Purge valves are a part of the EVAP or Evaporative Emission Control System. When an engine generates fuel vapors, this specific mechanism controls it from escaping out into the surroundings. Instead, it helps in storing and controlling the volume of the steam in the vapor canister.
Due to modern technologies, these systems are connected to an engine’s power as an electronic-operated solenoid. When the ignition switches on, energy gradually builds up in the fuel purge valve. Consequently, when the engine remains off, the system stops working.
However, when significant malfunctions in this entire system occur, it can be hazardous and harmful to your car. Therefore, it’s convenient to know all about lousy purge valve symptoms and how to recover them. Let’s discuss more its symptoms and solutions.
Table of Contents
Bad Purge Valve Symptoms:
Here are a few ways to comprehend EVAP purge solenoid symptoms. Check if your car suffers from these warning signs.
1. The Gaskets
The vapor canister purge valve pressure gradually builds up when the steam doesn’t pass through properly. The force could become too intense as time goes on, resulting in blown-out gaskets and rubber seals.
Next will come to the oil leaks, which can drip into the main engine rooms causing severe risks and damage. One of the possible reasons for a disabled purge valve is when foreign substances get blocked in the system, halting all of its functionality. If this is the case, cleaning or replacing the valve should work.
2. Emission Tests
Instead of the emissions directing to the fuel vapor canister, it could sometimes lead back to the engine. This happens due to the canister EVAP and its faulty functions. Moreover, when you notice that the system fails the emission tests, you should understand that it can no longer control the steam and fumes.
3. Gas Mileage
Whenever you have difficulties reaching optimum gas mileage, you can trace it back to a faulty EVAP system. Generally, when there’s an issue in the EVAP mechanism, the fuel can’t get adequately stored in the purge valve. This means that the fuel purge valve starts to leak into the environment, giving rise to fuel combustions.
Another EVAP system leak originates due to issues in the engine. When the purge valve doesn’t close, it can give ways for the vapors to leak and affect the nearby environment and air. In return, the engine will start acting up because of this, which will lead to issues such as rough idling and power shutdowns.
5. Engine Lights
Since the engine controls the purge valves, the engine lights turn on when something faulty is detected. When purge vapors are detected, the display will alert the users with an error code. Error codes such as P0441 or P0446 are a few symptoms that you need to take seriously. In case of these codes, visit a repair shop immediately.
Related: Bad Charcoal Canister Symptoms
How To Test Purge Valve With Multimeter?
The good news is that you can test purge valves with multimeters no matter which car model you possess. Another best catch about using multimeters is that the steps are alike for all car make and model.
So, without further ado, let’s hop on to know how to test purge valve with multimeters and understand a bit more about EVAP issues.
First and foremost, you need to locate the purge valve in your car. However, before you begin, ensure that your car’s engine has been turned off at least fifteen minutes prior. The purge valve should be placed at the top and rear end of the silence. It’s known as the EVAP charcoal canister.
After finding the purge valve solenoid symptoms and its location, you’re required to inspect a two-pinned harness that’s supposed to connect the device. Once you locate the pin, you need to detach the system and attach it to the multimeter.
Connect the adapter cables on the multimeter to the device. You should be able to locate the adapter cables in the testing kit that comes with the multimeters. Now that the multimeter’s cables are connected to the terminals of the purge valves, you can move on to the next steps.
Now, all you’re left to do is test EVAP canisters and measure the device’s resistance. The unfortunate range of lower than 22.0 ohms or higher than 30.0 ohms should tell you that your car’s valves need a replacement.
Don’t slack on this step because of the EVAP valve cost. These parts are priced from $111 to $121. Even though it might break the bank, it is necessary to replace your valves when the resistance isn’t within the recommended range.
How To Clean Purge Valves?
Solenoid valves are cleaned in multiple ways. Mainly cleaning purge valves are heavily based on your skill and expertise levels. Users must often clean purge valves, especially when gunk or debris is stuck and accumulated within the system.
To let purge valves continue their functions seamlessly, cleaning these internal components are required. Let’s see how it’s done.
Start by spraying a generous amount of carb cleaner on your vehicle’s valve tubes.
Once you have sprayed all over, cover the end sides of the tubes using your fingers and shake the device well. Don’t let go of your hands yet. You must keep the tube covered and wait for a few minutes for the cleaner to work. While the ends are covered, the cleaner will work on its own to eradicate the dirt and grime.
If you’re satisfied with the amount of waiting, uncover the tube’s ends and let sprayed liquid drain away from the tubes of the valves. Since the liquid will wash out all the grime and dirt along with it, don’t get alarmed if the liquid is dark in color.
At this point, after the first washout is complete, you can repeat the first steps as many times as your heart’s content. After repeating the steps a few times, you can stop once you notice that the washed-out water is looking clean. If the water runs clean, it means that the valves are entirely purified.
Lastly, you need to spray the switch of the vehicle and the connector of the purge valves with a contact cleaner. Once that’s done, let the solutions dry entirely before starting your car.
- How to detect lousy VSV symptoms?
A few of the indications for poor VSV are reduced performance by the engine, which includes wobbly and rough starts. Moreover, other symptoms are when the engine lights remain on, or the vehicle fails an emission test.
- Is it possible to clean the purge valves?
It’s possible to clean the purge canister valves in two ways. Either you can deep clean the section by opening it with the help of small knives or screwdrivers. On the other hand, you can also clean it without opening the valve. Deep cleaning isn’t always recommended as it can deteriorate the valve’s conditions and permanently damage them.
- How long does a purge valve in a car last?
In particular cars, purge valves last for their entire lifetime. On the contrary, environmental factors and generic wear and tear on the purge valves could minimize this lifetime service and lead to irreparable damages. In those cases, a replacement of the purge valves is a must.
- Can bad purge cause misfires?
Bad purge solenoid valves can cause ser predicaments which in return can be the sole cause of misfires. When the vehicle suffers from a faulty purge valve, it will face difficulty opening or closing correctly and on time.
Unfortunately, this also results in excessive fuel vapor production, settling in the charcoal canister. When this error-prone process continues for a long time, the car’s engine gets filled with fuel vapors constantly. This ultimately causes even more burnout. Therefore, the burning of the vapors can lead to a fire or the engine choking.
- What will happen if the purge valve gets stuck while closed?
If the purge valve gets stuck in an enclosed state, it will prohibit the EVAP mechanism from combusting the necessitated fumes within the engine. Instead, these toxic vapors get released into the environment, which results in lower purge flow codes.
This eventually leads to the purge canister’s efficiency dropping and ceasing. You must also know that when a purge canister malfunctions, it can cause irreversible and permanent damage to your vehicle’s engine.
To sum it up, identifying and treating any bad purge valve symptoms is equally essential for the environment and your vehicle. Therefore, throughout this entire ordeal, you must always remain alert, careful, and efficient. Ignoring and not paying attention to EVAP purge solenoid symptoms will eventually lead to more significant and irreversible problems.
Moreover, your car’s vital parts must regularly be cleaned and checked to avoid such mishaps. In times of confusion, always revert to online websites, professional and expert help. It’s always better to identify and eradicate preliminary car issues before they flare-up.
James is a certified auto technician specializing in commercial vehicles. With 30 years of experience under his belt, James has encountered almost every type of automotive issue there is! Besides his day job at the repair shop, he is also an amateur race car driver.