Shift the Protégé in "Park" and wait for the vehicle's components to cool for half an hour.
Open the hood of the Protégé and locate the EGR valve directly behind the throttle body on the back of the intake manifold.
Loosen and remove the bolts that secure the EGR valve in place. There are four bolts which can be removed with a socket wrench. Once all the bolts are removed, the EGR can be lifted from the mount. This may take extreme force if there is excessive carbon buildup.
Spray the EGR generously with carburetor cleaner. For excessive buildup, allow the cleaner to penetrate the gunk for 10 minutes. Clean the EGR with a wire brush and a shop rag. Clean the EGR until the plunger mechanism within the valve moves up and down smoothly. Clean the EGR mount with a small amount of carburetor cleaner and a rag.
Reinstall the EGR onto the valve mount. Secure the EGR by replacing each bolt and tightening them with the socket wrench. Once the EGR is back in place and secured, close the hood of the Protégé.The EGR in your Mazda Protégé is part of the exhaust system which increases the efficiency of your vehicle. The exhaust gas recirculation valve directs the vehicle's exhaust into the engine intake manifold. The exhaust is cooled once it hits the intake manifold, preventing the engine from overheating. The valve has exhaust running through it every time the Protégé is driven; this causes carbon buildup within the valve. As the valve becomes dirty, it will require maintenance to keep the vehicle running smoothly.