What should I do about the intermittent EGR light on my Volkswagen Golf DSG?

My wife's Volkswagen Golf DSG has had an intermittent EGR light popping on and off for a few weeks. I got it checked at the last service and Volkswagen said it was a bit sooty on the outside of the unit, I assume the cooler, but it was fine for another year or two. We have had a specialist run a diagnostic on it a few times and there is no fault indicated. Last week the gearbox light started popping on and off - again took it to the specialist and the diagnostic showed no faults, even if lights were on.
The specialist is charging £700 for an EGR replacement but I'm not sure it's actually the problem. Could it be the sensors or does it just need a clean on the EGR valve? Or worse, the wiring loom? It is only used around town, 45,000 miles maximum and is driven around Dorset. No loss on power, no limp mode events, she runs it in sport and and uses quality fuel. Not too worried about the EGR but the gearbox light is making us nervous.

Asked on 19 December 2016 by Richard Keane

Answered by Honest John
A clogged EGR is the most common problem with the Golf EA189 1.6TDI, none of which have yet been hauled back in for the NOx recall. It is likely that it or the DPF is interfering with the operation of the transmission. But Volkswagen dealers charge a fortune to replace EGRs. Often Volkswagen will meet the cost of the EGR valve at £300 but not removal and refitting, which can be £600+ at a Volkswagen dealer, so the price quoted by the specialist is fair.
Similar questions
The DSG gearbox in my Volkswagen Golf recently packed up. Is this a usual thing to happen in a 6 year old car?
I have a 2010 Volkswagen Golf Plus 1.6 turbodiesel which had its emissions 'fix' done at 43,000 miles. Is it better to get rid of it or should I just wait and see if the DPF lasts for a couple more years?
I'm driving a 2005 Volkswagen Touran 2.0 DSG automatic diesel. It has done 138,000 miles. Is there anything I should get done? It drives well, however, the engine emission warning has lit up on the display....
Related models
Comfortable and quiet on the move, enjoyable to drive. Nicely trimmed with great attention to detail. 1.4 TSI sweeter to drive than a diesel.