Purge valves are used in a variety of industrial contexts, such as venting, general plant use, pneumatics and instrumentation, and as hydraulic systems. Purge valves are also used in cars and can lead to significant repair and maintenance fees if they are not given adequate care.
In order to witness reliability and consistency in purge valve performance, it is important that you know how purge valves work and some of the problems you can come across.
The following is a brief guide that covers how purge valves work and how they should be managed.
Purge valves in cars are part of the EVAP (Evaporative Emission Control) system, which acts as a temporary storage unit for the vapors from the fuel. The vapors are stored in a charcoal canister and when the engine is turned on and running, they are purged.
The amount of fuel that is purged from the canister is controlled and maintained by the purge valve.
Due to advances in technology, purge valves, today, operate digitally via an engine computer. The purge valve activates according to the warmth of the engine. If the engine is running and gets slightly warm, the purge valve is opened and controls the amount of heat that is purged from the canister.
A frequent problem with purge valve in cars is that it may not shut properly and get stuck; it will display the ‘Check Engine’ warning sign. This is a common problem in many European and Asian cars and should be fixed as soon as possible. If the purge valve problem persists, it can cause the radiator to overheat or lead to engine failure.
As part of an effective maintenance routine, it is important to regularly test your car’s purge valve. Although the specific procedure will vary depending on the car brand and model, it may require using battery voltage on the purge valve to see how much voltage it generates.
Secondly, you should also use a vacuum pump to determine if the purge valve closes properly or not. If the battery voltage results in a click noise and the pump drops immediately, the purge valve works. If it does not work, be sure to get it replaced. It does not cost too much.