98 Escort EGR P0401 & other codes

I just bought a used 98 SE Escort, 108K miles. The CHECK ENGINE SOON light came on after I drove it 40 miles. A guy at an auto parts store was kind enough
to do a diagnostic OBD2 test, and it showed this code:
P0401 exhaust gas recirculation flow insufficient detected
Can anyone help me on this? I know where the EGR valve is, but could something else be causing insufficient flow? Can you clean the EGR valve if it's clogged?
There were other codes on the data sheet provided by the mechanic who checked the car for the dealer:
P0500 P0171 P1000
P0500 means "VSS Malfunction" P0171 means "Fuel System Too Lean" P1000 means ??????????
Any help would be greatly appreciated.
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jaymahn
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I just read this thread http://www.usenetcars.com/t-243457.html from Jason, with the 97 F150. Good info.
But...is there specific detail that can be given for my car, as it's not an F150? Does Jason's case apply to me also?
Thanks
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jaymahn
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x-no-archive: yes
The problem is *usually* the DPFE sensor but not always. You can roll the dice and replace the sensor or you can get a manual (gasp!! spend money??) and do some diagnostics to be sure of what you're doing. P1000 isn't really a "trouble" code.... it indicates that not all of the emissions monitors are not set.
WTF does this have to do with a pick up? Who the hell is Jason and why would I spend time tracking down something???? People offer their time and expertise for free.... Do NOT ask them to chase shit....

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Warman is correct. P0401 - very common that the DPFE sensor failed, and I've seen it quoted by others about a 99% chance.
For $30 I think it is worth it for the lay mechanic to take a gamble on it. It is called "throwing parts" at the problem, which is indeed what you would be doing. But in this case, I think the odds are in your favor. I think a lot of indy shops would do the same.
Or you could take it to Ford and pay them $100 for a diagnostic fee, $30 for the part, and another $80 for one hour of labor. Of course a real Ford factory pro would have the pinpoint tests charts and necessary tools to determine EXACTLY what failed, most likely without a doubt. But you get what you pay for.
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Since I'm a decent mechanic, and had already bought a manual, I decided to go and get a DPFE. When I walked out of the auto parts store to drive away, the service engine soon light was OUT! Geez...well, at least now I'm prepared with a new part, if that's the finicky one.
What can an intermittent signal mean with regard to EGR problems?
Jay
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jaymahn
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There is nothing 'mechanical' about replacing a DPFE sensor, except for the typical need for triple-jointed, very skinny fingers, to be able to to bolt it to whatever tight corner where it happens to be located without dropping each screw ten times in a row. Practicing a few cuss words before the undertaking helps as well.
Intermittents are a way of life when the deadly combination of hot gas (complete with water vapor and sulphur) and electronics is involved. If you happen to have a vacuum pump and a voltmeter, you can test your existing DPFE very easily. It has a 'low' and a 'high' port. Turn ignition on, disconnect the high side, pull some vacuum on the low side and watch the output voltage go from about 1V to something like 5V. Your manual will have the details (Warman has some tricks to do this using engine vacuum, even without the vacuum pump, I am sure...)
Whatever you do, I would recommend checking the plumbing while you are at it. Make sure that the hoses are intact, not plugged with soot and not crossed over (One nipple on the DPFE should be a slightly larger diameter than the other. Don't remember which is which, but it's easy to figure out remembering that the high side is the one closer to the exhaust)
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Thanks folks, for the good advice/comments.
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jaymahn
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I have a 95 Tbird which intermittently gave a "lean" condition code for several months before I found a vacuum leak. It apparently started as a pinhole leak. Once it finally became a big enough hole so I could hear the leak I was able to find it. As someone suggested check all vacuum hoses and replace any that have cracks.
Leroy
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tex95bird
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