Symptoms of a Bad Purge Valve and Replacement Cost

Driving with a bad purge valve can pose a lot of challenges for your car until you fix the problem. Have you ever experienced an engine misfire or a situation whereby your car won’t start no matter how hard you try? These experiences can be frustrating if not properly managed.

Your ability to identify the symptoms of a bad purge valve would save your time and energy used in guessing what could be wrong with your vehicle if you experience any problems associated with the component.

Would you please take a moment to find out what a purge valve is, how it works, and other vital information around the subject matter?

What is a Purge Valve?

bad purge valve

A purge valve is a vital component of your car’s EVAP system, which helps to restrict the fuel vapors formed in your car’s fuel tank from discharging into the atmosphere by holding the vapors in a charcoal canister. Then, by the time your car’s engine starts running at a regular speed, the system automatically releases the vapors into the engine to enable it to burn the same way as fuel.

The purge valve is sometimes referred to as a canister purge valve or solenoid. It controls the flow of the fuel vapors through an opening and closing operation, which regulates how much fuel vapors are released to the engine and the frequency of the release of the vapors. Meanwhile, the purge valve stuck closed is a primary challenge that the system must be prevented from experiencing.

Suppose your car’s purge valve becomes faulty or broken. In that case, it will project many challenges for your car, and failure to notice the early challenges on time to fix them would degenerate into more complicated problems for your car.

Now, if you are asking, “What are the symptoms of a bad purge valve?” the following paragraphs provide enough information to enhance your understanding. Also, purge valve cost and purge valve replacement labor costs are provided within this article for your awareness.

Symptoms Of A Bad Purge Valve

If you are not aware of what happens when a purge valve goes bad, the following are symptoms you should look out for to know whether your car’s purge valve is defective or bad.

“Check Engine” light display.

Usually, a vehicle’s check engine light turns ON as a sign that there is a problem with one or more vehicle components related to the engine compartment.

The purge valve is one of those components within the engine compartment; therefore, once your car’s purge valve is defective, one of the foremost symptoms you would observe is that the “Check Engine” light will turn ON, directing your attention to the need for you to diagnose the problem and fix it.

It is essential to take your vehicle to a professional auto mechanic to diagnose any problem that may be why the “Check Engine” light turns ON. If you discover that the problem is with your vehicle’s purge valve, endeavor to get it fixed immediately to avoid any unforeseen disasters.

how to bypass purge valve

Spark plugs damage

Due to the inability of a bad purge valve to redirect fuel vapors to the vehicle’s engine cylinders for combustion, the excessive fuel vapors lead to abnormality in the fuel and air mixture created and burnt in each of the engine’s combustion cycles. This defect further produces too much heat that wears out the vehicle’s spark plugs over time.

If your car’s spark plugs get worn out earlier than they are expected, it is most likely that you have been driving with a bad purge valve. If this is the case, you should repair or replace it as soon as possible.

Engine start difficulty

Another common symptom that a car owner could experience when their car’s purge valve is bad is difficulty starting the car. A defective purge valve could create a vacuum leak, allowing the flow of unmetered air into the vehicle’s engine; thereby, disturbing its air-fuel ratio. This malfunction could affect the vehicle’s engine start process.

If this issue occurs with your vehicle, it would be helpful to consult an auto mechanic to find out what’s wrong and fix it.

Engine misfire

Does your car’s engine misfire often? Do you find a hard time running your vehicle’s engine smoothly? If you experience any of these faults, your vehicle likely has a bad purge valve.

A car’s engine could misfire when the purge valve fails to open as at when due, which causes the charcoal canister to collect excess fuel vapors. When the fuel vapors flood your car’s engine cylinders, it will result in an abnormal combustion cycle operation that involves the air and fuel mixture; then, the implication is engine misfire.

When you experience engine misfire frequently, you should check out for your vehicle’s purge valve to see if it’s in good shape; if otherwise, you should fix it.

