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Old 10-14-2010, 01:08 AM   #1
Whiplash7x
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Default P401 code will not go away

Hello everybody!

Saturn SL2-1999
A little over 200K (wow)

I have been battling my EGR valve for awhile now. At first it was clogging a lot. Little grains of carbon would get caught in the moving valve side. Usually once a month. I would take it out and then clean it. Code would then go away. After awhile, I changed the gasket for the EGR valve and the clogs stopped happening all together.

The code came back about 6 months ago, but the car would not die when idled. It actually ran the same for all I could tell. The car seems to burn oil quite regularly though. Maybe about a qt every 2-3 weeks, which is probably about 600miles (it still gets about 30 mpg).

It also seems to emit blue smoke a lot during start up and if I have been idling for a long while. Usually a lot of smoke will occur if the temp gauge is sitting slightly above 12 o clock. It is a lot of blue smoke, to the point of embarrassment.

The smoke issue has been bothering me because I have to do an emissions test next month. So today, I went down and bit the bullet and bought a new EGR valve, and what do you know, the code is still on.

Something I noticed, and I do not know if this is regular or not, but when you take the EGR valve off and look in the bigger of the two holes on the car side, I noticed a pool of, what appears to be, oil sitting there. I wasn't sure if that was right or not.

What could this be? I know the car has a lot of miles on it, but I really want to drive it for a few more months, so I can save money for a new car. Any suggestions?

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Old 10-15-2010, 06:46 PM   #2
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Default Re: P401 code will not go away

No help guys?

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Old 10-15-2010, 07:31 PM   #3
hotrod205
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2002 SL2
Default Re: P401 code will not go away

I'm not an expert, but I know there isn't supposed to be oil there. Sounds like you have a cracked head, but that's just a guess. Since the EGR goes to the intake, it is sucking that back in and probably is part of your smoke issue.

With what you describe your EGR passages are blocked by something, either carbon or the oil. They must be cleaned out for that code to go away. 94-02 Accords are notorious for that problem, and those passages are very hard to clean on them. I don't think they are as hard to clean on the S-series though.

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