Engine Trouble? It Could Be a Vacuum Leak
The engine in your car is essentially a big, powerful vacuum pump. The up-and-down motion of its pistons creates a vacuum, drawing air into the engine to mix with fuel and produce energy.
The air the engine uses is carefully metered and measured by computerized sensors, and that data is used by the engine’s computer to figure out exactly how much fuel is needed for maximum power and efficiency.
When unwanted, unmetered air gets into the engine, it’s called a vacuum leak. These leaks can create a lot of problems for your vehicle. Let’s take a look at some symptoms of a vacuum leak, or you can jump ahead to some possible causes and solutions.
Signs you have a vacuum leak
The check engine light is on: Your engine’s computer can detect vacuum leaks by comparing data from various sensors. If the data from one sensor doesn’t match up with what the other sensors are reporting, the computer knows something’s wrong. It’ll log a trouble code that is retrievable with a scanning tool, and it’ll turn on the check engine light on your dashboard.