The Exhaust Gas Recirculation (EGR) system is one of the engine'* primary emission controls. Its purpose is to reduce oxides of nitrogen (NOX) pollution in the exhaust. It does this by "leaking" (recirculating) small amounts of exhaust into the intake manifold through the EGR valve. Though the gases are hot, they actually have a cooling effect on combustion temperatures by diluting the air/fuel mixture slightly. Lowering the combustion temperature reduces the formation of NOX as well as the octane requirements of the engine.
If the EGR valve is not opening, either because the valve itself is defective or because its vacuum supply is blocked (loose, plugged or misrouted vacuum hose connections, or a defective vacuum control valve or solenoid), the cooling effect is lost. The result will be higher combustion temperatures under load and an increased chance of detonation
Better hop on that replacement