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Questions and Answers

Lumina DTC P0401

Q. Service Engine light on steady. Autozone connected computer to onboard computer, had a 'P0401' code. They said I need to replace the EGR valve ($140.00). Could you please tell me where the EGR is located on my 1997 Chevy Lumina 3.1 with 80,000 on it?

Also, can I test it or should I just replace it and will that turn the light off? Only one code showed up (P0401).

Thanks,
Ronnie

for your time on this,
Keith

A. Specifically DTC P0401 is "Exhaust Gas Recirculation (EGR) Insufficient Flow". Now this is where we have to be careful when we read a code. In this case it is not saying the EGR valve is bad, it's saying the EGR flow is too low. Now it could be because the EGR valve is bad. Or it could be a clogged EGR tube or a broken vacuum line. This is why you have to be careful and check the whole system before you go changing parts.

The PCM tests the EGR system during deceleration by momentarily commanding the EGR valve to open while monitoring the Manifold Absolute Pressure (MAP) sensor signal. When the EGR valve is opened, the PCM should see a proportional increase in MAP. If the expected increase in MAP is not seen, the PCM notes the amount of error that was detected and adjusts an internal fail counter towards a fail threshold level. When the fail counter exceeds the fail threshold level, the PCM will set DTC P0401. The number of test samples required to accomplish this may vary according to the amount of detected flow error.

Normally, the PCM will only allow one EGR flow test sample to be taken during an ignition cycle. To aid in verifying a repair, the PCM allows twelve test samples during the first ignition cycle following a scan tool Clear Info or a battery disconnect. Between nine and twelve samples should be sufficient for the PCM to determine adequate EGR flow and pass the EGR test.

To check the system first you need to remove the EGR valve and if it is clogged or broken. If it is, clean or replace it. If it is okay, then remove the EGR inlet tube from the exhaust manifold and the EGR outlet tube from the intake manifold. If either or both are clogged, clean them out or replace them. Then check the ports in the manifolds themselves to see if they are clogged. If so, clean them out.

When you are done, disconnect the battery for about 30 seconds to clear the code and drive the car to see if the light comes back.

This should take care of the problem. If not, then you will need to put a scan tool on the car and see what the EGR control system is doing wrong and correct it.

The EGR Valve is located at the rear of the engine.

Additional Information provided courtesy of ALLDATA

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