Question about 1998 Ford Taurus

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I have a code P0401. What is this and how can I fix it?

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P0401 - Exhaust Gas Recirculation Flow Insufficient Detected

Possible causes - Harness or connectors (EGR volume control valve circuit is open or shorted.)
- EGR volume control valve stuck closed
- EGR volume control solenoid valve
- Dead (Weak) battery
- EGR passage clogged
- Exhaust gas leaks Possible solution - Clean EGR Valve
- Repair EGR harness or connector
- Replaced EGR volume control solenoid valve
- Replaced EGR volume control valve

Posted on Mar 20, 2011

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That code refers to the EGR Valve(exhaust gas recirculation valve). This code usually indicates insufficient flow at the EGR valve. Some say to remove and clean the valve. I don't know how reliable this is. You will need to check for any loose connections or vacuum lines going to the valve. If all seems ok, I would recommend replacing the EGR valve with a new one. After replacement, be sure to have the code cleared with a scanner.

Posted on Mar 20, 2011

  • rgnestle Apr 21, 2011

    Actually, cleaning is a very cost effective way to handle the situation as long as carbon has not gotten into the throttle body and caused a blockage there. Apply sucction to the EGR valve after you remove it to make sure the diaphragm is working the valve properly. The valve can be cleaned efficiently with isopropyl alcohol which easily desolves the carbon without damage to the parts. The same can be done with the positive pressure hose leading to the engine--just don't use too much, you don't want to foul the system. The alcohol will evaporate after a while.
    After you clean out the valve and the positive pressure tube connecting the EGR to your engine, leave the EGR valve off. If the engine can be started and runs smoothly with the valve disconnected, you may need to have the throttle body serviced. The blockage may be inside and unreachable without complete removal.
    Do NOT use a wire to clean out the throttle body. It has a special coating in it which you want to keep in tact. (Keep in mind, that there may be other issues. You have five major parts to the '98 Taurus EGR system and any one of them could cause a problem: EGR valve, positive pressure hose (from engine), vacuum lines, timer delay/vacuum control switch, the regulator module (not on all models) and the exhaust temperature sensor. This is according to the Ford mechanic I spoke with, but I may have the wrong name for the regulator module which is separate from the timer delay switch.)
    I wish you the best!



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This error means Exhaust Gas Recirculation Flow Insufficient Detected.

You can deatils on the following site

but for convenience I have reproduced that information here:
Generic OBD Error Code Details for P0401 Exhaust Gas Recirculation Flow Insufficient Detected What does this mean? OBD Code P0401refers to
EGR stands for Exhaust Gas Recirculation. It is part of the vehicle emmissions system, and is used to reduce combustion temperature and pressure to control Oxides of Nitrogen. There are generally three parts to the EGR system: the EGR valve, an actuator solenoid, and a differential pressure sensor EGR (DPFE). These things work together to deliver the correct amount of recirculation based on engine temperature, load, etc. The P0401 code means that OBD detected an insufficient amount of EGR. SymptomsPossible sumptoms of OBD code P0401
You may notice drivability problems such as pinging (a.k.a. pre-ignition knock) when the engine is under load or the vehicle is at higher speeds. There may also be other symptoms. CausesPossible causes of OBD code P0401
A code P0401 most likely means one or more of the following has happened: •The DPFE (differential pressure feedback EGR) sensor is faulty and needs to be replaced•There is a blockage in the EGR (tube), most likely carbon buildup •The EGR valve is faulty •The EGR valve may not be opening due to a lack of vaccuum Possible SolutionsIn fixing this code, it is quite common for people to just replace the EGR valve only to have the OBD code return. The EGR valve is not always the culprit. •Use a vacuum pump and pull the EGR valve open while monitoring engine RPM's & DPFE voltage. There should be a noticable difference in RPM's with the EGR open •Clean out the EGR valve and/or tubing to remove deposits•Check the voltage at the DPFE, compare to specified values (refer to a repair manual for your specific model)•Replace the DPFE sensor (with a good quality / OEM one)•Replace the EGR valve Related CodesP0400 P0402 P0403

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