We may have to caution you that your vehicle may have more serious problems if you have to waste time starting it during your morning rush.
A malfunctioning purge valve can result in a variety of problems, including poor fuel economy and the check engine light turning on when it is not needed. It’s time to consider choices for a purge valve replacement if the check engine light is indicating a potential purge valve failure.
If you’re unaware, the evaporative emission control, or EVAP, system in your car has a nearly undetectable, relatively minor component. Even though the engine component is little, your car’s purge valve is essential. If it is damaged, you can experience more problems than you anticipated.
We’re not arguing that a purge valve replacement is a difficult process. However, pinpointing the particular valve issues and diagnosing their symptoms can be difficult. This article explores in depth the numerous theories as to why the purge valve could get damaged.
We have now gone into greater detail about the symptoms and signals that could point to a purge valve failure.
The Purge Valve: What Is It?
If you haven’t considered the possibility of hundreds of chemically-charged gasoline vaporizing as they enter your car, now is the time.
The list of negative impacts that these heavy and toxic gasoline vapors might have on people, animals, and the environment as a whole is extensive, to say the least. If they were to escape from our cars and enter the environment.
In this situation, your car’s EVAP (Evaporative Emission Control System) is useful. The EVAP ensures that no emissions from internal combustion engines that emit fuel vapor are dispersed into the atmosphere. A purge valve is a component of the emission control system.
Since most modern cars have functional EVAP systems, they are marginally less harmful to the environment than cars without emission control.
The fuel vapor storage canister by Tara2 / CC BY 3.0. The EVAP (Evaporative Emission Control System) in your car is beneficial. The EVAP makes sure that there are no fuel vapor emissions from internal combustion engines that are released into the atmosphere. One element of the emission control system is a purge valve.
Because it just forms a seal with harmful gases, an emissions control mechanism’s operation is straightforward. The valve regulates how much air is released into and out of the car while the canister filters out these very emissions.
What Is the Purpose of a Purge Valve?
Despite its little size, the purge valve’s function is to direct the engine’s combustion-related pollutants back into the housing when they occur. Making sure the EVAP system functions without interruption is one of the valve’s functions and contributions.
Not only that, but it’s also important to consider how much fuel is being carried from the exhaust to the engine of your car. Large quantities of burned-out gases can also harm your car, which is why the purge valve also regulates the type of fuel and the amount of fuel exhaust that is permitted to enter the engine intake manifold.
As with all valves, issues arise when the driver can no longer accurately control the valve movement. Most frequently, the purge valve may become jammed and never open. Similarly to this, the purge valve may also open and become stuck, making it impossible to control the flow of vapors.
Even though this could seem like a little nuisance, you would quickly notice big differences in your driving experience. Solenoids, which are now generally referred to as electrical purge valves, are a feature of newer car models.
Only when the automobile is started and driven consistently for a while does the automatic valve system in these vehicles get into operation. The valve is sealed appropriately when the car comes to a halt.
How Does the Purge Valve Work?
Once you are familiar with the purge valve, understanding how the seal operates might be advantageous.
The valve opens smoothly, allowing the pollutants to pass through the valve seal and onto the engine’s intake manifold. The valve is situated in such a place in the vacuum line and between the manifold and the containment canister that it can be operated either by vacuum or by electrical means.
Because the timing of the valve opening is crucial, the valve can become stuck or rigid and prevent vapors from flowing from the canister toward the engine manifold. Modern vehicles have solenoid purge valves, which channel the stored gasoline vapor to the engine when you start the engine.
The gases are burnt once they enter the combustion chambers. So how are the quantity and quality of gases entering the engine controlled? Timing the valve’s opening is the responsibility of the sensors.
The volume of vapor that enters the engine is determined by that. The valve will automatically close because of the sensors after all of the housed vapor has entered the manifold.
What Is the Role of the PCM In the General Operation of the Purge Valve?