Rough idle

A rough idle is also one of the foremost symptoms associated with a bad purge valve. If your car’s purge valve goes bad and sticks open, there would be a vacuum leak created, which affects your vehicle’s engine idle speed. Also, note that a broken purge valve or hose attached to the purge valve can result in a vacuum leak.

Therefore, if you discover a fault with your vehicle’s engine idle speed or its quality, it could be that you have a bad purge valve that needs to be fixed or replace.

Gaskets damage

A purge valve stuck closed would not allow fuel vapors to pass for recycling; thereby, building pressure within the system. Intensive pressure built up over time can blow out the vehicle’s rubber seals and the gasket, further resulting in an oil leak to the emission system and the engine compartment. If the issue persists, it could degenerate into a more serious problem for a vehicle.

If you discover this symptom at any point in time, quickly visit an auto mechanic for an immediate solution to enable you to avert more problems for your car.

purge valve stuck closed


Q: Can a bad purge valve cause a gas smell?

The purge valve works in such a way that when it opens in a vehicle’s canister, the fumes are transferred to the engine so that they can be burnt up. However, if there is a defect in the EVAP system of the vehicle, the problem could cause the fuel vapors to discharge, thereby resulting in a gas smell.

The problem is usually traceable to either a cracked charcoal canister or a shorted valve circuit in the system. You need to check for any of these problems if you begin to smell gas from your vehicle. If you discover a defective component, kindly take your car to an expert auto mechanic to fix it.

Q: Can a bad EVAP system cause misfires?

If you are asking, “Can bad purge valve cause misfire?” Certainly, it can cause a misfire since the purge valve within the EVAP system of a vehicle is responsible for recycling fuel vapors into the vehicle’s combustion chamber. If the EVAP system is defective such that the valve refuses to open up when necessary, thereby resulting in an excessive collection of fuel vapors in the charcoal canister.

When this occurs consistently, the engine cylinder is flooded by the excess fuel vapors; then, there is a creation and burning of an abnormal fuel mixture, leading to an engine misfire.

Q: Can you fix a purge valve?

A bad purge valve can be fixed. If you discover that your car’s canister purge valve is defective, you should take your car to an expert auto mechanic to fix the problem. Usually, the repair or replacement of a bad purge valve is not expensive.

You may also personally learn how to test a purge valve, and if need be, you may also learn how to bypass a purge valve. However, in all of these, it is essential to seek the service of a professional auto mechanic for help.

Q: Where is the purge valve located?

The purge valve is usually located in the vehicle’s engine bay on a connected hose that links the intake to the canister. Sometimes, the purge valve may be found close to the fuel tank in some vehicles. Ensure to consult your vehicle’s manufacturer’s manual to enable you to identify where your car’s purge valve is located instead of engaging a trial and error check to locate it.

Q: How much does it cost to replace a purge valve?

The estimated cost of a purge valve replacement is about $155 to $170. The total cost is broken down as follows; parts cost about $112, and labor costs between $43 and $58. However, the location of the purchase of the parts and the replacement should be considered in case of a slight difference in the estimated total cost of the replacement of the purge valve. Also, note that the estimated cost does not involve taxes or any other fees, as the case may be.

How To Easily Diagnose And Replace A Bad purge Valve YouTube

Final Words

This article has revealed some symptoms of a bad purge valve. Your responsibility is to keep your car under perfect working conditions by performing regular and adequate maintenance to prevent your car’s purge valve from going bad. You could learn the habit of keeping minor tools like pliers and screwdrivers, etc., in your car for minor checks.

Suppose you are experiencing any of the symptoms mentioned above in this article. In that case, you may want to look out for how to clean purge solenoid valve or consult a professional auto mechanic who can help you fix the issue as soon as possible.

Osuagwu Solomon

Osuagwu Solomon is a certified mechanic with over a decade of experience in the mechanic garage, and he has over five years of experience in the writing industry. He started writing automotive articles to share his garage experience with car enthusiasts and armature mechanics. If he is not in the garage fixing challenging mechanical problems, he is writing automotive repair guides, buyer’s guides, and car and tools comparisons.

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