P0401: Exhaust EGR Flow Insufficient

Last Updated on April 27, 2020 by themechanic

The internal combustion process of a gasoline engine causes exhaust gases to emit from it. Some of these exhaust gases are redirected back into the engine chambers by the exhaust gas recirculation system, also called the EGR system. This reduces the temperature of the combustion and decreases the amount of smog and nitrogen oxides produced. If these exhaust fumes were to get released, they would hurt the environment and affect people’s health if they breathe them in.

The EGR system relies on valves to properly manage the circulation of the exhaust fumes. If these valves were to get stuck, either in an open position or closed position, then it could result in carbon buildup or the extra release of carbon emissions into the atmosphere. Furthermore, the temperature of the combustion will get hotter because the exhaust fumes won’t enter the combustion chamber at the appropriate times. Then you’ll have an increase in nitrogen oxides getting released.

When this takes place, you will experience certain symptoms like weaker acceleration, the Check Engine light coming on, and ignition pinging. If you were to have an emissions test on your vehicle, it would fail because of the extra fumes getting released. You can verify the problem by running a diagnostic scan on the powertrain control module. If trouble code P0401 comes up, then it means you have an insufficient flow of exhaust fumes in your EGR system.

Basically, this refers to the bad timing of the exhaust fumes entering the combustion chamber or the incorrect amount entering the chamber. Check the EGR valve to see if it’s clogged. The intake manifold may also have carbon buildup on it. If they’re both fine, then perhaps your EGR temperature sensor is acting bad. You probably won’t know how to find the cause of the problem if you don’t have experience as an auto mechanic. That is why it’s better to bring your car to a professional and have them find where the problem is located.

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It is important that you get this problem resolved soon. If you wait too long, then it might cause damage to valves and pistons of your engine and ignition. This would cost thousands of dollars to fix, so don’t let it wait that long.

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