Burning fumes – Removal of the Exhaust Gas Recirculation (EGR) system

The term EGR often dissapears among the many other three letter acronyms that are mentioned in your vehicle handbook. But unlike other three letter acronyms such as ABS, ESP, SRS and CDI, removing the EGR could actually help your vehicle’s engine, not harm it.

To best understand the benefit of removing, cancelling or overriding a vehicle’s EGR, it is important to understand exactly how it works and what its function inside your engine is.

Exhaust Gas Recirculation Removal


The EGR system was created as part of modern vehicle manufacturer’s attempts to make engines more environmentally friendly. In essence, the EGR system redirects some of the exhaust gasses back into the engine’s combustion chambers in the hope of burning more of the harmful nitrogen oxide particles on its second pass through the engine.


The EGR system is normally electronically managed and it often channels exhaust gasses back to the engine through a special valve situated on the exhaust side of the engine. This is not the only method, and some engines will manage the EGR by controlling the intake and exhaust valves through the cam shaft. On these systems the inlet and exhaust valves open together for a short period to allow some of the exhaust gasses to re-enter the cylinder and be burned.

So, why remove something that could actually lead to cleaner emmissions and that does not bother you as the driver? Simple – it offers better engine performance.

Back to the example: Keep in mind that your engine runs on a mixture of fuel and oxygen, which it mixes in the cylinder, ignites and then expels as exhaust fumes. The addition of exhaust gasses inside the cylinder when it ignites simply means that there are not as much space left for the fuel and oxygen, which ultimately leads to less power from a smaller combustion inside the cylinder.

It is also important to acknowledge that the improvement in the quality of the exhaust fumes are negligle in many engines using EGR, while the improvement in performance from the removal of the EGR can be very significant.

Removing the EGR system, or overriding it, may also benefit your sanity. Many people have complained that the sensor monitoring the EGR system is very sensitive and any build up of carbon in the EGR valve will cause the system warning light to burn, requiring you to return the vehicle to a service centre to have the system cleaned and the light reset.

Removal of EGR

At Steves Auto Clinic, our team of specialists have a long history of successful EGR removals, cancellations or overrides.  Using specialised diagnostic equipment, the technicians will not only safely override or remove the EGR, but they will reprogramme the vehicle’s Electronic Control Unit (ECU) to change the fuel and air mixture to make sure it makes best use of the extra space for oxygen in the combustion chamber.

EGR removal is ideal for vehicles that use forced induction, such as turbo-charged or supercharged engines, but virtually all engines benefit from this procedure. Speak to your nearest Steves Auto Clinic (SAC) to find out more and to learn about the range of specialised diagnostic equipment available at every SAC branch, including our dynamometer and electronic diagnostic equipment.