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2000 Toyota Camry LE 2.2L 5SFE Automatic
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I recently bought a 2000 Toyota Camry with the 2.2L 5SFE engine. It has the P0401 code for the EGR valve. I figured it would be an easy fix, so I ordered a new valve from Rockauto. To my dismay, I find that the bolts that are on the bottom of the valve are completely rusted and pretty much rounded off. I can't get a socket or wrench on them. They're in a tight spot, so drilling doesn't seem like an option. Anyone have any tricks they know of to get them off, or at least a way to try and clean the valve without removing it? I can't stand seeing this CEL, and it seems to be affecting the idle.
 

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1991 Toyota Corolla DX 1.6L 4A-FE Automatic, 1994 Toyota Camry LE 2.2L 5S-FE Automtic (Japan Built)
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If you're able to get the two fasteners removed from the EGR body to Intake Manifold, you might try disconnecting the EGR pipe at the bottom (from crank case) and fish the whole assembly up out of the engine bay or down through the firewall area (room permitting) at the bottom of the engine. (disconnect bottom of #3 in diagram). Then work on it with the entire assembly removed from the vehicle. Don't know if that's possible, just a thought.
319338
 

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Discussion Starter #4
If you're able to get the two fasteners removed from the EGR body to Intake Manifold, you might try disconnecting the EGR pipe at the bottom (from crank case) and fish the whole assembly up out of the engine bay or down through the firewall area (room permitting) at the bottom of the engine. (disconnect bottom of #3 in diagram). Then work on it with the entire assembly removed from the vehicle. Don't know if that's possible, just a thought. View attachment 319338
I didn't think of trying that. I'll check that out the next time I'm working on it.
 

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98 1MZ 98 5SE
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They make those sockets that are for rounded off bolts. Extraction sockets or something. Depends if its worth the cost etc.

Is there a way you can tell if it works with it still being attached?

Maybe is just gunked up in their or the metal tube. I believe that area in general is a common area for common buildup on these cars. Mine was running rough a fee years ago and I disassembled all the parts in that area and seafoamed them and there was clear build up of soot looking gunk. It dilved the problem. I used a regular can and also a can of deepcreep to get in more difficult areas and into the throttle body deep. On mine there was gunk narrowing the area right where the bottom of egr valve connects to that decending metal tube. It was pinching off half the diameter and that was by the time I got to it after already using seafoam thru the the valve and upper connections.

The car with the issues was my V6 but I cleaned out the 4cyl later on too. I know the V6 is prone to clogging not sure about the 4cyl. Maybe other can chime in if so.

Yes, the area those bolts are in is a bitch. Far reach, poor visibility and knuckle rasher. Lol

Best of luck. There may be thread or pictures of cleaning the EGR if you search site.
 

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98 1MZ 98 5SE
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I just went and looked at my 4cly. Yep bad spot facing firewall. Those look like 12mm bolts so if you can get it to hold can put decent torque on bolt.

Memory says that on both cars I had access to clean and seafoam the gunk at egr entry point off throttle body by removing the big 3 inch hose off of intake and a tooth brush reach the area by putting in opening if throttle body and I think seafoam deep creep extention hose was able to get in further.

I do not want to steer you wrong. I am not a mechanic but $10-12 on a deep creep may avoid having to replace the part. Maybe others can chime in if any similar experiences.
 

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2000 Toyota Camry LE 2.2L 5SFE Automatic
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Discussion Starter #7
I just went and looked at my 4cly. Yep bad spot facing firewall. Those look like 12mm bolts so if you can get it to hold can put decent torque on bolt.

Memory says that on both cars I had access to clean and seafoam the gunk at egr entry point off throttle body by removing the big 3 inch hose off of intake and a tooth brush reach the area by putting in opening if throttle body and I think seafoam deep creep extention hose was able to get in further.

I do not want to steer you wrong. I am not a mechanic but $10-12 on a deep creep may avoid having to replace the part. Maybe others can chime in if any similar experiences.
There are two 12mm nuts on the sides to connect to the intake manifold, and two 10mm bolts on the bottom that connect to the EGR pipe. The bolts on the bottom are the issue. I have seen some people online spray stuff like carb cleaner into the intake in short bursts at 2000 RPM to clear carbon out of the valve, but I'm not sure how effective that is.
 

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Yea those bolts on bottom then are smaller and harder to get to. Prior owner may have stripped them. If you are able to get the 12 mm side bolts off you may be able to pull the EGR off the intake and examine it. The hole in the intake that goes to the EGR and then the opening to the EGR which my memory says is about the size of a nickle. If you can pull it back from the throttle body you should be able to get an idea if gunked or not.

If that metal pipe keeps it to rigid to pull the EGR back then maybe you can undo the metal tube at the bottom then have the whole thing out and then you would have access to the bottom bolts of the EGR. Of course that all will range from a minor to major PITA. Lol

As far as spraying stuff in there....for seafoam you can spray in and soak the heck out of all that area and be ok with car off then turn it on and run it with mild exhaust smoke for a few minutes. I dont know if the videos are doing it at 2000rpm because the valve opens up or something while engine running to get the fluid down in there or something but I have soaked the crap out of the areas while off and started it up and no issues. Just blows some smoke out the exhaust for a few minutes.

