Symptoms of a Bad or Failing Air Pump Check Valve

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The secondary air injection system is an emissions system equipped on many road going vehicles. It is composed of several components that work together to reduce the vehicle’s tailpipe emissions. One of these components is the air pump check valve. The air pump check valve is the valve that allows air supplied from the air pump to be pumped into the exhaust stream to reduce hydrocarbon and carbon monoxide tailpipe emissions. It functions as a one-way valve, allowing the air to pump through into the exhaust, while preventing the exhaust fumes from leaking into the secondary air injection system.

When the air pump check valve fails, it can lead to a variety of problems, notably a significant increase in the vehicle’s tailpipe emissions. Usually, when the air pump check valve fails, it will display a few symptoms that may alert the driver of a potential problem that should be inspected.

1. Exhaust fume odor

One of the first and most common symptoms of a bad or failing check valve is an exhaust fume odor. The odor is a result of exhaust leaking either from the valve housing, or through the actual check valve back into the secondary air injection system. The odor may become most noticeable at idle speeds. Any sort of odor indicates an exhaust leak, which compromises emissions.

2. Failed emissions test

Many states require their road-going vehicles to pass an emissions test in order for the vehicle to be legally operated. If the air pump check valve fails, it can significantly impact the tailpipe emissions of a vehicle. The air pump check valve works to reduce hydrocarbon and carbon monoxide emissions of a vehicle, so when it fails, the levels of these two pollutants will increase.

2. Check Engine Light is On

Another common symptom of a failed air pump check valve is the Check Engine Light coming on. When a problem is detected by the vehicle’s computer, it will set off a code and activate the Check Engine Light. Having the vehicle scanned for trouble codes can reveal if there may be a problem with the air pump check valve that needs to be addressed.

As the air pump check valve is part of the vehicle’s emissions system, is it is very important that it functions correctly so that the vehicle can remain at acceptable emission levels. If you suspect that your air pump check valve 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. They will be able to determine if the vehicle needs an air pump check valve replacement, or if another repair needs to be made.


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Rigoberto

9 years of experience
706 reviews
Rigoberto
9 years of experience
Chevrolet Equinox - Brake Pads Replacement (Rear) - Niles, Illinois
Rigo was great! He got there early, finished the job early, left everything clean. He changed my rear pads and rotors. The original quoted time was 90 minutes, he was done in about 60. He knows what he is doing and I am recommending him to all my friends and coworkers.
Mercedes-Benz C250 - Brake Pads Replacement (Front, Rear) - Chicago, Illinois
Rigo is a maverick hands down. Don’t take your car for work elsewhere. Especially great at Mercedes—this guy knows his profession! I will be using him for everything related to my car going forward.

Arturo

25 years of experience
35 reviews
Arturo
25 years of experience
Kia Forte - Brake Pads Replacement (Front) - San Diego, California
ARTURO is great! very professional , fast, replaced my front brake pads and oil an filter change. everything now works and works well. Brakes have much improved stopping power and engine is smooth and quiet.Arturo is also kind and thoughtful. "Your mechanic" is very fortunate to have Arturo Lopez represent your company. I enthusiastically recommend him and "Your mechanic> as a fine operation Best regards to the Team Peter Marto
Nissan Maxima - Brake Pads Replacement (Front, Rear) - San Diego, California
Arturo was prompt and completed my brake repair, including new rotors in a very efficient manner. I am very pleased with the quality of the work and the parts and will definitely look to have him service our other car in the near future.

Scott

32 years of experience
345 reviews
Scott
32 years of experience
Lexus IS250 - Brake Pads Replacement (Rear) - Denver, Colorado
Always on time, speedy, professional, and pleasant to interact with. The work is always consistent and we'll done. I can't reccomend Scott highly enough!

Michael

10 years of experience
15 reviews
Michael
10 years of experience
Nissan Sentra - Brake Pads Replacement (Front) - Conyers, Georgia
He was promptly on time and got the job done efficiently in a timely manner. I really appreciate the rapid respone on getting the job done! I would most definitely use this service again.

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