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Old 08-05-2017, 11:28 PM   #1
Hackettbr1
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Default Saturn SL P0401

year: 1997
Miles: 113k
engine: SOHC 1.9L

I've been having code P0401 appear on my code reader for about 6 months now and don't want to spend the money on getting a mechanic to fix it. I've tried several different things to fix it: replacing the Catalytic Converter (Though i did this before the code began appearing), replacing the egr valve itself, and even cleaning the lines. Yet nothing seems to help.
Any suggestions???

I apologize if this is in the wrong thread, new to this forum.
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Old 08-05-2017, 11:41 PM   #2
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Default Re: Saturn SL P0401

Possible carbon buildup somewhere in the EGR system.

Per OldNuc "
Quote:
Fully warmup engine and then shut of. Remove EGR and gasket. With hood open and not in the garage start the engine. The engine will promptly revup to the rev limiter(~4000RPM) and if you are lucky the exhaust pressure will blow the carbon out of the exhaust to EGR port and the manifold vacuum will clean out the intake side. Shut off engine and thoroughly clean the EGR valve and reinstall. To clear the codes remove the PCM B fuse for a couple of minutes and replace. Drive it and see if the code comes back
."
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Old 08-05-2017, 11:58 PM   #3
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Default Re: Saturn SL P0401

Quote:
Originally Posted by magician22773 View Post
Possible carbon buildup somewhere in the EGR system.

Per OldNuc "."
I have tried that, my neighbors called the cops, but did not work.
I did forget to mention that i also tried replacing the PCM
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Old 08-20-2017, 10:21 PM   #4
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Dazed Re: Saturn SL P0401

any help is greatly appreciated, I'm thinking about selling it to scrap yard if I can't figure out the problem before the end of November

I would love to be able to keep her, but sometimes they have to die in peace.
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Old 08-20-2017, 10:48 PM   #5
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Default Re: Saturn SL P0401

It references the map sensor, if that's plugged up it may not set a code for the map sensor while still causing an issue.

If the passage's inside the intake are clogged up they may let the engine rev up like normal while not actually flowing enough air to pass the EGR tests (P0401 only tests during deceleration).

Verify terminal "E" on the valve (the pink wire) has +12v (key in run), pin "D" (grey) has +5v (this one may require engine actually running) when referenced from "B" (black wire); don't worry about "C" and "A."
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Old 08-21-2017, 10:50 AM   #6
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Default Re: Saturn SL P0401

^ ^ ^ yep
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hackettbr1 View Post
, and even cleaning the lines.
Including pulling off the exhaust and cleaning out the other end of the EGR "tunnel"? I've not done this myself, but you can also run a cable (such as an old odometer cable) down the EGR hole with a drill to clean it out
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Old 08-21-2017, 04:49 PM   #7
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Default Re: Saturn SL P0401

Hackettbr1, the test to determine whether or not the intake and exhaust ports under the egr valve are clear can be done at home. Since the loud exhaust frightened neighbors, you can try this same test out in the boonies, large open parking lot away from stores and shoppers, abandoned fields, open fields, etc.. All you're looking for is starting up and seeing if the engine revs up to redline immediately. This determines whether or not the intake passages under the egr valve, removed for testing, is clogged (not allowing the engine to rev to redline). This should take less than a minute after starting. If the intake passages are fine, move on. Next is questioning whether or not the replacement egr valve is the correct replacement.

There are members here that went thru frustrated repairs only to find their replacement parts were at fault. Some parts made by the aftermarket sometimes aren't compatible. The egr valve is one of them.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg DTC P0401 Insufficient flow detected-1.jpg (210.4 KB, 25 views)
File Type: jpg PCM's.jpg (159.7 KB, 20 views)
File Type: jpg P0401-1.jpg (149.5 KB, 20 views)
File Type: jpg P0401-2.jpg (197.6 KB, 19 views)
Attached Files
File Type: pdf SMU - FOR EGR DIAGNOSTIC TROUBLE CODES #97-T-20 - (Apr 22, 1997).pdf (119.8 KB, 9 views)
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Old 08-25-2017, 06:50 PM   #8
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Default Re: Saturn SL P0401

I have let it redline before with the EGR removed. it reached just about 4.3k rpm.