The solenoid’s sensor would calculate the valve’s timing incorrectly and postpone the solenoid’s instructions. The powertrain control module, or PCM, is a feature of modern vehicles that use electronic purge valves.
A check engine light or malfunction indicator lamp (MIL) by Wikiuser100000 / CC BY-SA 3.0. Numerous issues, including poor fuel efficiency and the check engine light turning on when it is not necessary, might be brought on by a broken purge valve. If the check engine light suggests a potential purge valve failure, it’s time to think about options for a replacement.
Similar to a processor, the car’s PCM interprets the messages and signals sent by the valve and tells another car part when to execute an action. The PCM regulates not simply the purge valve but also the flow of air, coolant, automatic transmissions, and exhaust.
A car’s PCMs, which are sophisticated components, enable the efficient working of the purge valve and the entire emission control unit.
Even though they are capable of being extremely efficient, the smallest defect in airflow or vapor flow can cause the digital system to malfunction. This is because an improper input—in this case, the signals from the valve sensors—will prevent the PCM system from functioning.
What are the Main Reasons for Purge Valve Failure?
There are several potential causes for purge valve damage. Here are a few reasons your purge valve can require replacement:
1. Faulty Sensors
The way the sensor interacts with the vehicle’s PCM determines how the purge valve functions.
The valve is trapped in a position or opens and closes at the wrong times as a result of any probable digital breakdown.
2. Supply Lines Clogged with Debris
The sensors will still alert the PCM if sufficient vapor flow is not delivered through the supply lines. The PCM will eventually instruct the valve to open or close if there is still vapor in the clogged supply lines.
The buildup of dirt and grime may cause clogged supply lines, which is more prevalent when internal vehicle maintenance is neglected.
3. The State of the Surrounding Environment
A defective purge valve can also be brought on by physical dents, scratches, and cracks.
Internal engine components like the valve typically become broken as a result of harsh weather. Such physical harm necessitates the replacement of the purge valve right away.
4. Leaks In the EVAP System
Together with the other components of the EVAP system, the purge valve functions in unison. Simply said, the purge valve’s operation results from emissions flowing into the engine’s intake manifold.
The check engine light will likely illuminate if there is an EVAP system leak, signaling a problem with the canister purge.
Which are the Common Symptoms of a Bad Purge Valve?
The symptoms and warning signals you can experience if your vapor purge valve is malfunctioning could be greater and more severe than those of a defective charcoal canister.
You need to be prepared to incur the cost of the purge valve replacement when you observe these symptoms. Check out the primary symptoms of this problem if you need to know what they are to identify a faulty purge valve.
A typical automotive internal combustion engine by CEFICEFI / CC BY-SA 4.0. If the car’s engine idles harshly, it can no longer run regularly and smoothly to give you a comfortable ride. The severe idle will cause the car to run unevenly while you are driving, especially if you are stopped for a while at a stop sign or are stuck in traffic on the highway.
1. The Check Engine Light Illuminates
Numerous faults, such as a malfunctioning oxygen sensor or mass air flow sensor, can cause your check engine light to appear on your dashboard. Your check engine light can illuminate if your purge valve is damaged.
The primary sensors in your car are responsible for detecting when the purge valve is operating properly and when it is not. The overall cost of purge valve replacement is higher if there aren’t any signals coming from the purge valve, as this indicates that it might be broken.
The check engine light will then turn on and notify the driver once the sensors inform the engine control unit of the information in the purge valve and how its functioning is progressing.
2. Erratic Idle
Your car’s engine can no longer function regularly and smoothly to provide you with a comfortable ride if it has a rough idle. The car will run unevenly while you are driving as a result of the harsh idle, especially if you are stopped for a time at a stop sign or are caught in traffic on the highway.
Long-term rough idle will cause your car to idle more frequently and eventually cause your engine to stall out while running, which might raise the expense of the purge valve replacement. Other systems in the automobile could suffer significant further harm if you allow this situation to get out of hand.
