The cost of replacing an EGR valve varies greatly between different vehicle makes and models, with the cost of EGR valve replacements on high-end European vehicles typically being higher than on American or Asian-made vehicles. As a matter of fact, the range of possible EGR valve replacement costs varies too much to provide even a rough price estimate that will apply to most vehicles on Australia’s roads today.
As with other types of car repairs, the cost of an EGR replacement by professional mechanics is influenced by several variable factors, which we will discuss below-
The vehicle make and model
Since EGR valves are a) critical emission-control components, and b) deeply integrated into several critical engine management systems via their control systems, many, if not all manufacturers of high-end vehicles specify that only OEM or approved OEM-equivalent EGR system components be used as replacements for original components to ensure the proper operation of replacement parts.
Scope of required work
While it is possible to replace an EGR valve on some vehicles in well under an hour, replacing an EGR valve on some other vehicles could take several hours due to the inaccessibility of some EGR valves. In some cases, it is necessary to remove or partially disassemble major engine components just to reach the EGR valve. Such components could include intake manifolds, exhaust manifolds, power steering hoses/lines, power steering pumps, and major A/C system parts.
It gets worse; if the flow channels in cylinder heads that direct exhaust gas into the cylinders have become blocked or clogged by carbon deposits, affected cylinder heads must be removed from the engine to clean out the channels. While this can be done successfully in some cases, there are no guarantees that attempts to clean out the channels will always be successful, in which case, the only remedy is the replacement of the cylinder head(s).
Thus, when you are considering having a suspect EGR valve replaced, be sure to consult with several workshops to obtain accurate price estimates that include all possible costs, given that labour charges can range from about one hour of labour to as much as eight hours or more in some cases.
Cost of required parts
As with other types of replacement parts, the retail prices of EGR valves vary greatly, depending not only on the brand of EGR valve but also on whether you source the valve and other required parts from a reputable vendor of aftermarket parts or a dealership.
Be aware though, that the aftermarket is flooded with cheap, substandard knock-offs of high-quality parts of all kinds, so while purchasing an aftermarket EGR valve online or from an unknown vendor might save you a few dollars in the short term, the cost implications of a cheap aftermarket EGR valve failing prematurely or not working as expected could be significant.
Bear in mind that if a cheap aftermarket EGR valve fails or does not work as expected, you may have to pay several hundred dollars in labour charges and parts (again!) to have it replaced with a high-quality part.
Given the extreme variability of EGR valve replacement costs, we highly recommend that you consult with at least three competent workshops in your area to obtain price estimates that include all possible costs. We use the words "possible costs" here deliberately because in some cases, it might be possible to clean out some parts such as exhaust gas feed pipes, as opposed to replacing them, which will reduce the final invoice considerably.
Also, price estimates should preferably include repair turnaround times, as well as all taxes, charges, fees, and levies that are payable in your jurisdiction to prevent the possibility of you receiving a final invoice that may be far higher than you are willing or able to pay.
At the risk of overstating the case, the cost of replacing an EGR valve on a modern vehicle could be significant, so if you own a high-end vehicle bear in mind that the final cost could exceed $1000 or more, depending on the vehicle make and model, the scope of work required, and the cost of all required parts.
The cost of replacing an EGR valve on lesser vehicles will necessarily be lower, with typical costs ranging from a few hundred dollars, to several hundred dollars, depending on the vehicle make and model, the scope of work required, and the cost of all required parts, which begs this question-
Is it Possible to Clean Out or Service Clogged EGR Valves?
In some cases, it is certainly possible to remove carbon deposits from clogged EGR valves successfully, but whether (or not) this is possible depends on the design and construction of the affected EGR valve.
The problem is that many EGR valves are so-called sealed units, meaning that the valve cannot be disassembled to reach carbon deposits that may be present deep within the body of the valve. Thus, in cases where carbon deposits cannot be removed mechanically, it may help to soak the valve in a suitable solvent such as acetone or lacquer thinners for a few days but the success rate of this method is very low and usually does not justify the cost of solvents and time spent.
As a practical matter, the most cost-effective way to restore the operation of an EGR system is to have the EGR valve replaced with a high-quality replacement part simply because attempting to service or clean out a clogged or defective EGR valve often costs more in terms of time and money spent than replacing the defective EGR valve with a new one.