TEST 2: EGR Pintle Position Sensor Performance Test

The EGR valve's pintle position sensor creates a voltage signal that increases when the pintle opens and decreases as it returns to its closed position.

We'll verify that the pintle position signal increases/decreases by physically opening/closing the EGR pintle by hand (and with a multimeter still connected to the pintle position signal wire).

If the pintle position sensor (within the EGR valve is bad), it'll usually stay stuck producing a single voltage value as you push in/release the pintle.

CAUTION: The EGR valve has to be removed from the engine to perform this test. If the engine has been running for any length of time, let it cool down. The EGR valve can get very hot! Take all safety precautions to avoid burning your fingers or hands.

Let's get going:

  1. 1

    Remove the EGR valve from its place on the engine.

    IMPORTANT: Reconnect the EGR valve to its electrical connector if you had to disconnect it before continuing to the next step.

  2. 2

    Place your multimeter in DC Volts mode.

  3. 3

    Connect the red multimeter test lead to the wire that connects to the female terminal labeled with the letter C.

  4. 4

    Connect the black lead of the multimeter to the battery negative (-) terminal.

  5. 5

    Turn the key to the RUN position but don't crank or start the engine.

  6. 6

    Your multimeter should register 0.6 to 0.9 Volts DC at this point.

  7. 7

    With a small screw-driver push the EGR pintle up and into the EGR valve.

  8. 8

    The multimeter should display an increasing voltage reading as you push the EGR pintle up into the EGR valve.

    The maximum attainable voltage, with the EGR valve's pintle fully pressed into the EGR valve, will be about 4.5 Volts DC.

  9. 9

    Release the EGR valve's pintle back to its fully seated position.

  10. 10

    The voltage reading should return to the value you recorded in step 6.

  11. 11

    Repeat steps 7 thru 9 several times to make sure of your test result.

Let's take a look at what your test results mean:

CASE 1: The voltage increased/decreased as you pushed/released the EGR pintle. This is the correct test result and tells you the EGR valve's pintle position sensor is working correctly.

You can also conclude that the EGR valve pintle position sensor is getting 5 Volts and Ground from the PCM.

The next step is to ensure that the EGR valve solenoid is getting power. Go to: TEST 5: Making Sure The EGR Solenoid Is Getting 12 Volts.

CASE 2: The voltage DID NOT increase/decrease as you pushed/released the EGR pintle. It's not looking good for the EGR valve, but we still need to make sure the EGR valve pintle position sensor is getting 5 Volts and Ground.

For the first of the next two tests, go to: TEST 3: Making Sure The EGR Valve Pintle Position Sensor Is Receiving 5 Volts.

TEST 3: Making Sure The EGR Valve Pintle Position Sensor Is Receiving 5 Volts

Making Sure The EGR Valve Pintle Position Sensor Is Receiving 5 Volts. How To Test The EGR Valve (1996 2.2L Buick Century And Oldsmobile Cutlass Ciera)

The EGR valve's pintle position sensor receives 5 Volts from the fuel injection computer.

The wire that delivers these 5 Volts to the EGR valve is the grey (GRY) wire that connects to the female terminal labeled with the letter D in the illustration above.

In this test section, you'll check that female terminal D has 5 Volts present with the key in the ON position.

These are the test steps:

  1. 1

    Place your multimeter in Volts DC mode.

  2. 2

    Disconnect the EGR valve from its pigtail connector.

  3. 3

    Connect the black multimeter test lead to the battery negative (-) terminal.

  4. 4

    Gently probe female terminal labeled with the letter D with red multimeter test lead.

  5. 5

    Turn the key to the RUN position but don't crank or start the engine.

  6. 6

    The multimeter should read 4.5 to 5 Volts.

Let's interpret your test results:

CASE 1: The multimeter registered 5 Volts. This is the correct and expected test result.

Now that you've confirmed that the EGR valve is receiving 5 Volts, your next step is to see if its getting Ground. For this test, go to: TEST 4: Making Sure The EGR Valve Pintle Position Sensor Is Receiving Ground.

CASE 2: The multimeter DID NOT register 5 Volts. Without these 5 Volts, the EGR valve's pintle position sensor will not function.

Although it's beyond the scope of this tutorial, your next step is to find out why these 5 Volts are missing and restore them.

Buick Vehicles:

  • Century 2.2L
    • 1996

Oldsmobile Vehicles:

  • Cutlass Ciera 2.2L
    • 1996