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A collection of helpful articles based on reader submissions
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Below is a collection of Jim Grant's Tech Tips sorted by Vehicle Make. These Tech Tips were answers to questions submitted to Jim by users over the course of many years.
If you have any questions, please feel free to email us.



Lincoln - Mercury
  Jim Grant's Tech Tips

‘93 Oldsmobile Bravada, Vascular Organ or Emission Problems
Q: I bought a ‘93 Oldsmobile Bravada last January and it sat in the garage until I sold another car in April. Then in two weeks after driving around, the engine light came on and the brake acted funny. The mechanic cleaned the valve and then a month later it came on again, so another garage checked it on a computer and said that the EKG valve had carbon on it. He told me to wait until it happens again, then he’d fix it. I wonder if it’s safe to drive it around? What do you think caused it?

A: The problem you are having with your Exhaust Gas Recirculation (EGR) valve is a common complaint with vehicles of your type. As for your EKG? It would clearly show signs of coronary stress (accelerated heart rate) when the brake pedal in your vehicle turns hard as a rock and doesn’t want to stop the vehicle because the EGR valve is sticking. The EGR valve introduces (feeds) exhaust gases back to the engine to reduce a smog forming exhaust emission. The problem is carbon deposits form (from the exhaust gases that collect in the passage to the EGR valve. The carbon deposits can break loose and get caught, holding the EGR valve open. The result is a poor idle with possible stalling and a brake pedal that doesn’t seem to stop the vehicle like it should. The power brakes on your vehicle use vacuum created by the engine for power assist. A rough running engine doesn’t make much vacuum, so there’s not much power assist. GM was making offerings to aid in correcting this problem, but due to the vehicle’s age the comfort offered is no longer there. Have your tech check to be sure that your computer has the latest software upgrade. Believe it or not the program was modified in a manner that allows for greater movement of the EGR valve which reduces the possibility of carbon deposits getting caught in the valve. Lastly, cleaning the EGR valve is the way to go. A replacement is over $200 and can still be affected by carbon deposits.

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