An engine vacuum leak can directly affect how well your car, truck, or C/SUV performs. The engine uses a vacuum to power accessories. The vacuum is transported through hoses, and these hoses can begin to leak over time. University Auto Repair lists the four common signs of a vacuum leak below. If you are experiencing any of these problems, bring your vehicle to our shop for an engine inspection.
1. Check Engine Warning
When vacuum pressure begins to leak out of one or more of the vacuum hoses, you end up with too much air in the engine. This throws off the balance between the air and fuel, and aside from the engine problems we are going to list next, your engine control module (the main computer chip) will turn on the check engine warning light. This light covers problems that do not have individual warning lights on your dashboard, and an engine vacuum leak is one of those problems.
2. Engine Hesitation
When the engine is heavy with air, it becomes fuel-starved. This will cause your engine to hesitate when you press down on the accelerator to pick up speed. It will also cause the engine to hesitate once you’ve reached the speed at which you wish to drive. You may feel your engine hiccup or sputter, and this is a sign that your vehicle isn’t getting enough fuel. In severe vacuum leak cases, your engine might stall, especially if it’s unable to maintain power during an idle.
3. High/Sporadic Idle
If your engine doesn’t stall during an idle, it may do the opposite. As the vacuum leaks out of the hose(s), the engine’s idle increases. You can see this by looking at the tachometer needle. If your engine is idling much higher than it should be, it’s possible the vacuum leak is causing the problem by releasing too much air into the engine. In some cases, the air will come out of the leaking hose(s) in spurts, and this causes your engine to idle sporadically.
4. Strange Sounds
Finally, if you suspect your engine has a vacuum leak, park your car in a safe place and set the parking brake. Secure the wheels with bricks or large rocks if you are parked on an incline. Leave the engine running and pop the hood. Stand over the engine and listen carefully. Do you hear hissing or suction? If you do, this is the sound of a vacuum leak.
University Auto Repair in Flagstaff, AZ, would be happy to repair the vacuum leak in your engine. Give us a call today to set up an appointment.