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2017 EGR Valve

7705 Views 36 Replies 19 Participants Last post by  phattyduck
Last week while driving with the ICE engaged, check engine light appeared, car shuddered, reduced propulsion message appeared, and a few minutes later OnStar message was Emissions Issue.

Today the dealer service advisor said the problem was the EGR valve. The bigger issue is that he also said there are no Volt EGR valves available in the U.S. He thought GM would have to rebuild a valve and that my wait could be one week to 6 months. Have any of you had similar parts' issues since Volt production ceased? Any suggestions for contacting GM should a week extend to months waiting for a valve?

Thanks! Jordan in Mississippi, 2017 Volt Premier
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Congrats on your early EGR failure, I'm at 85 k and run ICE about 100 miles per day, not a single issue. And the point of a discussion forum is an exchange of ideas, perhaps those "stating it on this forum multiple times" are wrong. The design may be defective, or it just may be wrong for the application.
 

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The OP was posting about wait times for the part. I just didn't want to hijack his thread. Since we already have, here are other thread on the technical aspect of the failures:

EGR Valve replacement help
"So, my mechanic traced an issue back to a short being caused by the electronics in the EGR valve. He's thinking that said electronics attached to the valve are shot, and that the EGR valve needs to be replaced as a result. "

https://www.gm-volt.com/threads/egr-control-circuit-a-low.338983/#post-5045973
Backordered even in 2020

https://www.gm-volt.com/threads/egr-valve-failure-overheating.333373/#post-4702239
More technical discussion of the failures

Another EGR Victim on 2017 Volt
Another link with lots of technical info, and sub-links.

There are more. Knock yourself out. Not trying to pee on anyone's parade, just trying to follow late-20th century internet forum rules (stay on topic).

Again since we have already strayed from the topic of wait times for parts, I will add that my check engine light came on with these codes twice in a 3 month period, under identical circumstances - I switched the motor on while accelerating, and then was cruising at highway speeds within seconds. The first time, the code went away, but this appears to be the genesis. I normally "pre-condition" the motor by turning it on at a stoplight, at least a few blocks/1-2 minutes before planning to get on the interstate and cruise. Only the times that I didn't, did I get the codes, and ultimately, the failure.

I would ASSume most other Volt owners just drive until the motor kicks in when needed, which usually means a high-rpm cold-start which cannot possibly be good for any engine. If you think about a normal car (ICE), you start the car, it warms up as you drive through the neighborhood, and unless your driveway opens to an 8-lane interstate, your motor is properly warmed up before thrashing it.

Cold starts are also when the most-"blow by" and oil contamination is going to occur. Another reason why I change my oil every 12 months (around 4k ICE miles), and do NOT follow any computer-generated BS (oil does not last 2 years, sorry guys!)

Many have said it is an "electronics" failure that is causing this on the Volts. It could also be, in addition to that, the mere fact that on most people's Volts, this is an engine that the EGR is having to deal with moderate-high throttle cold starts, and very fast warmups. In either case, it appears the Volt EGRs were under-designed and not up to their intended task.

This reminds me of the "hot film" MAF sensors on the MKIV VWs from the late 90s/early 2000s, which were also determined to be a poor design from Bosch. They failed often enough due to the film overheating that many of us owners kept a few of them on hand in the closet, buying at bulk discounts. I am not kidding.
 

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There's no sense in just citing others points of view, considering I can find several that support my point as well, as far as the RPM thing, the engine doesn't just randomly kick on at high RPM if your traveling on the highway, it kicks on at whatever RPM is necessary to maintain the current amount of power required to run the vehicle. It doesn't need a fixed RPM like a traditional engine. As battery power wanes, there is always some left over so the ICE doesn't have to bear the brunt of performing at 100% when it kicks on.
I will respect the OP at this point and move on, but just cause you read it on the internet, doesn't make it true. I'm not saying Im right either, but replacing the fuse then cleaning the EGR valve properly seems to have worked for an awful lot of people.
 

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I would ASSume most other Volt owners just drive until the motor kicks in when needed, which usually means a high-rpm cold-start which cannot possibly be good for any engine. If you think about a normal car (ICE), you start the car, it warms up as you drive through the neighborhood, and unless your driveway opens to an 8-lane interstate, your motor is properly warmed up before thrashing it.
If you are already cruising on the freeway/highway, the ICE does not rev hard when it starts due to a low battery. The PCM knows that there is a reasonably constant load on the drivetrain and starts the ICE early enough so it doesn't have to create a large amount of kW/HP when first started. I see/watch this on my commute every day. Its a different story if you switch to 'HOLD' mode right at the onramp though...

Until we see more information on the exact failure mode(s), we will just have to speculate. Electrical failure, over-current due to locked up motor (hybrid electrical/mechanical issue), or just play dirty (stuck open or closed). Maybe all three can/do happen.

-Charlie
 

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Interesting info. I always use manual hold, and let it warm up at a stoplight and go really easy on it for at least the first 2-3 minutes - except for the aforementioned two times when this issue happened. I rarely commute long enough to run our the battery - and when I plan to, I plan ahead and use the ice on select flat, steady speed stretches for a few miles at a time where it's most efficient, and save the battery for in town or stop and go.
 

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I plan ahead and use the ice on select flat, steady speed stretches for a few miles at a time where it's most efficient, and save the battery for in town or stop and go.
I do the same too. I watched extra carefully on the commute home last night - the ICE shows 10-15kW production for ~1 minute before ramping up to the full requirements while cruising at highway speeds. That's less than 20hp, which is <1/5 the capability of the engine. So, not racing or anything while the coolant temp (and more importantly, combustion temp) gets up a little bit.

