valve is significant.
Erratic release of exhaust gas
The EGR valve sometimes gets stuck because it is not receiving the proper signal from the onboard electronic control unit (ECU) or the opening becomes dirty and crusted with carbon buildup. This kind of failure usually stems from the EGR valve being stuck open or close. Whenever the EGR valve fails to operate smoothly, the regulation of exhaust gases become irregular and this will lead to other problems with the exhaust system.
Poor engine performance
A clogged EGR valve can make the engine idle roughly and possibly lose power. Because of these, you may experience a drop in fuel economy. The loss of power is common whenever the valves are stuck open because hot exhaust gases enter at will into the combustion chamber. This occurrence displaces the air that is used to burn off the fuel.
Service engine indicator lights up
This is prevalent with electronically controlled EGR valves that are positioned by the ECU with a sensor. If the ECU and the valve fails to communicate with each other, it will cause the check-engine light to fire up. Most of the time, an EGR valve that is left open trips the check-engine light after the car warms up. When the opposite happens, the EGR valve is shut off.
High concentration of pollutants
The abnormally high concentration and presence of toxic pollutants such as hydrocarbons can translate to a failed EGR valve. EGRs are primarily designed to hamper the formation of pollutants, specifically nitrogen oxide. A sure sign of EGR failure is when an emissions tester detects a spike in production of nitrogen oxide.
Strong odor of gasoline from the tailpipe
In the vehicle's attempt to compensate for the high combustion chamber temperature, the car injects more fuel into the mix or rearranges the ignition timing. These actions tend to produce excessive carbon monoxide and unburnt hydrocarbons to exit the broken EGR valve. And this manifest through a strong odor of gasoline, mainly because the fuel wasn't completely combusted. Inhalation of these fumes are dangerous to any living being.
Simple Ways to Maintain a Strong Ford Freestar EGR Valve
The emission control system in your vehicle uses the EGR valve to introduce calculated amounts of exhaust gases into the combustion chamber to lower its temperature and thus, reduce the emission of harmful gases such as nitrogen oxide. After miles of usage, carbon accumulates, clogging passages. The valve's diaphragm may stop operating as well, causing the engine to idle rough, stall, or even detonate. Following these simple EGR valve maintenance procedures can save you time, headaches and money.
- Do a visual inspection every now and then.Physical inspection of any part is a good place to start any maintenance effort. As with the EGR valve, it is a removable part. Thus, physical inspection is quick and easy. Look for cracks, corrosion or other damage, notably in the body and the other internal components. This will require replacement for the valve. One of the most common parts to fail first in an EGR valve is the diaphragm.
- Clean the valve.Making sure that a car part is clean definitely promotes maximum performance and extends the service lifespan. The EGR valve is no exception. Carbon deposits get encrusted along the openings of the valve and at the bottom as a result of the exhaust byproducts going through it. This is a frequent cause of failure of the valve is it may get the valve stuck either open or close. However, taking the deposits off shouldn't be considered as simple as it seems. Although the valves can be cleaned, caution and care must be exercised in order to prevent any damage to the diaphragm inside the valve. A simple bath in carb cleaner overnight can soften the carbon build-up. Don't submerge the valve all the way. The valve has electrical connections that can get messed up once wet. Use a toothbrush or pipe cleaner to finish the cleanup.
- Perform diagnostic testing.Although this is much more practical when done in the shop than in the comfort of your own garage, testing your car with advanced diagnostic machines can be really helpful in determining the health of your EGR valve. Without proper testing, problems can mislead you into blaming an otherwise healthy EGR valve. The onboard computer unit of the car, from time to time, will shoot up some codes that can only be read by specialized machines. These trouble codes have individual meanings that can tell you what exactly has gone wrong with the EGR system, not just the valve. Taking time to do this will cost you time and money, but it will prove to be a resource saver because there will be less room for speculations.