What is a vacuum leak?

Damaged vacuum hoses are a common cause of vacuum leaks.

The movement of your engine’s pistons creates a vacuum inside your engine’s cylinders. This vacuum is filled by air which enters your engine through the intake system. Air then mixes with fuel, creating the necessary mixture for correct engine combustion. A vacuum leak occurs when this air is escaping. This usually happens due to a damaged engine component that needs replacement.

Vacuum leaks can interfere with your engine’s ability to correctly operate. Engines work by igniting a combination of air and fuel, which provides your car with the necessary power it needs to drive. Vacuum leaks affect the levels of air entering your engine, resulting in non-optimal burning conditions.


Causes of vacuum leaks:

  • Damaged hoses – The engine uses several vacuum hoses to transfer negative pressure to different places. A ripped or cracked hose can lead to air escaping and a vacuum leak occurring.
  • Damaged intake manifold – The purpose of the intake manifold is to evenly distribute air to each cylinder of the engine. A vacuum leak can occur due to a damaged intake manifold, which will need to be repaired or replaced.
  • Worn gaskets – Damage to engine gaskets can cause air to leak from the engine. If the throttle body gasket or intake manifold gasket is damaged, you will experience a vacuum leak.
  • Damaged EGR Valve – if your engines Exhaust Gas Re circulation Valve EGR is faulty (stuck in the wrong position or has a split diaphragm) then this can adversely affect engine vacuum.
  • Faulty PCV Valve – if your engines Positive Crankcase Ventilation Valve (PCV Valve) is faulty (stuck in the wrong position or has a split diaphragm, or hose) then this can adversely affect engine vacuum.
  • Leaking Brake Booster – if your brake booster develops a leak in its vacuum hose or diaphragm then this can also affect engine vacuum and braking performance


Symptoms of vacuum leaks:

  • Hissing noises – The most common symptom of a vacuum leak is a loud hissing noise coming from the engine area.
  • Check engine light – A vacuum leak will affect the air/fuel ratio of your engine. When this is detected by sensors, the check engine light may turn on.
  • Higher idle speed – Idle speed describes the RPMs of your car while it is idling. If the car has higher RPMs, vibrates or produces loud noise while idling, it may be a sign of a vacuum leak.
  • Reduced engine performance – A vacuum leak will affect your engine’s ability to burn fuel correctly. This usually translates to reduced power, increased fuel consumption and less engine power plus more exhaust emissions (green house gases).


Vacuum Leak Diagnostics & Repairs in Hamilton

Do you think your car has a vacuum leak or is your engine not running as well as it should? If so, we can help! Vacuum leaks can occur in several different places, making them difficult to diagnose and fix. At Grimmer Motors, our team of skilled mechanics can quickly track down the cause of your engine’s vacuum leak. From there, we can repair or replace the malfunctioning part and get your engine running correctly again.

For vacuum leak repairs and servicing in Hamilton, contact Grimmer Motors today!


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