Code 32 - EGR solenoid stuck constantly open


Feb 28, 2003
My car had started running rough and throws a code 32.
I checked the EGR and find that the valve is pulled open at idle. My understanding is that it's supposed to be closed at idle and the solenoid allows vacuum to pull it open when appropriate. Disconnecting the vacuum line to the valve, the plunger closes and the car runs smoothly.
So it sounds like the solenoid is inappropriately allowing vacuum to the valve when it's not supposed to. Any thoughts on why this is occurring?
I don't know for sure, but would guess that a "broken" EGR solenoid would be stuck closed and not allow vacuum to pass. Makes me think something else is telling the solenoid to stay open. Any idea what that could be or how else to further diagnose this problem?


Edit - Just a thought. Could this just be a weak EGR valve spring? There is vacuum definitely passing through the solenoid, but is seems pretty weak (gotta put a gauge on it to see how much vacuum). Maybe the spring is weak allowing this small vacuum to pull the EGR valve open when the spring is supposed to be strong enough to resist it? Just a thought
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Whose chip do you have? I have a block off plate, TT chip doesn't need the egr valve.
I'll have to check. Pretty sure it's a smog chip so EGR should be active.
Are you just driving around with a TurboTweak emissions chip? You're only supposed to use that when you go through the test. If you're not, then disregard. If you don't care about EGR, cap it with block off plate and get a new TT chip. TT performance chips disable EGR.
I need the ERG because I have to pass California smog in a couple of months.
The more I've looked at it, I think the ERG valve seems to be working fine, it's just that the EGR solenoid is leaking vacuum at idle which it's not supposed to I believe. Not sure if that's because the solenoid is malfunctioning or because the computer is telling it to. Might need to try to find someone and borrow their EGR solenoid to see if that fixes the problem.

The SMOG chip is still in there because the last time I drove it was last years when it passed smog. I knew my exhaust was about to fall off (rust) so I was lazy about replacing it. Got a Pypes system on the way from Jeg's though.
You run hot as hell on a smog chip because it runs lean. Be careful with that.

A new EGR is cheap, only like $40 at O'Reilly. If it's leaking, that means the diaphragm is torn. It should operate pretty easily, if it's leaking, it won't. You could also pull it off, play with the valve with your fingers, and see if it moves up and down freely. It could just be crunchy in there. I freed one up once with some Penetrating Blaster. Make sure that the vacuum lines aren't cracked or anything, too.
I'll put the Mityvac on the EGR today and see if it holds vacuum. It seems to operate smoothly.
Good to hear that the EGR is not too expensive. I had heard that you should only accept Delco or other OEM and that they were discontinued and therefore very expensive.
The vacuum lines look good. I've replaced them only a few years ago.
Anyone know if the EGR solenoid can be purchased at O'Reilly's or do you have to track down NOS or used parts?

Thanks for the advice on the smog chip. I just need to get it to pass then I'll be putting a better chip in for real driving.
Egr solenoid may have took a dump . may still be available at autozone etc. I got one a few years back.
Egr solenoid may have took a dump

I think you may be right. I put the Mityvac on the EGR valve itself and it holds vacuum so I don't think there's a significant leak. I then took the EGR solenoid off and pulled off the little breather on the backside so that I could block the vent with my finger. I then hooked the vacuum pump to one of the two ports and confirmed that the valve doesn't hold vacuum at all. My understanding is that the valve in the solenoid is supposed to be closed at baseline preventing engine vacuum from pulling open the EGR until the computer tells it to. Since the valve in my solenoid is open, it's pulling open the EGR valve at idle.
gbodyparts has those, but they're not cheap.

You sound try to find a known good one used. If you can't I'll sell you mine if I can pull it off. I've been meaning to do that anyway, but I've got one arm in a full cast right now. Where are you in California? In in the bay area, in Antioch, if you're close, you can pick it up.
Wish I would have seen the post a bit ago. I just ordered one from auto zone.
If you end up getting buyer's remorse, I can still sell you mine for cheap. Just let me know. I'll hobble my ass out to the garage and finally install this damn block-off plate.
Thanks kjizzle. We are not actually too far apart. I live Pleasanton. I didn't really have time to get over to Antioch so I got one from autozone for $61. Went in today and car runs great. EGR works like it's supposed to and error code is gone.

One thing I didn't mention before is that when it was running poorly due to the bad EGR solenoid, I was getting really low voltage readings on the Scanmaster (10's to low 11's). Now I"m getting high 13's to low 14 volts. I still can't imagine how the two are related. Maybe just another gremlin, but it works now so I'm happy.

No problems. If you ever need a hand with anything, let me know. I've still got one that works fine, haha! I also have tons of time, for the most part, until I go back to work.

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