Why Does a Purge Control Valve Solenoid Fail?

Written by amy rodriguez
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Why Does a Purge Control Valve Solenoid Fail?
Cars use multiple assemblies to control emissions. (Thomas Northcut/Photodisc/Getty Images)

Vehicles have a specifically designed system for controlling the release of gasoline vapours into the atmosphere. A component of this emissions system is called the purge control valve solenoid. The failure of the solenoid is dependent on surrounding emissions components.

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Emissions System Functions

Gasoline vapours reach an internal vehicle storage canister after fuel enters the gasoline tank. The purge control valve solenoid releases these vapours within the canister to the vehicle's throttle body and manifold components. The valve solenoid is normally closed to retain the vapours within the canister.

Causal Failure Factors

A leak within the emissions system may be a sign of solenoid failure. The purge control valve reacts to the vapour vacuum within the canister by opening and closing. If the canister, or any of the supply lines, are blocked or have holes, the solenoid cannot function and the purge control valve will remain closed. In addition, the solenoid's electrical portion can fail, resulting in the valve remaining closed.

Failure Recognition

The vehicle's "check engine" light will illuminate if the purge control valve solenoid fails. AA1 Car recommends taking the car to a repair facility for an evaluation. Any failure within the emissions system affects the fuel system and the overall performance of the vehicle.

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