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15yearsaturnguy
15yearsaturnguy, Saturn master tech
Category: Saturn
Satisfied Customers: 1918
Experience:  25 years automotive experience, 15 years with Saturn
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Saturn 2001 SL2 DOHC 1.9, EGR prob codes P0404, P0405, P1404

Resolved Question:

Have 2001 SL2 DOHC 1.9 - Check Eng light on, Codes are: P0404, P0405, and P1404. EGR Valve replaced - check engine light was off for a while and then went back on. Now on all the time. Runs fine most of the time. Every once in a while power drops off. Need to get a Calif smog check to get a base sticker and not sure what to do next.  Car has 160,000 mi and top end was rebuilt (by me) just prior to this happening (about 130,000 mi).
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Saturn
Expert:  15yearsaturnguy replied 3 years ago.

15yearsaturnguy :

Hello and thank you for your post. I am a master certified GM tech, with 15 years Saturn experience,and can help you to resolve your issue.

15yearsaturnguy :

do you know if the codes are the same as before?

15yearsaturnguy :

if you do not know, autozone can check them for free and you can let me know

Customer:

The first time I pulled the codes a year ago or so the primary code was P0404 and the secondary code was P1404. The P0405 code is new.

15yearsaturnguy :

this code (p0405) is an EGR position sensor code

15yearsaturnguy :

it means that the position is out of the calibrated level.

15yearsaturnguy :

you really need a scan tool to see what the pcm is reading because you might back probe the connector at the egr valve and read one thing but the wire might be broken somewhere

15yearsaturnguy :

the easiest thing to do if you don't have a scan tool, and you already replaced the valve is to replace the connector completely (all new wires) and see if the issue is resolved.

15yearsaturnguy :

GM sells the connector with short wires (1' or so) that you can splice in to the harness.

Customer:

While you were offline I was poking around the Saturnalia web site and found some comments and pics by "wolfman" on one of the posts. When I saw the pics and his comments I realized that carbon build up was an issue. I spent a half hour and got all the carbon off the EGR valve. When I put the EGR back in the codes were still there but my tester went from red to yellow and the check engine light went off. I assume that the issue was indeed carbon build up and that the codes will clear with some driving and I can go get my smog test. in light of what I suspect is a fix, my question to you is what can I do to slow down the carbon build up and what do you think the cause might be?

15yearsaturnguy :

I thought the egr valve was new?

15yearsaturnguy :

carbon build up in the passage or in the valve?

15yearsaturnguy :

if the buildup was in the passage, that just needs to be cleaned out when replacing the valve but not a maintenance type of thing.

15yearsaturnguy :

that builds up normally in the course of time because exhaust gas is routed through the valve and that is what you would find in the exhaust pipe.

15yearsaturnguy :

it does build up. Usually in the valve but sometimes in the passage.

15yearsaturnguy :

I wouldn't worry too much about the build up coming back

15yearsaturnguy :

there was a reflash available on some Saturns to allow that build up to form without setting codes but I don't think 2001 had that reflash available.

Customer:

It was interesting I just went to the store - where I am that is 20 miles. And the light came back on. I am still thinking it is the EGR and carbon. That valve has been in there about a year with heavy mileage (30K or so). When I first put it in the problem went away. I am going to take this one out and soak it some more - if that does not get me a smogable car I will buy another EGR since it does seem that we are on the right track. Appriciate your help - and any other thoughts you might have to help me out.

Customer:

Do you know if I can un screw the valve plunger and take it out and clean it and also where the valve seat is?

15yearsaturnguy :

I have never taken one of those apart. I don't know if it will be ruined if you take it apart.

15yearsaturnguy :

I have cleaned the passage in the intake manifold with a shop vac and a screwdriver, and as for the carbon in the valve itself, compressed air and a screwdriver to clear it out.

15yearsaturnguy :

the valve opens (unseats) by moving up and down. when it is down, it is seated by blocking the flow of exhaust gasses.

15yearsaturnguy :

the more open it is the more will flow.

15yearsaturnguy, Saturn master tech
Category: Saturn
Satisfied Customers: 1918
Experience: 25 years automotive experience, 15 years with Saturn
15yearsaturnguy and 9 other Saturn Specialists are ready to help you
Expert:  15yearsaturnguy replied 3 years ago.
Hope this has helped.

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