How To: EGR Removal and Cleaning for Rough Idle Fix

122 Vega

Retired MSP Racer!
03 Mazdaspeed Protege #1668,2005 Mini Cooper S, 75 Cosworth Vega
A lot of people have complained about the eratic idle the Protege sometimes gets when the clutch is pushed in and rpms are allowed to fall quickly. The idle will jump anywhere from around 200-1100. This problem seems to get worse when the car warms up. My car started stalling everytime I pushed in the clutch or allowed it to idle. I had to feather it at stops like I was driving one of my old Vegas. Often people would think I was trying to race them because of the revving at the light. So I decided to do something about it.

1. The EGR is located directly below the throttlebody on the 2.0 engine. First remove the upper intake pipe (from IC on MSPs) and you will see it, it has a black circular cap and a grey six pin plug going into it.

DSC00155.JPG Vega/DSC00155.JPG

2. The EGR is held on by two 12mm bolts that point up towards the throttlebody. Unplug the EGR and then remove these two bolts. The EGR will come right out. There is a thin metal gasket that may come out with the valve, or it may stay stuck to the mounting pad.

3. This is the valve out of the car. It consists of an electric solenoid attatched to a bypass valve.

DSC00157.JPG Vega/DSC00157.JPG

4. Remove the four phillips head screws holding the electric solenoid from the valve body. This will come apart easily.

DSC00159.JPG Vega/DSC00159.JPG

5. Clean the inside of the valve assembly completely with a carbon killer of your choice, I prefer Brake-Kleen. I was suprised at the amount of carbon build-up that came out of the valve.

6. Lube the shaft inside with a drop or two of oil and also lube the outside beneath the spring.

7. Reassembly is the reverse of removal. I suggest resetting the PCM while doing this, so the EGR can readjust after you start it.

8. You may want to follow the Manual's suggestion of measuring the resistance of the pins, but my car runs ten times better now, and I have no stalling issues anymore.

9. Time to complete, 30 minutes at most. Good luck.

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Wow, I have to try this out. My car has been idling funny for a while, and I've tried everything else. Great post!
I noticed mine start to act funny around 27k miles. I'm at 31k right now and I'm going to take it in to the dealer to check out a couple minor things. I may just have them check the idle issue out at the same time. If it gets warm enough, I'll probably just do it myself. I hate Michigan winters.
Mine idles rough sometimes, no stalling issues or anything, but i do notice it... i'll check this out when i do the emanage install since the car will be down for a while anyways.
I'll try this Monday. My car idles awful. And the rpm's drop low sometimes. I'm also getting awful gas mileage lately. Maybe this will help a bit.
I'll give this a go myself when I put my new intake mani on.

Wonder what happens if you totally remove it and make a block off plate? You can leave the EGR connected still and let it suck in ambient air to hopefully not get a CEL.
Fantastic wirte up! Thanks!

This is another common problem with proteges. Im currently experiecing this..its idling around 700-800. So I will do this soon.

mine isnt that bad as it doesnt stall abut you can feel the car shutter and bog sometimes. im at 20K but I noticed it awhile ago.

I always thought it was some kind of mysterious vacumn leak.
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5 degrees outside and I don't have a garage. I'm gonna put this on my "to do" list. I bet it will increase gas mileage considerably, too, since we run so rich. A lot of that wasted fuel gets recirculated normally, giving you better economy. I need a heated garage, bad.
122 Vega said:
I had to feather it at stops like I was driving one of my old Vegas. Often people would think I was trying to race them because of the revving at the light. So I decided to do something about it.

Mine was bad for a couple weeks before I realized what it was. My girlfriend hated driving in my car when it was acting up for this reason above. The looks I got from people......great write up here Britt.

Sure many people will use this thread. Thanks.....

can anyone explain what the egr does and what are the pros and cons of removing it thanks
I don't truly understand everything involved, but I'll take a stab at it. EGR = Exhaust gas recirculation, so basically some of your exhaust is going back into the intake and this is supposed to help emissions by burning fuel that was not burnt the first time around. I was about to say more but I'm drunk and I actually have no idea what i'm talking about. Good day (cool)
I'm interested in the possibility of blocking off the EGR, but I'm not capable of figuring out what the deal is.