Car Talk

Is Your Purge Valve Causing Trouble? Here are Top Tips and Fixes

Avatar Adie Tinkle -

Does your heart skip a beat when you see the check engine light come on? Trying to figure out what’s wrong with your cart can be difficult. If the trouble symptom indicates a faulty purge valve, breathe a sigh of relief. This part fails frequently, but the good news is that it’s easy to fix.

In this blog post, we’ll explain purge valves, what causes them to fail, how to test them, and step-by-step instructions for replacing them yourself. With a little time and the right tools, you can get your car running smoothly again.

Let’s get into this!

What Is a Purging Valve (PV)

The purge valve is also known as the canister vent solenoid. It constitutes the vehicle’s built-in evaporative emissions control system. Its role is to transport the hot blend of charcoal and air from the charcoal bucket to the engine to be burned.

This would mean that if the opening or closing of the scrubber valve is in danger, then the problem for the engine may start, and its  performance will be lower than usual.

How Does It Work

When you start your car, the engine turns on, and as a result, the canister vapor becomes more intense. So, the car’s purge valve opens, and the carbon canister vapors can easily flow into the engine’s intake manifold. The engine burns the vaporized fuel included in the mixture during the combustion process. Nevertheless, once the engine is shut off, the purge valve will be tightly closed to secure the system and stop any leaking vapors from exiting.

If the purge valve fails to function in a prescribed way, it may get stuck in the closed position or open. If it remains open, a smell may be obvious due to the strong fumes of gasoline escaping. Meanwhile, assuming your aircon is in the closed position, if it’s stuck shut, it may result in building pressurization, and this factor will dramatically lower the performance of your system. Whatever the case is, it is advisable to have a professional mechanic take a look at your car.

What Are Alarming Signs of a Malfunctioning Purge Valve

Here are some signs that show your purge valve might be faulty. 

  • A sharp fuel odor emanated from the base of the hood.
  • The car’s lack of ability to start.
  • Rough idling
  • Reduced engine performance

Warnings of a Faulty Purge Valve

Here are some alarming situations that indicate a fault in your purge valve:

Check Engine Light

The check of the engine light can not clearly show that there is an issue with the purge valve. The car’s computer system continuously monitors the purge valve’s functioning; thus, if the valve is not functioning properly, the computer detects this issue and alerts the driver via the warning light.

Difficulty in Car Starting

If your purge valve gets shut off, then it could feed more air into the engine in excess and make it quite difficult to start your vehicle. What you might have to do is start the engine with the same effort and for a longer time to get it running. Alternatively, a purge valve that doesn’t open well can also block air entry and deprive the engine of proper starting conditions.

Poor Fuel Economy

This valve helps in managing the degree of vapor flow and on the contrary, if it fails, more vapor might be leaking from the fuel tank. Such components of the exhausted part of the fuel can result in the engine running less droplets, therefore increasing fuel consumption. When your purge valve is acting up, you might notice a considerable reduction in your car’s mileage per gallon of gas.

DIY: Process of Replacing a Bad Purge Valve

If your car doesn’t start up easily or runs rough, the purge valve might be causing the issue, and it needs to be replaced.

Follow these steps to replace it yourself and get your vehicle back in top condition:

Locate the Purge Valve

The purge is mostly performed on either the fuel tank or the air filter housing, and the air filter housing is usually where the valve for venting is installed. Get the service handbook of your vehicle to find where exactly that part is located. To repair certain car models, the first step required is to remove the cover from the air filter housing or the intake ducting. Ensure to remove the connection wire, which is negative on the battery, before starting any repair. 

Remove the Old Valve

Lose the clamps or tighten the screws that fix the purge valve. Disconnect the hoses from the opposite sides of the valve ports. Untighten the screws which hold together the group of bolts that maintains the valve’s assembly. It is very important not to damage the ports or hoses while taking them off. Perform a complete cleanup of the area around the ports by removing any dust and trash and installing the new valve.

Install the New Valve

To replace the purge valve, follow these steps in reverse order: Attach hoses to where they go, and they would be at appropriate ports on the new valve, which, of course, should be marked. Secure the hoses and bolts to the torque coordinated in the guide. Reattach the negative battery cable, motor the engine, check for leaks, and take the vehicle out for a spin to make sure functionality is intact.


And there you are, regular maintenance of the purge valve in your car will enable the operation of your emission system as designed and keep you legal regarding emissions tests. This lesson will offer you practical steps for your further action.

Keep in mind these small things and consider fixing anything unusual, like strange smells, leaks, or drips, as soon as possible because they may lead to more serious problems in the future. Keep your engine in good shape with engines.


If I do not replace a purge valve when it gets bad, how will it affect my car?

Driving with an unhealthy purge lowers a car’s fuel economy, affects its driving capability, and can even harm its emission system components.

How frequently should you change the purge valve?

The purge gives many years of reliable service, typically between 60,000 miles to 150,000 miles, depending on the vehicle. But, as with other things, it may eventually suffer failures or malfunctions.

What type of purge valve do I need to use?

The selection of a purge for your vehicle will depend on the specifications of the vehicle, engine, size, and the year. Be sure that the recommended replacement parts for your car are the type you buy, or get the valve tested to know the type that it demands.

Similar Blogs