Even in a normal ICE car, idling is not the right way to warm up. You want light acceleration and cruising for best engine warm up. No need to waste time idling unless the engine is still below about freezing.

-Charlie
 

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Andy, thanks for the info. The service advisor says the repair will be covered by the emissions warranty. So far he has made no mention of the fuse issue you describe. Thankfully, I can drive in battery mode only for 56 miles per charge. That should cover most of my regular trips.

Jordan in Mississippi
After 43,000 absolutely trouble free miles from this marvel of engineering , our 2018 volt first sent a message, "propulsion power reduced"

We were on a long trip from Rhode Island to rural New Jersey and were driving in mountain mode. The next day the car had that same message but also a message, "engine not available" We thought an overnight rest might fix the problem. This proved to be incorrect. The next day we did a 40 minute drive with the propulsion reduced message in the morning.

That evening on the return trip the engine not available came on and we assumed we had run it out of gas. We borrowed a gallon from a really nice household and made or way to the nearest gas station although part of that was limping without the engine. Filled with gas we thought our troubles were over. Next day we drove to our sons house and charged the battery half way. Previously we have taken trips of over a week without charging the battery from the grid with no problems.

After leaving to head home the car died on an extremely dangerous spot at an exit of a highway in New Jersey. We limped into a parking lot and after a bit were able to get the engine to charge the battery up to 5 miles of range. We found a motel 4.5 miles away and drove there electrically.

After extensive googling reading posts on this forum and a video on youtube it became evident that :
1) The EGR (exhaust gas recirculation) valve was sooted up making the actuator within the valve stick which in turn blew the #3 fuse in the underhood compartment. The #3 fuse being blown messed up a large number of essential engine controls. The engine was allowed to overheat enough for the computer to shut it down. The gas gauge changed to yellow and the engine was not available. After the engine cooled enough it would restart and work, sometime a little rough, until it overheated again and the engine shut down.
2)we had not run out of gas.

In the morning I removed the electrical connection to the EGR valve and replaced the #3 fuse. I reset the codes on the OBDII making the check engine light go off. We drove home with the car acting perfectly.

After a 252 mile drive there were only 3 codes on the OBD, all were related to the EGR valve being missing. For the first 100 miles I watched the coolant temperature until I had full confidence that all was well.

I will call a GM dealer and see if this is a covered repair however it is probable that the diagnostics will call for a replacement instead of a cleaning which seems very wasteful.
 

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If you don't need to worry about emissions testing, would it be wise to disconnect it all together and possibly avoid the repair or cleaning ?
You make a good point - my EGR valve left the chat last month while I was on a road trip. I drove with it unplugged the remainder of my trip, and did not notice any drivability issues. I fixed it as soon as I could get my hands on a new EGR valve, only took 45 mins but cost $335. Still, I queried here how long I could really drive with the EGR unplugged.... my guess is the EGR is solely for reduced emissions and would not harm the engine in any way shape or form being unplugged. I am in Michigan, so no emissions testing. The idea DID cross my mind.
 

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Question to the group: is the only time the EGR valve can fail is when it is being driven on the engine or can it fail and blow the walk home fuse when in EV mode also? Thanks


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Question to the group: is the only time the EGR valve can fail is when it is being driven on the engine or can it fail and blow the walk home fuse when in EV mode also? Thanks
Usually these stories go something like "I was driving on the highway in Hold mode about 100 miles from home when..." That's how my EGR saga went and so far I don't recall anyone posting that their EGR valve blew in EV mode. Which makes sense, because as far as I can tell, what blows the F3 fuse is applying current to the valve to open it. That should only happen when the engine is running and hot.


People that follow the rules only when and because someone's going to see them and punish them are not good, moral people, imho.
In general I agree, but we are talking about an emissions component that has failed, is expensive to replace if the warranty has expired, does precisely nothing for at least 70% of the time the average Volt driver spends inside the car (i.e., in EV mode), and probably doesn't do all that much the other 30%. I think it's morally acceptable to drive a Volt with a disconnected EGR valve for quite a while under these conditions, e.g., until one has the money for the repair, or until the next emissions inspection.
 

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Usually these stories go something like "I was driving on the highway in Hold mode about 100 miles from home when..." That's how my EGR saga went and so far I don't recall anyone posting that their EGR valve blew in EV mode. Which makes sense, because as far as I can tell, what blows the F3 fuse is applying current to the valve to open it. That should only happen when the engine is running and hot./QUOTE]

Thanks. I very rarely use the engine except when I’m on a road trip so that would not be a good time for this to happen I guess. I have started carrying some extra fuses and will be prepared to disconnect the valve if it comes up, at least so that I can complete my trip.


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My car (2017 with 54k miles, <5k on gas) hit this EGR valve problem in late October ‘22, 30 miles N. of the nearest place I could get it repaired and 250 miles from home with about 20 miles of charge left. Luckily I was able to limp to town switching between electricity and gas without overheating engine. I had to leave my car there in hopes that it could get fixed and I could come get it later and drove home on a rental. One month later it’s still not fixed so I picked it up with a U-Haul truck and trailer to bring it home. So far I am $600 in on rentals because of this situation and it still isn’t resolved. At least I can drive it on electric now that it’s home but I’m wondering how long it took any of you to get the part. I’m still on warranty so I don’t want to try and clean the EGR valve and risk some void of warranty. I live in Portland and the nearest available parts are listed in Seattle and Boise. The dealerships I’ve gone to have tried to get the parts from any other dealerships but have been unsuccessful.
 
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