3. Vehicle Starting Issues
Your car will typically be difficult to start if you have a vacuum leak brought on by a defective purge valve. As a result, the engine will receive outside air, which will negatively impact the entire internal combustion process.
Engine issues, such as stalling, and a greater purge valve replacement cost might result from air mixing with fuel in the cylinder chamber.
4. Engine Performance Issues
You can’t anticipate a smooth start from your car if the purge valve is defective, and you’ll also notice a decrease in engine power and performance issues.
This implies that your engine won’t be able to provide you with the acceleration you require, which might be particularly obvious when you are traveling uphill or passing another car. Purge valves can directly contribute to poor engine performance and result in a higher purge valve replacement cost.
5. Low Fuel Efficiency
A malfunctioning purge valve could lead to poor engine performance as well as low fuel efficiency and miles per gallon in your car.
Because the gasoline vapors typically used during internal combustion are maintained, the fuel will not be used as effectively when they are vented out in the atmosphere.
Your automobile won’t be able to travel the same distance on the same quantity of fuel, which can lead to worse gas mileage than you are used to.
A vehicle’s exhaust system by Alexander Migl / CC BY-SA 4.0. We all know that the vapor purge valve is responsible for re-directing fuel vapors back into the engine. This prevents hydrocarbon emissions from your tailpipe and exhaust system. Your purge valve wouldn’t be able to divert the fuel vapors to stop them from leaving your car if it were to break.
6. Test for Emissions Failing
The responsibility for rerouting fuel vapors back into the engine rests with the vapor purge valve, as we all know. This stops your exhaust system and tailpipe from emitting hydrocarbons.
If your purge valve were to break, it wouldn’t be able to reroute the fuel vapors to keep them from exiting your car. This may result in a failed emissions test and a higher purge valve replacement cost.
Is It Safe to Drive a Car with a Bad Purge Valve?
Similar to how driving with a damaged engine component is possible, driving with a malfunctioning purge valve can only cause further harm to your engine’s car in both long and short runs. The purge valve is a component of the emission control system, not a separate entity.
Would it blow your engine or catch fire in your car? Driving with a damaged purge valve should not be effective, both in terms of the engine of your car and the additional expense of parts replacement.
The containment canister and the EVAP are separate devices that only cooperate with the purge valve. If you keep operating a vehicle with a broken purge valve, you risk damaging the charcoal canister. The internal combustion engine could then have a string of failures.
What Effects are You Likely to Occur If You Drive a Car with a Bad Purge Valve?
If you keep driving with a damaged purge valve that has to be fixed, there might not be any immediate or visible repercussions, but you can still cover a lot of ground.
However, it is important to remember that every light drive you do with a faulty purge valve gradually corrodes the EVAP system and other engine components of your car.
Within a few drives, you would undoubtedly notice black smoke and worse idling, which would eventually result in more catastrophic damages like a failed catalytic converter.
We almost feel compelled to warn you about the high cost of replacing and repairing catalytic converters because so many drivers have expressed concern about the recent spike in converter thefts.
If you see indications of a faulty purge valve, you must stop driving your automobile right away if you do not want to spend an additional $2000 to replace the catalytic converter.
How Much Does the Purge Valve Replacement Cost?
The first thing that comes to mind when you identify the signs of a potential malfunctioning purge valve and realize you can’t drive with a faulty one is how much it might cost to replace the valve.
Because there are additional mechanic fees involved, the cost of replacing automobile engine parts is typically less expensive than the cost of fixing them.
To fully replace the outdated purge valve with a new one, you should budget anywhere from $70 to $200. Depending on where you get them, the parts would only cost $40 to $150.
A power-train control module (PCM) by Mgiardina09 / CC BY-SA 3.0. The PCM of the vehicle decodes the data and signals supplied by the valve and instructs another component of the vehicle when to act. In addition to controlling the purge valve, the PCM also controls air, coolant, automatic gearboxes, and exhaust flow.