Others can chime if it is necessary or more beneficial if you spray some while engine running in that particular area. I think people spray into the intake with car running or let the brake booster suck up a can full while running but beware you will smoke your neighbors out if you do that. Lol. I did more of a manual clean out with the help of the spray.
 

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I have the same code on my 2001 Camry 4cyl. It’s an LE automatic, ac, etc. it has 142,000mi on it. I have changed the vacuum valve on the back of the engine, the amplifier next to the EGR and every vacuum hose under the hood. Also removed , inspected and cleaned the EGR and replaced both gaskets. EGR looked exceptionally clean. Looked down the EGR pipe and so far as I could see there was not any appreciable build up. Before I started changing any parts I thoroughly checked the EGR system operation by the book ie vaccum gauge teed into the system plugging hoses etc. Everything checked out ok. After replacement of each component ran all the system tests once again. The only thing I have not done is remove the EGR pipe to check the lower end for restriction. My thought was to remove the EGR and poor a fair amount of Berrymans B-12 Chemtool down the pipe. It would be better to remove it and clean it off the car so as not to add all that chem tool and whatever it might was out into the crankcase. Certainly I plan to change oil and filter as I always do before a smog check. Not sure how that pipe may be held in at the lower end can’t see it or feel it down there. The other possibility is to procure a fiber optic borescope to try and inspect it before ether of the above. Would love to know how much this insufficient gas flow EGR system code p0401 actually affects emissions. The vehicle runs and drives with no dicernable difference. How is that pipe held in at the bottom end?
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I believe the EGR tube that connects underneath has a compression fitting. The EGR issue seems to be causing the engine to idle at 600 RPM when warm.
 

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I haven’t noticed a low idle. Do you know if there is enough clearance for that pipe to be raised out it the hole for removal without removing al that “stuff” just above it?
 

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1991 Toyota Corolla DX 1.6L 4A-FE Automatic, 1994 Toyota Camry LE 2.2L 5S-FE Automtic (Japan Built)
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I believe the EGR tube that connects underneath has a compression fitting. The EGR issue seems to be causing the engine to idle at 600 RPM when warm.
EGR is not active at idle (light engine load) - check for ECT (engine coolant temp) switch out-of-spec, vacuum leak, or idle air control (IAC) malfunction.
 

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1991 Toyota Corolla DX 1.6L 4A-FE Automatic, 1994 Toyota Camry LE 2.2L 5S-FE Automtic (Japan Built)
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Another recommendation- not a good idea to spray cleaners and solvents down into the EGR pipe - all that dirt/carbon sludge/crap will go straight into the crankcase. At the minimum, you’d need an immediate oil change. Worse case is you could clog oil pickup tube/screen and starve your engine of oil. Your “cheap fix” might cost you thou$ands! My 2¢
 

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While driving the car today minor miracle occured. Engine check light went off. I went straight to the smog shop. You know, the place where you buy smog. Just before the end of the test cycle the check engine light came back on. P0401 has been corrected but they indicated catalytic converter and or O2 sensor. Also said that evap system had incomplete data. I’m going to replace the O2 sensor. Not sure how old it is but I’m fairly certain the cat is original to the car. Could an cat that is beginning to fail be enough restriction to have any effect upon the EGR system. By the way I am the second owner of this Camry. My mother in law bought it new and always had it serviced at the Toyota dealership. I’ve had it for about 4yrs now and have only put about 22k miles on it. Have kept up the maintenance myself by the book intervals. The sad truth is that I was involved in a hit and run accident the perp claiming that his car had been stolen. My claim was denied by his ins co cause he found two friends that will swear they were with him all day and that he was not involved in any collision. We have pictures of the vehicle leaving the scene. That another story! Fairly heavy damage to right rear passenger door. That would likely total this car. It is drivable and reliable.
A08859BD-74C6-4CE9-98C6-FC2141C55555.jpeg
 

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Sorry to hear about the hit and run. What a POS that dude who hit your car.

A replacement door or doors would be easy to find at a salvage yard and not too expensive. A rubber mallet to pound that rear wheel well. If the front door works normal you could even get by with removing the black marks and a tube of touch up paint to the scrapes would make it look decent and better for cheap. The rest of the car looks very nice and clean and cared for.

As far as your 401 code that cool it went off for awhile. Did you remove battery cable recently or use a scan tool to remove the code? Just wondering if it was removed and came back or just went away on its own then came back. I wonder if your tinkering with the EGR or other stuff you did helped in some way at least momentar


Use a OEM Denso O2 sensor if you replace. My understanding is you do not want to mess with non OEM. The Denso ones are like $50-60 on RockAuto. Were they just guessing at parts or did their scanning clearly show which one was bad. Upstream or downstream?

As far as the cat not sure. Hopefully not cause they are not cheap.

What part of the country are you in and does your smog place make it mandatory for the EVAP monitor to be set to pass? I asked because I learned recently from others that it cannot reset in cooler temperatures. My local smog mechanic said it is not required in my area Chicagoland because its too cold to reset this time of year.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
I haven’t noticed a low idle. Do you know if there is enough clearance for that pipe to be raised out it the hole for removal without removing al that “stuff” just above it?
I'm not sure. I haven't looked in there.
 
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