In order to help reduce the amount of engine emissions cars have what is called an EGR system, which is an exhaust gas recirculation system. The way it works is that exhaust gas is added back into the fuel/air mixture. The reason for doing this is because any fuel left over in the exhaust will burn off and then it works to cool down the combustion chamber. This process results in much fewer nitrous oxides.
Today's version of the EGR system makes use of an EGR control solenoid. This solenoid is responsible for determining the quantity of exhaust that is allowed into the intake process. Because this solenoid is an electrical component, it can fail over time. It's important to note that it isn't supposed to need regular service or maintenance, but from time to time it may need replacing. In general it’s safe to say this part is meant to last the lifetime of your vehicle. Unfortunately once this part fails, it will need to be replaced completely as you won't be able to repair it.
Here are some warning signs that your EGR control solenoid has reached the end of its lifespan:
The Check Engine Light may come on once it starts to fail. It will be messing with the way the engine runs, so your light should illuminate. Keep in mind the Check Engine Light can mean all kinds of things, so it's important not to jump to conclusions.
When idling, your vehicle may stall or feel rough. This can happen because the EGR control solenoid is stuck in an open position.
When you accelerate while driving, you may hear a knocking sound coming from the engine or even a "pinging" sound. The reason this can happen is that the control solenoid isn't opening as it is meant to, it may be sticking.
While the EGR control solenoid is meant to last the lifetime of your vehicle, things can happen and it may fail earlier than it is meant to. It can become damaged, it may be defective, or just succumb to wear and tear.
Once your EGR control solenoid fails, you will need to have it replaced fairly quickly. If you’re experiencing any of the above mentioned symptoms and suspect your EGR control lock solenoid is in need of replacement, get a diagnostic or book an EGR control lock solenoid replacement service with a professional mechanic.
This article originally appeared on YourMechanic.com as How Long Does an EGR Control Solenoid Last? and was authored by Valerie Johnston.