You would need to pay an additional $50 to $100 if you included the expense of a skilled mechanic. If you want to be your mechanic, you may save this money!
You must keep a few things in mind when you calculate your budget for the purge valve replacement expense. Modern cars cost more to fix due to luxury accessories and sophisticated sensors. Because of this, replacing the purge valve on models with PCM could be more expensive.
Your location, in addition to the car’s model, will affect how much your technician will charge an hourly rate. Due to the high cost of mechanic labor, replacement expenses are exorbitant in places like California. Similarly, mechanics’ prices are considerably lower in places like West Virginia and South Dakota.
Average Purge Valve Replacement Costs for Different Cars
The Honda Civic has the most affordable options for purge valve replacement on the market today, with prices ranging from $99 to $139. Between $63 and $80 will be spent on labor overall and between $36 and $59 on parts.
With a total cost of between $115 and $148, labor costs of between $45 and $57, and parts costs of between $70 and $91, the Ford Focus has the second-lowest cost for purge valve replacement.
The Toyota Camry and Toyota Corolla are the next most affordable options for typical vehicles on the market right now. These two vehicles have an average cost of $120 to $167, with labor costs of $44 to $56 and parts costs of $76 to $111 respectively.
The Honda CR-V and Ford F-Series, with a total cost ranging from $158 to $195, are two examples of contemporary vehicles with middle-of-the-road prices. These two autos require between $97 and $117 worth of parts, with labor expenses ranging from $61 to $78.
The Chevrolet Silverado has the highest purge valve replacement cost, with a final cost ranging from $262 to $355. The labor costs range from $70 to $89, while the total cost of the parts is between $192 and $266.
How Can You Get a Purge Valve Replacement at a Discount?
If you want to replace the purge valve on a budget, shop around for the best deal from different mechanics in your neighborhood.
You might not notice a significant variation in the cost of this mend or repair, but the cost of labor and parts may vary from one technician to another in your neighborhood or nearby locations.
However, if you are knowledgeable about repairs and have access to the necessary tools, you can always attempt to complete this task on your own to save some money and time by avoiding visiting a technician.
In comparison to other car repairs and replacements, it won’t take you long and isn’t as difficult. The purge valve may be quickly and easily repaired rather than the engine or transmission.
Despite your speed, you should still have done your study and have a solid understanding of the subject. If you are untrained and have no expertise in fixing a car or a part in your vehicle, you risk further harming the car or installing the parts incorrectly.
A three-wire automotive oxygen sensor by Mnemo / CC BY-SA 3.0. Your check engine light may come on for a variety of reasons, including a broken mass air flow sensor or oxygen sensor. If your purge valve is damaged, your check engine light may come on.
The Purge Valve Testing Guidelines
You must test the purge valve if you want to know whether you should repair the valve or estimate how much a purge valve replacement will cost.
In the service handbook for your particular vehicle, you can discover the correct steps to test the purge valve. The process varies depending on the make and type of the vehicle, and the purge valve is often closed when in operation.
This can assist you to figure out which end of the purge valve produces an audible click if the car repair manual advises you to apply battery voltage to the terminals.
The purge valve needs to correctly close and not exhibit any leaks while in operation before moving on to the next step. You must research the price of purge valve replacement if the purge valve is leaking.
Connect a hand-held vacuum pump to a purge valve to create a vacuum to detect the leak. The vacuum shouldn’t drop practically immediately when this occurs.
Dropping vacuum pressure indicates a defective purge valve that has to be replaced. The check engine light on the dashboard of the automobile might also be on, therefore you should use a diagnostic tool to look for any fault codes.
The fault code can let you know if the vent control circuit for the evaporative emission control system is broken, where the leak in the bad purge valve is coming from, and how much it will cost for the purge valve replacement altogether.
It could be necessary to test the purge valve from another car to determine the difference. If your car’s purge valve maintains a good vacuum, something is wrong with it. The battery voltage needs to be connected when this step is finished.
