Symptoms of a Bad or Failing Air Pump

Schedule Exhaust and Emission System Inspection
Service Area

$0.00

Upfront, Transparent Price
Average rating from 127,639 customers who received a Exhaust and Emission System Inspection.

An air pump, also commonly referred to as a smog pump, is an emissions component that is part of the secondary air injection system. It is responsible for pumping clean air into the vehicle’s exhaust stream to promote a cleaner and more complete burn before the fumes exit the tailpipe. By injecting clean air into the exhaust, the amount of hydrocarbon pollutants produced by the vehicle is reduced, as the entire system is finely tuned to run with the air provided by the air pump.

When it fails, the overall performance of the engine may suffer due to the lack of air. Many states also have strict emissions regulations for their road going vehicles, and any problems with the air pump or the air injection system can not only cause performance problems, but also cause the vehicle to fail an emissions test. Usually, a failed air pump will produce a few noticeable symptoms that can alert the driver that the vehicle requires attention.

1. Engine is running rough

One of the first symptoms of a bad or failing smog pump is a rough running engine. When a smog pump fails the finely tuned air-fuel ratios can be upset, and it will negatively affect the performance of the engine. The engine may have trouble idling, and may drop in engine speed, or stall when the pedal is pressed.

2. Reduced horsepower

Another common symptom of a bad air pump is a reduction in power output from the engine. Again, a failed smog pump can upset the tune of the vehicle, which will negatively impact overall engine performance. A failed air pump may cause the engine to hesitate or stumble on acceleration, and in more serious cases, cause a noticeable reduction in total power output.

3. Check Engine Light comes on

Another symptom that may be indicative of a bad air pump is an illuminated Check Engine Light. This will usually only occur after the computer has detected the air pump has completely failed, or an electrical problem with the air pump circuit has occurred. A Check Engine Light can also be caused by other problems, so it is important to have the computer scanned for trouble codes before making any repairs.

The air pump is an important component of the emissions system, and necessary to keep your vehicle running in proper order so that it can meet the proper emission requirements. If you suspect that your air pump may be having a problem, or your Check Engine Light has come on, have the vehicle diagnosed by a professional technician, such as one from YourMechanic. If necessary, they will be able to replace the air pump and restore proper performance to your vehicle.


Next Step

Schedule Exhaust and Emission System Inspection

The most popular service booked by readers of this article is Exhaust and Emission System Inspection. Yourmechanic’s technicians bring the dealership to you by performing this job at your home or office 7 days a week between 7AM-9PM. We currently cover over 10k cities and have 100k+ 5-star reviews... LEARN MORE

SEE PRICING & SCHEDULING

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

Recent Exhaust and Emission System Inspection reviews

Excellent Rating


YourMechanic Exhaust and Emission System Inspection Service

Average Rating

4.9/5

Number of Reviews

127,639

Rating Summary
119,105
4,765
952
657
2,160
119,105
4,765
952
657
2,160

Mark

40 years of experience
77 reviews
Mark
40 years of experience
Hummer H3 - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Woodstock, Georgia
I really appreciated the quality of inspection that Mark performed.

Casey

15 years of experience
44 reviews
Casey
15 years of experience
Acura TL - Brake Pads Replacement (Front) - Houston, Texas
Excellent

Jay

36 years of experience
716 reviews
Jay
36 years of experience
Ford Explorer - Spark Plugs - Colton, California
On time friendly, and installed my spark plugs and wires AND did a check on my codes and he was very thorough. He also told me what else I needed done to get my car in good shape. He's a great guy!

Bryant

11 years of experience
321 reviews
Bryant
11 years of experience
Ford Escape - Control Arm Assembly Replacement (Front Lower Left) - Indianapolis, Indiana
Friendly kind and very knowledgeable. He took his time and explained everything to me and got my car fixed in a timely manner.

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