Your car’s engine produces vacuum. The combustion chamber is where the vacuum occurs and it is routed using vacuum hoses throughout the engine to power accessories such as your power steering pump. A vacuum leak will affect how well the accessories are powered, and it will also cause the following problems. Techway Automotive advises that these symptoms accompany the vacuum leak and are resolved once the leak is repaired.
Illuminated Check Engine Light
A vacuum leak will cause the check engine light to illuminate on your dashboard. This is because the engine is filling with excess air due to the leaking vacuum hose. This throws things off in the combustion chamber, and your automobile’s main computer, the engine control unit, receives error codes from various system sensors. The ECU, as it’s also called, turns on the check engine light because of these codes.
Acceleration/Engine Performance Loss
This excess air can also cause engine performance problems. It dilutes the fuel in the combustion chamber, and, consequently, your vehicle will lag when you press down on the accelerator. Your engine will also sputter and might even stall. You will notice that your vehicle’s idling has gotten rougher than usual. All of these things can be caused by a leaking vacuum hose.
Sporadic Tachometer Needle
While you are sitting at an idle, take a look at your vehicle’s tachometer. Is the needle bouncing up and down? This is definitely a sign of an engine vacuum leak. As the air gushes out of the vacuum hose, the engine gets an influx of power. As a result, your needle will bounce up and then go back down until the next spurt of vacuum pressure. This symptom is an odd one that leaves drivers staring at their tachometers in awe while the needle dances about.
Hissing or Suction Sounds
Finally, you might be able to hear the engine’s vacuum leak if you listen hard enough. A small vacuum leak will make hissing sounds; a large vacuum leak will make suction sounds. Either way, you shouldn’t hear these noises coming from your engine, and if you do, it’s time for an inspection. Once we find the leaking vacuum hose, we’ll replace it and this will stop the strange sounds.
Techway Automotive has three shops for your automotive service and repair needs. Alabama residents can swing by our Dothan or Opp shop; Georgia residents should check out our Blakely shop. We’d be happy to check your engine to see if it has a vacuum leak. We’ll fix it if it does.