P0489 – Exhaust gas recirculation (EGA) system -circuit low

Reinier

By Reinier (Contact Me)
Last Updated 2018-02-21
Automobile Repair Shop Owner

Trouble CodeFault LocationProbable Cause
P0489 Exhaust gas recirculation (EGA) system -circuit low Wiring short to earth, EGA valve

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What Does Code P0489 Mean?

OBD II fault code P0489 is a generic code that is defined as “Exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) system -circuit low”, or, sometimes as “Exhaust Gas Recirculation “A” Control Circuit Low”, depending on the source consulted. Regardless of the wording of the definition though, this code sets when the PCM (Powertrain Control Module) detects a low input voltage in the control circuit of the Exhaust Recirculation Valve.

NOTE: This code refers specifically to the control circuit that controls the opening and closing of the EGR valve, and NOT to the control/signal circuit of the EGR valve position sensor. In practice, this means that on most applications, the PCM will set this code when it does not detect a low-voltage variation in the EGR valves’ control circuit, which indicates that the status of the EGR valve does not change when the PCM commands it to open or close. In practical terms, the PCM interprets this condition as the EGR valve being stuck in one position.

The purpose of the EGR system is to introduce a precisely controlled volume of exhaust gas into the cylinders to quench the detonation temperature of the air/fuel mixture to below the temperature at which harmful oxides of nitrogen (NOx) forms.

Control of the flow rate of introduced exhaust gas is accomplished by means of a valve that is controlled by the PCM. When conditions such as engine temperature, throttle position, engine speed, and others are met, the PCM commands the EGR valve to open by a set amount, which introduces exhaust gas into the cylinders. However, since the introduction of exhaust gas affects combustion negatively, the PCM uses input data from the EGR valves’ position sensor to monitor the rate of exhaust gas flow.

When the PCM determines (on the basis of input data from various engine sensors), that the flow rate of exhaust gas is affecting power output beyond a set limit, it will close the EGR valve, using input data from the position sensor in the EGR valve to verify that the valve is closing, or is closed. Similarly, when the PCM detects that the formation of NOx is exceeding a predefined limit, it will open the EGR valve to introduce exhaust gas into the engine to quench combustion temperatures in order to limit the formation of NOx. Note that typically, the PCM will not open the EGR valve during idling, low engine speeds or under hard acceleration on gasoline engines in order to maintain peak engine performance at all times.

In practical terms, code P0489 refers to a condition where the EGR valve does not respond to a command from the PCM to either open or close, which is typically caused by an input voltage that is lower than an allowable minimum limit. Thus, when an unexpected low-voltage condition occurs in the EGR valve’s control circuit, the PCM will set code P0489, and may also illuminate a warning light. Note though that on some applications, several failure cycles need to occur before a warning light will be illuminated.

Where is the P0489 sensor located?

The image above shows a typical EGR valve in which carbon build-up can prevent the valve pintle from moving, which can cause P0489 to set. Note that applications with VVT/VCT (Variable Valve Timing/Variable Camshaft Timing) system do not have EGR systems, since variable valve/cam timing produces the same quenching effect on combustion temperatures.

What are the common causes of code P0489 ?

Some common causes of code P0489 could include the following-

  • Damaged, burnt, shorted, disconnected, or corroded wiring and/or connectors in the EGR valve’s control system
  • Defective EGR valve control solenoid
  • Excessive carbon build-up that prevents or inhibits free movement of the EGR valve pintle
  • Failed or failing PCM. Note that this is a rare event, and the fault must be sought elsewhere before any control module is replaced

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