How to Test a Purge Valve With a Multimeter?

The purge valve is part of the vehicle Evaporative Emission Control (EVAP) system. 

This process prevents fuel vapors in a standard gas tank from escaping into the atmosphere through vents but also traps most of them for safety reasons within an evaporative canister that collects and temporarily stores any vaporized gasoline until it’s purged out by your car engine while running under certain conditions each time you start up or drive off to keep everything fresh & clean!

Have you ever had a problem with your purge valve? It’s not uncommon for the switch to get stuck or the plunger to stick. If it does, then the purge valve is no longer able to function correctly. That means that for your compressor to work correctly, you need a functioning purge valve.

What do you do if your purges are not working anymore? How can you test them out and make sure they’re functional before calling a technician? You can use a multimeter!

Problems of a Purge Valve

To keep your car purring like a kitten, it’s essential to be mindful of the purge valve. The most common problem is when this part sticks or doesn’t close fully, and that could lead you to have trouble with “Check Engine” lights on occasion. 

In some cars, stuck-open valves can cause difficulty starting right after refueling at gas stations for the first few seconds: engines may run rough and stumble if not tended too quickly!

Purge valves are a common problem in many cars. For Hyundai, 2000s Elantra, and Tucson models, an open purge valve can cause the “Check Engine” light to turn on with code P0441. 

Similar problems occur with European vehicles, including Audi and Volkswagen models–and Mazda vehicle owners report that faulty purge valves may lead to codes P0440 or even EVAP Codes (including P0446). 

Fortunately for car-owners who have this issue, it is not too costly ($35-$65) as well as simple enough to replace their own purges vales themselves!

How to know if a purge valve is bad?

There are several symptoms that an EVAP system can have, from hard starting to gas smell. Common signs include:

Engine Light

If you notice any of the fluids in your vehicle’s engine are leaking, it might be time to get them looked at. Your car has a system that alerts you if there is anything wrong with certain parts of the fuel injection and purge systems on your automobile. 

If something goes awry with these two components, then an error code will appear on lights attached inside or outside your dashboard telling what needs fixing – like P0446 for faulty purging solenoid valves!

Problems with Engine

If the purge valve has failed to close, it may negatively affect your engine’s air-to-fuel ratio due to vapors leaking into the nearby environment. This change will trigger a reaction from your car’s response system and lead to difficult starting or rough idling.

Lower Gas Mileage

The EVAP system typically does not work effectively when there is a leak in the gas tank. This will cause fuel vapors to seep out into the environment, leading to increased fuel combustion and decreased mileage.

Poor Performance in the Emissions Test

The EVAP canister is a little part of your car that helps the fuel vapors go back into the engine and prevents them from escaping. 

If there’s an issue with it, like when its solenoid doesn’t work right, then you’ll get bad emissions results on the testing day because those fumes will escape being in our environment.

Ruined Gaskets

The purge valve is a crucial component in the emission system. It prevents fuel vapors from entering and polluting the engine, but if it malfunctions, you’ll be left with severe consequences like oil leakage, which can cause severe damage to your car’s main engine. 

Most people who experience less than ideal performance of their purge valves will find that they are either partially closed or open due to pieces of carbon getting stuck inside them during use. 

If this occurs for too long, some rubber seals and gaskets may blow out as well because pressure becomes so intense over time – make sure there isn’t anything obstructing your purge valve!

How To Test The Purge Valve Using Multimeter 

A multimeter is an electronic measuring device that can measure electric current, resistance, and voltage. In the case of a purge valve on your vehicle, this article will explain how to test for proper function to ensure it’s working correctly before you take off down the road.

Below are the three standard steps for testing a car purge valve with a multimeter.

Locate the Purge Valve

To help your car’s engine, be sure to turn off the vehicle and leave it alone for about 15-30 minutes. Find a purge valve on top of or in the back of the muffler tube that you can find near the EVAP device location. 

The color will vary with vehicles so take note before opening up anything as this is not something we want to get wrong!

Disconnect the Harness Connector and Connect the Testing Cables

There should be a 2-pin harness connector attached to the purge valve. What you’ll want to do is disconnect the harness connector and then use your multimeter device with adapter cables that came in your kit (or buy some if you’re missing them). 

Plug one end of each cable into either slot on the backside of the multimeter while plugging another end directly into an opening close by from this side of the purge valve.

Test the Resistance

Your goal is to measure the resistance between two points. You should see a level of 22-30 ohms. Otherwise, it means you need to replace your purge valve. If so, right now would be an ideal time because you have a spare on hand and if not, then simply reconnecting cables will do the trick!

What happens if you drive with a bad purge valve?

The purge valve is a vital component of your vehicle’s EVAP system. Driving with bad engine health could be in the cards! It also results in pollution as toxic fumes are discharged into the environment, and you’ll get fewer miles to work on each gallon too!

Does a Bad Purge Valve Cause Misfire?

If a bad purge valve is left unchecked, it can lead to ser predicaments such as causing misfires. A purging system that doesn’t close fully or opens too late means excessive fuel vapor gathers in the charcoal canister and starts engulfing the engine cylinder with vapors which get repeatedly generated and burned over time. 

These burning fumes may cause an engine fire to break out if not fixed soon enough, leading to choking while running for extended periods due to being engulfed by these toxic gases.

The solenoid valve is an essential component of a car. If you notice any of the problems listed above, the vehicle should be immediately brought for repairs. If you want to test out the canister yourself, follow these steps with your multimeter, and it will let you know if there’s a malfunction! 

Since we’ve presented how to check this purge valve by using your multimeter (which has been proven remarkably accurate!), also try checking other best vacuum meters on our site and decide which one would work better for whatever type of testing needs that may arise in future situations as well!

We hope this learning article helps you. Good luck!

About Blake Sutton

Blake has worked as an electrician for over 10 years, receiving his Journeyman Electrician license in 1998. Looking to take his professional electrical career further, in 2008 he received his Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering (BSEE) from the University of Texas in Austin. Blake now works full time as an electrical engineer, specializing in power systems.