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Bad Purge Valve, Bad Gas Mileage: What You Need to Know

Bad Purge Valve, Bad Gas Mileage: What You Need to Know

All of the vehicles that have been produced over the last 50 years have had evaporative emission control systems, better known as EVAP systems, inside of them. These systems are specifically designed to stop the vapors produced by the gasoline in a car from escaping out into the atmosphere. The systems consist of a handful of parts that work in tandem to stop these vapors from getting out. One of the most important parts of an EVAP system is called a canister purge valve. It plays an essential role in a car’s ability to limit the gasoline vapors that are able to make it out into the atmosphere, and it needs to be replaced if it ever goes bad. A bad purge valve and bad gas mileage often go hand in hand if it’s not replaced. Learn more about canister purge valves and how you’ll know when they’ve gone bad below.

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What Is a Canister Purge Valve? Bad Purge Valve or Bad Gas Mileage

Most people have heard about evaporative emission control systems and have a general understanding of what they are. But they’re not always quite as familiar with the individual parts that make up these systems, which is why canister purge valves aren’t always on their radars. With this in mind, we want to kick things off here by providing you with a quick breakdown of what a canister purge valve actually is.

 

A canister purge valve is, as its name would suggest, a valve that is designed to help your car’s EVAP system to store gasoline vapors in the charcoal containment canister that is a part of the system. The valve helps to hold these vapors in place until they’re eventually ready to be sent in the direction of your car’s engine so that they can be burnt off accordingly. The canister purge valve in your car isn’t very big at all in the grand scheme of things, but it’s an important part that needs to be working properly at all times. A bad purge valve equals bad gas mileage in many instances, which is why you need it to be firing on all cylinders within the context of your car.

How Does a Canister Purge Valve Work?

Now that you have a better understanding of what a canister purge valve actually is, let’s touch briefly on how it works. As we just mentioned, it’s not a very large part compared to some of the other aspects of your car’s EVAP system, but that doesn’t mean that it doesn’t still have an important job to do within this system. Your system as a whole isn’t going to work the way it should without your canister purge valve holding up its end of the bargain.

 

The canister purge valve is situated in the vacuum line that runs from the fuel vapor containment canister in your EVAP system to the intake manifold for your engine. It opens and closes at different times to allow gasoline vapors that are stored in your car’s canister to move towards the intake manifold so that they can be burned off as part of your car’s combustion process. More often than not, the canister purge valve is controlled by your car’s computer and will open and close based on what the computer tells it to do.

How Long Will a Canister Purge Valve Last? 

The good news for you is that you’re not going to have to worry too, too much about replacing the canister purge valve in your car’s EVAP system. It’s not a part that is going to cause you too much trouble over the life of your car. In fact, you might not ever have to get around to replacing it, and there’s no set schedule in place for canister purge valve replacement.

 

But with that being said, that doesn’t mean that you’re not ever going to have to get around to replacing the canister purge valve in your car. Since a bad purge valve and bad gas mileage could take a toll on your car, you’re going to have to keep your eyes peeled for any signs of trouble with your canister purge valve and act quickly if you spot them. The last thing you want to do is get caught driving around in a car with a bad purge valve in it.

What Are the Symptoms of a Bad Canister Purge Valve?

If you ever find yourself with a bad canister purge valve in your car, it’s not always going to be super obvious to you. It’s actually very difficult for even the most experienced mechanics to diagnose a bad purge valve since there aren’t a whole host of symptoms that come along with it. But there are a few things you might notice when you have a bad canister purge valve in your car.

 

First and foremost, a bad purge valve is typically going to cause your car’s check engine light to turn on. That’s going to be the first clue that’ll let you know you have a bad canister purge valve on your hands. You might also notice that a bad purge valve and bad gas mileage will come packaged together. If you ever feel like you’re paying way more than you should have to in order to fill up your gas tank every month, a bad purge valve could be to blame.

 

And in some rare cases, a bad canister purge valve might even lead to black smoke spewing out of your car’s exhaust. This is obviously going to be a symptom of a bad purge valve that you should not ignore under any circumstances. You’re going to want to have a mechanic look at it ASAP to see if you need to have your canister purge valve replaced.

Is It Safe to Drive a Car With a Bad Canister Purge Valve?