If the purge valve is functioning properly, the vacuum will drop and the purge valve will click, so there’s no need to consider how much a replacement purge valve will cost.
Purge Valve Replacement Procedure
The process will vary depending on the make, model, and year of the car you are trying to have fixed or repaired because it is not the same for every single purge valve.
Your car may have some purge valves near the gasoline tank and others closer to the engine; the technician will need to find the purge valve in your particular type of vehicle.
This enables them to examine the purge valve and establish the problem before disassembling it or estimating the cost of a purge valve replacement.
Depending on where it is positioned in your car, the technician will need to remove the obstructions as soon as he locates the purge valve. Depending on where the purge valve is located, there could be a variety of items involved.
To install a new purge valve, the old one must be unhooked from any tubes or hoses, which raises the price of purge valve replacement.
Can I Replace the Purge Valve on My Own?
If you are a mechanic and have some prior experience repairing one or two, you can replace the purge valve yourself.
An automotive exhaust catalytic converter by The RedBurn / CC BY-SA 3.0. You would surely start to experience black smoke and worse idling after a few drives, which would eventually lead to more severe damages like a failing catalytic converter.
It can be challenging for you if you have never examined or repaired an engine element before. You might gain a better understanding of the purge valve system after watching YouTube illustrative videos.
You ought to be able to locate the valve to start with if you are willing to repair the purge yourself.
If you don’t have any prior information on the potential locations for the purge valve, it may be difficult to locate it. The spot may change slightly based on the engine and, in particular, the car’s model.
The left portion of the throttle body, commonly known as the butterfly valve, can be examined if you are looking at the car’s engine from the front side of the engine.
On the engine intake there, you would find a purge valve. While this is rather simple to locate, you might want to check the back of the fuel tank as another potential location.
If the purge valve is on the engine, it could not take much time to replace the entire purge valve, depending on the type of automobile you drive. However, a mechanic may need up to two hours to replace the canister valve if it is inside the fuel tank.
Your EVAP system includes a purge valve, and problems with the replacement could cause the engine to completely stop. All things considered, it is always advisable to leave the repair of your vehicle in the hands of a qualified mechanic.
What are the Advantages of Purge Valve Replacement?
You can fix the root cause and save money if you have this problem fixed as soon as you see problems or detect the concerns.
This implies that after the problem has been resolved, the check engine light will go out, and when it does, you can rely on the warning symbol and signal on your dashboard.
The check engine light will illuminate once the vehicle’s computer is equipped with the knowledge necessary to determine that the purge valve needs to be changed due to a problem.
Since this may be the most significant dashboard indicator light, you need it to be in good functioning order so that it can alert you to other issues.
The engine’s EVAP system is in charge of managing the quality and quantity of fuel gas that is injected from the charcoal canister into the engine intake manifold. The purge valve is responsible for regulating the flow of this specific emission.
Your car’s performance declines within a few miles of the drive when there is a potential breakdown of this valve. The issues and symptoms of a malfunctioning purge valve can be troublesome, ranging from difficulty starting the car to poor fuel economy.
Therefore, whether you decide to hire a mechanic or want to do it yourself, purge valve replacement stands out as a crucial duty. To determine whether the valve needs to be repaired or replaced, you might want to perform one or more tests.
Jim Wicks is the founder of MotorVehicleHQ. With over two decades of experience in the automotive industry and a degree in Automotive Technology, Jim is a certified car expert who has worked in various roles ranging from a mechanic, car dealership manager, to a racing car driver. He has owned more than 20 cars over the past 15 years. Ask him about any vehicle you see on the road and he can tell you the make, model and year. He loves the aesthetics of all things cars, and keeps his vehicles in pristine condition.
In his free time, Jim enjoys getting his hands dirty under the hood of a classic car or taking long drives along the country roads. His favorite car? A 1967 Shelby GT500, a true classic that, according to Jim, “represents the pure essence of American muscle.”