The air pump is an essential component of the air injection system. It is also commonly known as a smog pump. The basic function of the air pump is to draw the fresh and oxygen-rich air into the exhaust gas stream.
This allows complete or almost complete combustion of the fuel before it leaves the vehicle exhaust stream. Incomplete combustion can produce hydrocarbons as pollutants, which can be reduced by installing an efficient air pump. Tuning the pump to complement the system is also important to maximize efficiency. A poor air pump can seriously affect engine efficiency and the mileage of your car. For optimum combustion, the engine needs a properly fine-tuned oxygen-fuel ratio.
Keeping the air pump in good order is not only beneficial to the environment but also gives you an advantage in terms of the fuel efficiency of your vehicle. The strict regulations on vehicle emissions in several states also require a functioning and efficient air pump system. If the vehicle emissions are not compliant, your vehicle will not be able to pass the legally required emissions test.
Signs of a Bad Air Pump
In general, you need to provide your vehicle with enough air to breathe in order to perform better. There are certain signs and symptoms that can help you understand if the air pump is running poorly. Here are some of the most common and noticeable symptoms that can occur if the air pump in your vehicle is not working properly.
1. Rough Engine
You can feel a problem while driving because your engine will perform more roughly. It can also cause fluctuations in acceleration when the accelerator pedal is pressed. This can be considered one of the first symptoms of a failed or poor air pump, and it happens because your internal combustion engine is either not getting enough fuel or not getting enough air. Either way, it is most likely due to the failure of the air pump. In certain cases, the non-tuned fuel supply can also be a reason. However, your first guess should be the failure of the air pump. The performance of your engine will be significantly affected in terms of revs, stalling, and idling.
2. Check Engine Light
In most vehicles, the automation system is able to detect a failing air pump. In such cases, you will see your check engine light come on. However, the light will only come on when the air pump has completely failed; it may not show anything if the air pump is running poorly and is about to fail. To avoid problems, it is best to keep it adjusted and repaired before it brings your car to a complete stop. Therefore, this is the last thing you should look for. If you have recently repaired the air pump, the light may come on due to an electrical defect. It is also important to note that a lit check engine light is not only an indication of a failed air pump. It can light up for a number of possible reasons. Therefore, you cannot consider it a primary symptom of air pump failure.
3. Reduced Performance
A broken air pump can cause the air fuel mixture to get faulty which will cause a sligtly drop in the cars performance. Often this is not noticeable but in some rare cases it can.
What is the Lifetime of Air Pumps?
If you have a brand new vehicle, you should not expect to replace an air pump during the life of the vehicle unless there has been an accident or the water has entered the internal system of your vehicle.
How to Fix a Faulty Air Pump?
If the air pump needs to be replaced, your procedure may vary depending on the vehicle, as it may be different for each vehicle. However, you will usually need to understand a few things that will help you when replacing the pump. Here is a step-by-step approach to replacing a failed air pump.
- Firstly, make sure that the electrical connections are removed and disconnected by removing the negative battery terminal.
- Remove the belt from the pump by unbolting the mount.
- Check the belt as well as the electrical connections for possible damage.
- Replace the belt or electrical connections if necessary.
- Clear your way to the air pump.
- Remove the covers and ties.
- Disconnect all connections from the pump and place a new one.
- Secure it back the same way.
- Put all the connections and wires back from where you removed them.
- Put the parts that were on top before you cleared your way.
- Enable all electrical connections and the negative terminal of the battery.
- Check for performance with a test drive.
Air Pump Replacement Cost
The costs vary greatly depending on the vehicle you use. If you do it yourself, you can save a good amount that you would otherwise pay to the mechanic, which can be up to a hundred dollars.
If you replace the pump yourself, you may only need a new pump and some other things you can find in your workshop. On average, it will cost you between $300 and $400 for regular cars. For luxury cars, the cost can be as much as $1000. There are also some variables, such as your supplier, etc.
The air pump is like the lungs of your vehicle and the emission system. Therefore, it is very important to keep it in good working order. It is not only important to keep your vehicle running, but also important in terms of the rules and regulations, without which you may fail an emissions test. If you are not able to find out the underlying problem, a thorough investigation is carried out by a technician. In the event of a poor air pump, it may only be necessary to rectify the problem or, in some cases, to replace the pump completely with a new one in order to obtain the best performance from your vehicle.