A combustion engine produces vacuum that is rerouted to accessories and components to power them. A vacuum leak occurs via one of the vacuum hoses. When a vacuum leak occurs, it not only introduces excess air into the engine but also reduces the power to accessories and components. In other words, it can cause all kinds of trouble, and Oxford Auto & Tire is going to list that trouble below.
As we just mentioned, engine vacuum powers certain vehicle accessories, such as the power steering pump. When you have a vacuum leak, this can either slow down these accessories or cause them not to work at all. For example, if your power steering isn’t working properly, the engine vacuum leak could be affecting the power steering pump.
Check Engine Warning
When the engine has a vacuum leak, it will begin to have performance problems, which we will discuss in greater detail below. These performance problems will cause the engine control module, your vehicle’s main computer chip, to turn on the check engine light to alert you of problems in the engine. The light won’t turn off until you get the vacuum leak fixed.
Engine Performance Problems
One of the first things you will notice when it comes to a vacuum leak is engine performance trouble. You will have problems getting your vehicle to pick up speed when you press down on the accelerator, and you will also have problems getting it to maintain the speed. Your engine will hiccup and sputter as if it’s going to stall, especially when it is idling. These engine performance issues can become annoying if not dangerous if you are trying to make your way through a busy intersection while dealing with acceleration hesitation.
One sure sign of a vacuum leak is sporadic RPMs. Take a look at your tachometer to see if the needle is bouncing up and down. If it is, the vacuum pressure is escaping the leaking hose in spurts and causing the RPMs to go high and then low and then high again.
Finally, you can usually hear a vacuum leak. It sounds like the hose on your household vacuum. If you hear section sounds coming from your engine, this is definitely a vacuum leak. A small leak will make squealing noises or hissing sounds.
Oxford Auto & Tire is your one-stop auto shop in Oxford, PA. Call us today if you suspect your vehicle has a vacuum leak.