So if you don't need an EGR for the car to run, why the hell does it have one? What is it actually doing apart from getting clogged up and stopping my car working properly? Where can I get these things you mentioned? Do you have a link?
A very good question and the answer as to why you need one is quite simple - the European Union. They dictate emissions [among other things] regulations for vehicles and essentially create merry hell for automotive manufacturers and make driving pleasure and mechanic simplicity a thing of the passed for all those who used to love driving.
You probably already know that EGR stands for exhaust gas recirculation, which is just what it does. it takes some of the exhaust gas produced by the engine and sends it back through the combustion chamber by re-introducing the gas to the inlet manifold. This is supposed to reduce the amount of harmful gases emitted by the car and making it more environmentally friendly and allow tree huggers to form circles around ancient lumps of rock and sing happy songs. Yawn.
What this means is that some of the fresh air is replaced by burnt air and exhaust gas, which is effectively useless in the combustion cycle as it contains little to no oxygen required for ignition, so the combustion process suffers.
An additional side effect is that this puts a lot of soot into the inlet manifold. Couple this which the oil vapour breather system that sees oil condensing in the cold side of the turbo means you get a coating of oil pass through the intake system, meaning you end up with a gunk of the mixed up oil and soot in the inlet manifold which sticks to everything clogging ports in the manifold and head and causing swirl flaps to stick and break as well as reducing airflow across the system. bad idea.....
Car manufacturers realise this and are working really hard to do all they can to reduce the issue but thanks to Europe we're stuck with it!
The dongle I used is from FixitSan. Essentially what is does is plug into the OBD port (and stays there) and looks for the fault codes associated with the blanking of the EGR and clears them, so you don't get warning lights. It is supposedly not completely fool proof but I've had mine in there a couple of weeks now and not had a problem yet. The car is much smoother and stronger with the EGR blanked and the ECU will learn enough to sort the mixture out.
I bought it after reading Giblets guide which can be found here:
cost is around £30 delivered plus you will need to fit a blanking plate. I suggest blanking the exhaust side so no soot can get into the valve at all and clogg it whilst it is blocked. These are available off ebay easily.