A vacuum leak can affect your automobile in two specific ways. First, it will hinder your engine’s performance. Second, it will reduce the vehicle’s fuel economy. Your car, truck, or utility vehicle uses the vacuum created by the combustion process to power accessories and components. If there is a vacuum leak, excess air will be blown into the engine. Trinity Automotive lists the signs that are a result of this excess air caused by the vacuum leak below. It’s important to get the leak fixed right away.
1. The Check Engine Light Comes On
The check engine light might come on yet you won’t experience any of the additional signs listed in this blog if you have only a minor vacuum leak. The reason why the check engine light turns on is that the engine control unit or module, your vehicle’s primary computer chip, detects the excess air in the engine caused by the leak. It will turn on the check engine light to let you know something is wrong.
2. Your RPMs Are Way Too High
Look at your tachometer when you’re sitting at an idle. Is the needle registering RPMs that are too high? Is the needle dancing around? This is also a sign of a vacuum leak. As the air blasts through the leaking vacuum hose, your engine receives bursts of oxygen that cause the RPMs to shoot up and down. If the vacuum leak is bad enough, you may end up with consistently high RPMs due to constant air blasts.
3. Your Engine Keeps Cutting Out or Stalls
The problem with too much air in the engine is that it takes up precious fuel space in the air and fuel mixture. Consequently, your engine ends up with a lean fuel mixture and begins to act up as a result. When the engine isn’t getting enough fuel, whether diesel or gasoline, it will cut out, sputter, and even stall if the fuel starvation is bad enough. Engine performance issues can definitely point to a leak.
4. You Can Hear the Sound of Suction
Engine performance issues can also point to a combustion, exhaust, fuel, or ignition problem, so one thing that points directly to a vacuum leak is hearing a vacuum cleaner in your engine. You may actually hear the vacuum suction coming from the leaking hose. The sound of a vacuum leak can also be squealing or hissing. These sounds point to engine trouble, vacuum leak or not.
Call Trinity Automotive in White Bear Lake and Blaine, MN, to schedule an appointment so we can check your vacuum hoses. We’ll find the vacuum leaks and fix them.