Did you know that your car’s combustion engine produces vacuum pressure that it uses for other things? The vacuum pressure is routed through vacuum hoses in the engine to specific components to power them. Empire Auto Care advises that a vacuum leak can cause problems with your engine and the performance of the powered components. Let’s talk more about this below.
1. Component Malfunction
If you have a hydraulic power steering system in your car, truck, or C/SUV, the power steering pump may be powered by vacuum pressure. This is just one example of the engine components that use this power source. Consequently, if all of the vacuum pressure is leaking out of the vacuum hoses and into the engine, you may have problems with your power steering because the pump is malfunctioning.
2. High or Sporadic Idle
Another thing you will notice is consistently high or sporadic idling. As the engine fills with the vacuum pressure, the RPMs increase. Consequently, your tachometer needle will register high all the time if the vacuum leak is steady or bounce up and down if the vacuum pressure is leaking in spurts. If you suspect you have a vacuum leak, take a look at your tachometer while the engine is running.
3. Performance Problems
You will also experience engine performance problems with the vacuum leak. Unfortunately, as the vacuum pressure escapes from the leaking vacuum hose, it fills the engine with air and creates a lean fuel mixture in the combustion chamber. This will cause your vehicle’s acceleration and engine power to become sluggish. You simply won’t get the power out of the engine that you normally do.
4. Suction or Hissing Sounds
A vacuum leak is rarely silent. You will likely hear either suction or hissing sounds coming from the engine when the engine is running. The larger the vacuum leak the louder the sound. Naturally, replacing the leaking vacuum hose will not only prevent your engine from making these noises but also resolve the other issues listed above.
5. Check Engine Warning
Finally, a vacuum leak will cause the check engine light to turn on as the engine struggles to run. Because there isn’t a specific dashboard warning light for a vacuum leak, the engine control module turns on the check engine light. Repairing the vacuum leak will, once again, restore your engine’s performance and turn off the check engine light.
Empire Auto Care in Ft. Lauderdale, FL, is here to help, so call us today. We can repair your engine’s vacuum leak.