How Long Does an Air Pump Last?

In decades gone by, exhaust systems were not all that complicated. Emissions controls were not a concern, and any gases that were spent during the operation of your car were simply vented through the manifold, into the exhaust pipe, and finally, out into the atmosphere via the muffler. Today, though, the environmental regulations are considerably stricter, and that means that your exhaust system is very different.

There is a variety of new components that are designed to ensure that your engine emits no more harmful elements than are absolutely necessary for the operation of your vehicle. One such component is the air pump, also known as the smog pump. It works to deliver air into your exhaust system so that no fuel is left unburned. If the air pump fails to work, then your vehicle will be emitting more than the acceptable amount of pollutants.

Because the air pump is an electronic component, it is vulnerable to damage, including short circuits and corrosion. Although it is used every day, there is no set life expectancy for an air pump – simply stated, it lasts as long as it lasts. That could be the life of your vehicle, or it could fail prematurely.

Signs that your car’s air pump needs to be replaced include:

  • Check Engine Light is on
  • Engine lacks pressure and runs rough
  • Sluggish acceleration
  • Poor fuel economy

If you think that your air pump needs to be replaced, have it checked by a professional mechanic. They can diagnose issues with your emissions control, replace the air pump if necessary.


The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details

Need Help With Your Car?

Our certified mobile mechanics make house calls in over 2,000 U.S. cities. Fast, free online quotes for your car repair.

GET A QUOTE

Related articles

How Long Does an Air Pump Belt Last?
Most Most newer vehicles come with two air injections systems. The primary system delivers air through the air filter, and then to the intake, where it mixes with fuel in order to create combustion. The secondary system employs a pump...
How to Replace an Air Injection Pump Filter
Air pump filters may be failing when the engine has a rough idle and is sluggish. Reduced fuel economy may also indicate a bad filter.
Symptoms of a Bad or Failing Air Pump Filter
If your engine is running sluggishly, the Check Engine Light is on, or there is a rough idle, you may need to replace your car's air pump filter.

Related questions

A.I.R. pump is missing in my car

Hello. The A.I.R. system is an emissions system that is designed to inject air into the exhaust manifold to help with the combustion of any unburned fuel before it reaches the catalytic converter, resulting in cleaner emissions. In order to...

Secondary air pump.

The air pump supplies the catalytic converter with extra oxygen so that it can efficiently catalyze any unburned fuel. On start up, the catalytic converter is cold and requires some help to quickly get up to temperature allowing it to...

Whining noise before starting-key in the ON position but not turning over the engine. 1999 Chevrolet Silverado 1500

Hello - your truck has a secondary air injection pump, which is powered by an electric motor. It is located under the hood, and is power up in the "Run" ignition switch position. I suspect what you are hearing is...

How can we help?

Our service team is available 7 days a week, Monday - Friday from 6 AM to 5 PM PST, Saturday - Sunday 7 AM - 4 PM PST.

1 (855) 347-2779 · hi@yourmechanic.com