How to Choose the Right Leak Detection Pump for Your Car
How do you know if your car has leaks in its evaporative control system (EVAP)? The leak detection pump is especially designed to detect leaks in the emissions system by pressurizing the EVAP and measuring the time for the pressure to fill the system. If the time interval is short, this implies a serious leak in vehicle's emissions system. Your car's LDP can be located near the gas tank, and can only be accessed by partially removing the vehicle's exhaust system.
Why install a leak detection pump (LDP)?
Leak detection pumps play an important role in car maintenance. Most of the time, leaks can cause more complicated problems that take longer time and greater effort to fix. Finding these leaks before they cause more issues becomes an advantage to you as it will save you more money and time. LDPs are also important indicators that your car has a serious problem-serious leaks can cause fatal accidents, but with a functional LDP, you can avoid these accidents altogether. Other car leaks can also be harmful to the environment which is why a leak detection pump is necessary for any vehicle today.
What to expect from a leak detection pump (LDP)?
Most leak detection pumps nowadays use solenoid circuits for a more accurate reading of leaks. Some LDPs can measure even the tiniest leaks in your car's evaporate emissions system. When choosing the right LDP for your vehicle, make sure that it uses a solenoid circuit, and that it is sensitive enough to detect the smallest leaks. Cheaper leak detection pumps are mostly made of polymer-based materials that can break down due to intense pressure. If you're looking for durability, stainless steel LDPs are right for you, but budget-conscious drivers can always settle for polymer leak detection pumps.
How to Replace Your Leak Detection Pump in 6 Steps
Emissions system leaks are common car problems that can easily be detected by using a leak detection pump. If you suspect that your vehicle has a leak in its evaporate emissions system, it's probably time to install a leak detector that will tell you if there are leak problems to your emissions system. Leak detection pumps works by applying pressure to the emissions system and turning off when a preset pressure rate is reached. If the interval between the turning on and off of the leak detection pump is short, this means that the leak is serious. Installing the leak detection pump can be as easy as 1, 2, 3 if you just follow this short guide.
Difficulty Level: Difficult
Tools you'll need:
- 5 mm drill bit
- Jack stands (optional)
- New leak detection pump
Step 1: Remove the exhaust system from the three-way catalytic converter (TWC) to its downstream components to avoid damage to the exhaust manifold. Do this by unscrewing the bolts with a wrench and a screwdriver.
Step 2: Detach the heat deflector plate near the left rear wheel with a 5 mm drill bit. Unscrew the plastic nuts holding the deflector in position. If the reflector is blocked by the rear wheel, remove the rear wheel first or use jack stands to create a better clearance below the vehicle.
Step 3: once you see the leak detection pump, disconnect it from the hose clamp using a wrench or a screwdriver. Manually detach the connector from the leak detection pump, and pull it out carefully.
Step 4: Unscrew the leak detection bracket using a screwdriver. Install the new pump onto the bracket and fill in the three screw slots to connect the pump to the pump bracket.
Step 5: Return the bracket back to its former position, and re-connect the hose clamp as well as the connector to the newly installed leak detection pump.
Step 6: Using the 5 mm drill bit, re-install the heat deflector together with the TWC. Remove the jack stands, and test the pump for leak detection.
Removing the TWC in step 1 can be quite a challenge for beginners, so don't hesitate to ask for professional assistance to do this step. Expert DIYers can spend at least 2 hours replacing leak detection pumps, but it can take up to 4 hours for newbies.