How to Clean an EGR Valve on a Toyota Tercel

Written by chris stevenson
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How to Clean an EGR Valve on a Toyota Tercel
The Tercel EGR valve is easy to clean once you learn the procedure. (Auto Engine image by Andrew Breeden from

The EGR (exhaust gas recirculation) valve can be found on most newer model cars and trucks. It functions as a recirculating device by sending carbon dioxide back through the engine. A dirty EGR valve can display a number of symptoms when it does not function properly. The vehicle's engine might run with reduced power (sluggishness), stall suddenly or hesitate when accelerating under a load. Cleaning a Toyota Tercel EGR valve properly can help you avoid having to pay to get it replaced.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Socket set and wrenches
  • End wrenches
  • Fuel line wrenches
  • Carburettor cleaner
  • Pipe cleaner
  • Q-tips
  • EGR gasket

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  1. 1

    Place your Toyota Tercel in park and set the emergency brake. Disconnect the negative battery cable. Make sure the engine has cooled. Hang a shop light over the engine compartment. Locate the EGR valve. It will be close to the exhaust manifold and appear about the size of a small orange, with a vacuum line running from it up to the throttle body. It has a metal pipe or tube that leads to the exhaust manifold.

  2. 2

    Remove the vacuum line that leads to the EGR valve at the diaphragm location or inlet nipple. Locate the EGR pipe that connects to the exhaust manifold. The flange that holds the pipe will have two bolts at the exhaust manifold, or a single flare nut on the EGR body. Remove the flare nut at the EGR body location with a fuel line wrench and gently push it aside.

  3. 3

    Locate the EGR mounting bolts. There should be two of them. Use the correct socket or end wrench to turn the bolts counterclockwise and remove them. Gently pry the EGR valve away from its mount with a slot screwdriver. Take the EGR valve out of the engine compartment and turn it over in your hand.

  4. 4

    Inspect the inside of the EGR valve passage. It will have a spring valve inside that sits in a seat. Depress the spring inward to see if it moves freely. If not, spray carburettor cleaner upward inside the channel, holding the valve with the passage pointed downward. Do this several times.

    Try actuating the spring valve after several soakings. Depress the valve open several times to free up the carbon deposits. Thoroughly clean the inside of the channel with Q-tips or a pipe cleaner, soaked in carburettor cleaner. Clean as far up into the interior as you can, removing all black soot and carbon deposits until shinny.

  5. 5

    Rotate the EGR valve in your hand and locate the pipe inlet port. Use Q-tips or pipe cleaners to clean the inside of the port, removing all soot and carbon build-up. Reach as far inside as you can. Wipe the exterior of the EGR valve body clean with rags.

  6. 6

    Place a new EGR valve gasket on the valve or block mating surface. Use some gasket adhesive if you wish to keep the gasket immobile while installing it. Align the EGR valve body with its mounting holes and screw in the two mounting bolts. Tighten the bolts with the correct end wrench or socket. Reconnect the EGR valve pipe and tighten it with the line wrench. Reconnect the vacuum line. Install the negative battery cable back on its post. Start the engine. Check for leaks.

Tips and warnings

  • Do not bathe or soak the EGR in cleaning solution. The diaphragm can be destroyed.

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