The exhaust gas recirculation tube is an emissions component that is found on many road going cars and trucks. It is a part of the vehicle’s exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) system, which is designed to recirculate exhaust gases back into the engine in order to reduce cylinder temperatures and emissions. The EGR tube is the passage through which the vehicle’s exhaust gases travel from the exhaust back into the intake. When the EGR solenoid or valve is opened, exhaust gas is allowed through the tube, and into the engine for consumption. When the EGR tube fails or has any issues, it can cause problems with the operation of the EGR system, which can increase emissions levels and even negatively affect engine performance. Usually a bad or failing EGR tube will produce a few symptoms that can alert the driver of a potential issue that should be serviced.
1. Rough idle
One of the first symptoms of a problem with the EGR tube is a rough idle. EGR tubes are connected directly to the vehicle’s exhaust system, and as a result are exposed to extreme heat and stress, which leaves them susceptible to cracking and breaking. Cracked or broken EGR tubes will create an exhaust leak which can cause a rough idle. The idle may surge or stay higher and lower than normal, and may be especially noticeable after cold starts.
2. Rattling noises from the engine
Another symptom of a bad or failing EGR tube is rattling noises from the engine bay. If the EGR tube breaks or comes loose, it can cause rattling noises as a result of the metal tube vibrating. The noise may be quiet at idle, and become more noticeable when accelerating.
3. Check Engine Light comes on
An illuminated Check Engine Light is another symptom of a possible problem with the vehicle’s EGR tube. If the EGR tube breaks, cracks, or becomes clogged, and the issue is detected by one of the EGR system’s various sensors, the Check Engine Light will be set off to notify the driver of the issue. A Check Engine Light can also be set off by a wide variety of other issues, so having the computer scanned for trouble codes is highly recommended.
The exhaust gas recirculation tube is an important emissions component, and when it has issues can cause a wide variety of issues that can affect the performance and emissions of the vehicle. If you suspect that your vehicle’s EGR tube may be having an issue, have the vehicle inspected by a professional technician, such as one from YourMechanic, to determine if the car will need an EGR tube replacement.
This article originally appeared on YourMechanic.com as Symptoms of a Bad or Failing Exhaust Gas Recirculation (EGR) Tube and was authored by Ed Ruelas.