Four Vacuum Leak Symptoms

When you turn on your automobile, many things happen underneath the hood. Air and fuel are mixed and pushed into the combustion chamber where the spark plugs set on fire. The exhaust gases from the fire are drawn out by the exhaust system, and the vacuum created by the combustion is rerouted throughout the engine to power components. This cycle continues until you shut off your engine. If your vehicle has a vacuum leak, Hummel’s Automotive Diagnostic & Repair says you’ll notice one or more of the following four signs.

  1. Check Engine Warning Light

Your car, truck, or utility vehicle has an engine control unit that talks with various system sensors to ensure everything is a-okay underneath the hood. Some of the system sensors will detect a loss in vacuum pressure and report this back to the engine control unit. To alert you of the vacuum pressure loss, the engine control unit will turn on your check engine warning light until such time as the vacuum leak is fixed.

  1. Engine Performance Trouble

Aside from the check engine warning, you will also notice problems with your engine’s performance. The most common problems include power loss when you are accelerating and sporadic engine performance that includes stalls. The vacuum pressure leaking into your engine increases the amount of air, which, in turn, affects the air and fuel balance. Excess air will make your engine sputter and stall.

  1. Rough Idle That’s Sporadic

Your engine will also idle faster or cut in and out because the vacuum leak is introducing excess air into the engine. Usually, the throttle body opens and closes as you press down on your accelerator to allow more air into the engine when you want to increase your speed. A vacuum leak works as if you constantly have the throttle body open. It leaks excess air into the engine and this air causes rough idling and the engine performance issues listed above.

  1. Squealing or Sucking Engine Sounds

Finally, a vacuum leak can sound a lot like your household vacuum. When you have the vacuum on and you pull the accessory hose out of the unit to use it, you hear a sucking sound coming from the hose. A leaking vacuum hose in your engine will make a sound much like this. If the leak is small, rather than hearing sucking, you may hear hissing or squealing. This sound coming from your engine is not normal and it should be checked out right away.

Call Hummel’s Automotive Diagnostic & Repair in St. George, UT, to schedule an appointment if you suspect your automobile has a vacuum leak. We’ll inspect the engine and find the trouble.

Photo by Daren_N from Getty Images Pro via Canva Pro

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