Completely out of ideas...
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Old 08-25-2017, 07:45 PM   #9
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Default Re: Saturn SL P0401

You have few options left. Either try used egr valves specifically for your model year or buy the OEM one. Others here may have more suggestions.
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Old 08-31-2017, 04:10 PM   #10
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Default Re: Saturn SL P0401

Just tried the egr made for my car, had to go to 6 different scrap yards, didn't work still throwing p0401
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Old 09-01-2017, 09:04 AM   #11
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Default Re: Saturn SL P0401

Did you check your MAP sensor as suggested in post #5?
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Old 09-01-2017, 02:39 PM   #12
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Default Re: Saturn SL P0401

yea, all voltages are appearing as normal and I haven't been throwing any codes from it either. Just in case though I did spray some air sensor cleaner on it and in the intake manifold.
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Old 09-03-2017, 03:16 PM   #13
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Default Re: Saturn SL P0401

could I get my car to pass emissions by clearing the code right before taking it in?
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Old 09-04-2017, 07:04 AM   #14
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Default Re: Saturn SL P0401

Nope. Any reset, whether or not a check engine light is on or off, erases all emissions parameters that were learned and memorized. In technical terms, all the emissions readiness monitors are erased and a reader or state emissions computer will display "Not Ready", informing the inspector a clue that someone reset the engine computer, grounds for immediate failure of state and federal emissions. The car will not pass state emissions tests because someone reset the cel/memory. Once a reset is performed, the car must be driven at least 50 miles in varied driving conditions as emissions self tests are run every time the engine is started and car driven. The drive cycle is described as the torturous steps to drive at certain speeds and times on local roads and highways as emissions are monitored to compare against fixed parameters, fulfilling each monitor and stored in memory until all monitors are fulfilled resulting in a "Ready" status, displayed on a reader. Instead of adhering to a drive cycle, it's simply easier to just drive the car regularly for the next few days and plug in a reader to display either ready or not ready status. Some readers will indicate monitors; coolant temperature, evap system, O2 sensor, etc.. As each monitor is tested and passes, the next monitor is checked, all while driving. Unless you have the specific drive cycle to perform right after resetting the cel, presuming the cel doesn't come back on for the same or new error, you have to perform the drive cycle and then plug in a reader to see if all readiness monitors are fulfilled and pass or see a "Ready" status. You need to use a reader before entering state inspection stations to check if your emissions system is ready or not. If not ready, the car won't pass as the inspector sees the same info. Nothing is hidden.

Best case scenario is you reset the cel, startup and drive around, plug in a reader that displays readiness monitors or Ready/Not Ready status, see Ready and go for inspection. Worse case is the reset doesn't work as the cel turns back on and you won't pass inspection. Some states will allow one or more monitors to fail and allow the vehicle to pass emissions inspection. You'll have to check your state DMV on vehicle emissions regulations.
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Old 09-04-2017, 11:53 AM   #15
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Default Re: Saturn SL P0401

yesterday I sprayed carburetor cleaner into the throttle body, short bursts every few seconds while someone held it at about 2k rpm. the light has shut off and HOPEFULLY that will be the end of p0401, at least until I get it through inspections
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Old 09-04-2017, 12:34 PM   #16
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Default Re: Saturn SL P0401

nevermind, lights back on and still just as annoying. still p0401
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Old 09-04-2017, 01:00 PM   #17
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Default Re: Saturn SL P0401

I couldn't figure out how to edit my previous post so I apologize, but anyone know how to take off the intake manifold? I realize now that it may be clogged and I can't get anything in there to check. the carb cleaner did nothing.
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Old 02-02-2018, 12:34 PM   #18
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Default Re: Saturn SL P0401

solved at long last, the replacement egr was faulty. went to a junk yard and got one. cleaned it up and installed it. no more p0401
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Old 08-17-2022, 10:37 AM   #19
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Default Re: Saturn SL P0401

Quote:
Originally Posted by fetchitfido View Post
Verify terminal "E" on the valve (the pink wire) has +12v (key in run), pin "D" (grey) has +5v (this one may require engine actually running) when referenced from "B" (black wire); don't worry about "C" and "A."
I have 2002 SL1 with the P0401 code that wont stay off. When I measure pin "E" I get 8.3 volts. Same value whether the car is running or not. How strange.. is pin "E" for certain supposed to be 12 volts?
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Old 08-17-2022, 12:53 PM   #20
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Default Re: Saturn SL P0401

I've also tried the "cable-rootor" cleanout technique. When I use a cable fed down the intake side of the EGR passage, when pull it out it's coated with black tar-like crud. I don't think the cable clean-out is going to do it. Has anyone removed the intake manifold and really cleaned the whole thing out in order to solve the P0401 problem?
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