Your car’s vacuum hoses are also called lines or tubes. No matter how you refer to them, these parts are crucial to your engine’s performance. The hoses help create the perfect environment for engine combustion and route vacuum from the manifold to other accessories and components to power them. In your European automobile, this could be to power anything from a brake booster to your windshield wipers. How can you tell if you have a vacuum leak? Star Motors European lists four signs below.
1. Power Loss
Vacuum hoses also maintain your engine’s pressure so you have just the right amount in the combustion chamber for the interaction between the air/fuel mixture, the spark plugs, and the cylinders, pistons, and valves. Any pressure loss due to a vacuum hose leak can affect your engine’s performance. The more vacuum pressure you lose the more power you’ll lose, especially when you accelerate.
2. Rough Engine
Sporadic pressure loss can give you a rough idle and ride. If everything is operating as it should be, you’ll barely notice your engine. Your ride will be comfortable and your engine as silent as it can be. If you have a vacuum hose leak, the engine will struggle, stutter, and even jolt as the vacuum pressure escapes, giving you a rough and, in some cases, a noisier ride. Your engine might even stall.
3. Engine Backfires
Vacuum hoses can leak engine combustion pressure into the exhaust system and the result is backfiring because the excess pressure has no other way to escape. Another thing that can cause your engine to backfire is an air/fuel mixture that is too rich, i.e. it has too much fuel in it. Worn spark plugs can also cause backfiring if they are throwing the engine’s timing off. We can find out why your car backfires.
4. Check Engine Alert
Finally, if the combustion chamber is losing pressure and/or other accessories and components are not getting the power they need, your vehicle’s engine control module will turn on the check engine light to warn you of trouble. Depending on the component that is experiencing power loss because of the leaking vacuum hose, you might get a dashboard warning for that system, as well, if it has a light.