One of the vital elements that any car engine needs is air. Just like with humans, air helps cars to breathe and function! Without air, combustion engines cannot operate. In general, the more air that gets into an engine, the more efficient it becomes.
The thing about car engines is they are all complicated mechanical devices. Audi engines, in particular, are some of the most advanced motors on the planet. But, they are also rather complex and often puzzling to diagnose problems on!
Do you drive an Audi? Does it seem like it’s down on power and uses more fuel than usual? If so, it’s highly likely that you’ve got a vacuum leak. In a nutshell, if some of the air getting sucked into your motor escapes somewhere, it can spell bad news. That’s because it has to compensate for the loss of air by adding more fuel into the combustion chamber.
In today’s blog post, I will share with you some strategies to help you find – and fix – a vacuum leak in your motor. Here is what you need to do:
Find out which hoses relate to your intake system
The motor in your Audi will have scores of rubber hoses crisscrossing the engine. Some of those hoses will get used by the intake system. But, how do you know which ones are the vacuum hoses for it?
One practical step you can take is to check out some Audi repair manuals. They usually have diagrams that depict which hoses get used for the intake. Otherwise, do an Internet search or ask for help on an enthusiast’s forum online.
Check for obvious signs of damaged hoses
Starting from the air box, check the hoses getting into the intake manifold. Your checks should include the main trunk hose from your air box.
Check for loose hoses
While you inspect each hose for damage, make sure they have tight and secure connections. It’s not uncommon for mechanics to forget about vacuum hoses when doing a service on your Audi.
If any of the clips look broken, replace them immediately. The good news is you don’t have to buy the same clips from your local Audi dealer. Instead, you can purchase some jubilee clips from any hardware store.
Use a smoke machine
Old-school mechanics will tell you to spray carb cleaner on your hoses. If your engine note changes when you do that, it means you’ve found a source of your vacuum leak. I say “a” because you might have more than one vacuum leak!
The trouble with that approach is that carb cleaner is flammable. As you can imagine, engines get hot when in use. A hot engine with a flammable liquid sprayed on it isn’t a good idea!
A much safer and proven method for detecting vacuum leaks is to use a smoke machine. As the name suggests, they are machines that generate smoke. They are harmless to your motor and help you to spot vacuum leaks with ease.
The way to use them is simple. Just connect the “exhaust” hose of the machine to your air box and it will suck in the smoke.