When the canister purge valve in your car’s EVAP system first begins to go bad on you, it won’t be the worst thing in the world to continue driving your car around with it. You might not notice anything amiss with your car when you’re dealing with this situation. But you may want to think twice about driving your car around when your canister purge valve is completely shot.

 

For starters, a bad purge valve and bad gas mileage are, as we’ve mentioned a couple of times now, going to go hand in hand. You’re likely going to have to pay more at the fuel pump every time you put gas in your car when you have a faulty canister purge valve. But the problems won’t stop there.

 

A faulty canister purge valve can also allow raw fuel to work its way into your car’s intake system over time. This is going to lead to your engine running very “rich,” which could result in the aforementioned black smoke emerging from your exhaust. Outside of the fact that this won’t look very good when you’re driving your car around, it could eventually lead to damage being done to your catalytic converter. And if this happens, you could be looking at making a very expensive repair to your vehicle.

What Should You Do When You Have a Bad Canister Purge Valve?

When you first suspect that your car might have a bad canister purge valve, your first inclination might be to ignore the issue and continue driving your car. You can usually get away with doing this at first, but over time, the problem is going to get worse and lead to more issues with your EVAP system and other aspects of your car. It’s why you should take your car to an ASE-certified mechanic to have them inspect your car to see if it needs a new canister purge valve.

 

Fortunately for you, you’re going to find that replacing the canister purge valve in a car isn’t all that difficult for most mechanics. Once they’ve diagnosed the issue with your car, they should be able to get the job done for you quickly. You’re also going to find that replacing a bad purge valve in your EVAP system isn’t going to be all that expensive. As a result, you should make it your mission to replace a bad canister purge valve sooner rather than later if you can.

Can You Replace a Bad Canister Purge Valve on Your Own?

We just talked about how it’s not all that difficult to replace a canister purge valve that has gone bad in your car. This might lead you to believe that you can replace it on your own if you know your way around a car. You’re welcome to try and do this if you would like, but you should know that the hardest part about replacing a canister purge valve is diagnosing that it’s the real issue with a car.

 

Many mechanics struggle to figure out what’s wrong with a car when the canister purge valve has gone bad. This is because there are so many different parts within your EVAP system that can cause complications. A good mechanic will have to rule each of these parts out and eventually hone in on your canister purge valve to figure out if it’s what’s causing the problems you’re experiencing. This can take some time and isn’t something that everyone is cut out to do. You should leave it up to the professionals to get to the bottom of the problems with your car’s EVAP system.

How Much Does Canister Purge Valve Replacement Cost?

There is another reason why you should leave canister purge valve replacement up to the pros as opposed to trying to do it yourself. That reason is that the canister purge valve replacement cost isn’t going to be that high, even when you have a mechanic do it for you. On average, canister purge valve replacement will only set you back between $160 and $180 in most cases, with labor costing between $50 and $60 and the rest going towards parts.

 

There could, of course, be other fees that get tacked on when you’re having canister purge valve replacement done. There is a chance that there might be other parts within your EVAP system that will also need to be replaced, which could drive your total costs up. But generally speaking, you shouldn’t have to spend a small fortune to have canister purge valve replacement performed on your car.

Is the Canister Purge Valve Replacement Cost Worth It?

If a mechanic tells you that you need to have your car’s canister purge valve replacement replaced, you might wonder whether or not it’s worth it. You’ll be happy to know that the cost associated with canister purge valve replacement is worth it in the end. Spending a little under $200 will be well worth it once you see how much better your car performs with a new canister purge valve in it.

 

Spending that relatively small amount of money will also be worth it once you see how much money your new canister purge valve is able to save you on gas. Since a bad purge valve and bad gas mileage come as a package deal, you’ll be able to cut your fuel costs from now on with a new canister purge valve.

Bad Purge Valve and Bad Gas Mileage: Can You Still Sell a Car?

Would you rather not pay for a new canister purge valve for an old car that you want to get rid of? You should know that you don’t have to do it prior to selling it. Even though a bad purge valve and bad gas mileage go hand in hand, you can still sell a car with a busted canister purge valve.

 

How? It’s easy. Just get in touch with a company like Cash Cars Buyer and they’ll purchase your car for cash from you in spite of your canister purge valve problems. You can get top dollar for your car and avoid having to pay for costly repairs to your EVAP system. Contact us today for more information on selling your car to us.