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Need advice/options for P0401 EGR Insufficient Flow in 2005 Ford Explorer

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New User

Feb 8, 2013, 11:06 PM

Post #1 of 3 (6942 views)
Need advice/options for P0401 EGR Insufficient Flow in 2005 Ford Explorer Sign In

I have a 2005 Ford Explorer with 78k miles. Bought it used about 4 years ago and over the past 2 yeasr have been using it very little, occasional long trips but maybe 50 miles in a normal month with only a couple of uses per month. Check engine light came on with code P0401 EGR Insufficient flow months ago. Now I need emissions inspection this month and it won't pass with this problem. Car is running fine so I actually don't care if it gets fixed (wrong approach?) but I absolutely need to pass emissions somehow.
I've tried to research on the internet and I was going to try to change the EGR valve to see if code would clear (I'm not good with cars but seemed straightforward), however I can't seem to get to the bolts given it's location at the back of the engine so that's a no-go. The shops around here want to charge $100+ just to diagnose it... if it's likely the EGR valve, I'd rather that $100 just go into the repair cost. So I've got lots of questions and need some solid adice....
(1) First, is there anything easy I can try to clear the code and pass emissions? Does the issue have anything to do with the car sitting for long periods without being used?
(2) Should I pay the $100+ to have a shop diagnose it? Is there a cheaper way to diagnose? Should I try to get them to change the EGR valve (undiagnosed) and just hope that's the issue?
(3) Shops want $250+ for EGR valve but multiple auto parts stores have it for less than $150. I can't help but feel cheated at the repair shops - advice?
(4) Other than emissions, what is the risk in not fixing this issue?
I had a 1996 Ford Explorer before this, drove it much more (almost daily). It had a similar code (may have been P0402) on and off for years, check engine light would come on for a few months, go off. Is this a common Ford problem or is there something about my driving habits causing this issue.
Much thanks in advance!!!!!

MarineGrunt profile image

Feb 9, 2013, 12:42 AM

Post #2 of 3 (6893 views)
Re: Need advice/options for P0401 EGR Insufficient Flow in 2005 Ford Explorer Sign In

Clearing the code isn't going to get it to pass emissions. It's still going to have low flow. Clearing the code isn't going to fix a faulty part. Know what I mean? Codes are stored to aid in the troubleshooting process and give the technician a starting point.

When replacing parts there are times where you have to remove other components in order to get to remove another component. If you think you can replace it maybe get a subscription to and give it a go. It walks you through step by step with diagrams. Having the proper tools will also make it easier.

As for the price difference on the part a lot of times it comes down to the quality of the part. Some of the chain stores have cheap prices for a reason. Egr valves can sometimes be cleaned so that could save you some money if it ends up being the problem.

There are some professional mechanics that run this site so be sure to check back tomorrow. They will be able to give you top notch advice on what should be done. I just thought I'd answer some of your questions that I felt I could answer.

Hammer Time
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Hammer Time profile image

Feb 9, 2013, 4:14 AM

Post #3 of 3 (6885 views)
Re: Need advice/options for P0401 EGR Insufficient Flow in 2005 Ford Explorer Sign In

You never give an engine size so I can't be very specific.

I would bet that the EGR valve isn't the problem anyway so that would have been wasted money, regardless of what it costs.

I would expect the issue to be one of two things.

1) Bad DPFE (differential pressure feedback EGR) sensor (most likely)

2) Plugged EGR exhaust passage through the throttle body/intake


We offer help in answering questions, clarifying things or giving advice but we are not a substitute for an on-site inspection by a professional.

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