The air pump is part of your vehicle’s emissions control system, which is crucial for minimizing pollutants and reducing your emissions. The air pump used to be the centerpiece around which emissions controls were developed back in the 1960s, when emissions standards first came to be. In these early days of emissions control, cars used carburetors to control the amount of fuel and air going into the engine. Carburetors were very imprecise compared to the modern-day fuel injection systems that have replaced them. Because of this, exhaust gases coming from the carburetor usually contained a high level of unburnt gasoline.
That’s where the air pump came in. The air pump added more oxygen to the exhaust mixture, allowing more of the unused gasoline to be ignited and used before exiting through the car’s exhaust pipe. This greatly reduced the amount of smog and emissions produced in older vehicles.
With the introduction of modern-day fuel injections systems, catalytic converters, and computer-controlled systems, there is much less unburnt fuel that comes from the engine cylinders today. Still, the air pump is necessary to help the catalytic converter warm up and can still add additional air as needed.
Signs of a bad air pump
- Failed emissions test
- Check engine light illuminates
- Engine stalling
- Low engine idle
- Reduced engine power
- Poor acceleration
Air pump maintenance
On top of making you fail your emissions test, a bad air pump can also cause poor engine performance and even result in some engine damage if you are not proactive in taking care of your air pump. If you notice any of the above signs, be sure to get your air pump inspected by a car care professional right away.
The best way to get maintenance done on your air pump is to book your appointment through CarAdvise. CarAdvise makes car care simple and guarantees that you’ll pay less than the retail shop price for all maintenance services.