What are Vacuum Lines in a Car?

Detailed Guide about What are Vacuum Lines in a Car

Vacuum lines are flexible connections of rubber-like hoses or tubes. Such lines play an important role in routing different accessories and components of a car. The presence of a vacuum can power everything in your vehicle, from a brake booster to a vacuum windshield wiper. That’s why automobiles have dozens of vacuum lines, tees, trees, hoses, valves, and other accessories for efficient vacuum routing.

In this blog, we will discuss different types of vacuum lines along with their role in automobiles.

What are Vacuum Lines For?

In ancient times, the manifold vacuum was used to empower different components and accessories of the automobile. The main purpose of this harnessing was to make old electric systems capable of controlling heavy loads. Moreover, manifold vacuum, the natural byproduct of the gasoline internal combustion engine operation, was already easily accessible.

Though it’s impossible to incorporate all the car components and accessories directly in the intake manifold, there is a need to use vacuum lines to transmit the vacuum. You might be thinking about the connection between vacuum manifolds and vacuum lines. Well! Every manifold consists of one or more ports that work as efficient vacuum sources.

To connect these vacuum ports of the manifold with components of your vehicle, there is a need for vacuum lines. Besides this, some automobiles also contain throttle bodies and carburetors in their vacuum ports. The following are some of the main components that every vacuum requires:

  • PCV valve
  • HVAC valve
  • EGR valve
  • Brake booster
  • Vacuum advance
  • Heater control valve

Types of Vacuum Lines

Unlike ordinary scratch lines, vacuum lines are flexible pipelines or tubes that are effective for vacuum transmission in a car. Vacuum lines are just like “vacuum hoses” but smaller in diameters. The following are some most common vacuum lines with inner diameters used in vehicles:

  • 1/16″ (2mm)
  • 3/32″ (3mm)
  • 1/8″ (4mm)
  • 5/16″ (8mm)
  • 3/8″ (9/10mm)

Despite the difference in inner diameter size, vacuum lines are also of various types depending upon the type of material used for its manufacturing. Most vacuum lines used in cars are made of rubber. However, you can also replace your car’s ordinary rubber vacuum line with a silicone vacuum line to prevent an auto engine from heatstroke.

Are Vacuum Lines Present in Every Vehicle?

Yes, almost every automobile, having an internal engine operating on gas, consists of one or more vacuum lines. Some diesel running cars also have built-in vacuum lines for the production of a vacuum. Using vacuum accessories like the associated vacuum pump and throttle plate is efficient to use in gasoline-powered motors. Due to ever-increasing emissions, vacuum lines and hoses have become mandatory to control every car, truck, and other motors.

Since the 1980s and 1990s, the auto industry has been using vacuum systems to hook up all the components of a vehicle altogether for proper functioning. Here comes a question: what is the need for a vacuum system in a computer-controlled system? Well, it’s to control typical components like PCV valves and brake boosters in modern computer-controlled vehicles.

How do you know if your vacuum line is bad?

One of the most common symptoms of a poor vacuum line is the improper functioning of the engine. When your car’s engine starts backfiring or loses power, you should check if there is any leakage in your vacuum system or not. Even a minor vacuum leakage can damage your computer-controlled vehicle engines. It’s because a vacuum leak inhales outside air to alter the fuel-air ratio in the engine immediately.

Can you Replace the Vacuum Lines of your vehicle?

Yes, you can replace your auto vacuum lines if they get broken down or worn out. When the brake booster loses vacuum, you will have to use more strength to move the stiff pedal.  But there is no need to worry if you cannot tackle vacuum failure immediately because its failure neither causes overheating nor brakes failure.

It depicts that you will not have to experience a catastrophic situation due to vacuum lines failure. Whether you see a visible crack in your vacuum line or an audible hissing sound, you should repair or replace leaks of vacuum lines. You can bear up with your vacuum system if only one line fails. But the failure of the whole vacuum system leaves no other option than to replace it. Upgrade your auto vacuum system by replacing broken vacuum lines.

Key Steps to Replace Your Vacuum Lines

It’s quite simple to replace vacuum lines with the help of a few tools. Another specialty of vacuum lines is its “press fit” texture that makes it perfect for controlling different functionalities. Make sure that the inner diameter of your vacuum tube is lesser than its outer diameter before upgrading it.

Here are some steps to replace your broken rubber vacuum lines in the car.

  • Remove previously broken vacuum line connections from the vacuum source and other components.
  • Note down all the connections keenly while removing them.
  • Take proper measurements of vacuum lines and the ID you want to cut and attach to the vacuum tube.
  • Cut a section of measured length to replace the vacuum line of proper ID.
  • Raise and secure a new vacuum line with the car components and vacuum source.

However, you may suffer some problems while replacing vacuum lines in your car. There is a possibility that vacuum lines get entangled with ports and other connections. In such cases, you need to cut the vacuum tube lengthwise by peeling it off with a box cutter to process vacuum lines replacement efficiently.

That’s all about vacuum lines! Having these vacuum lines will increase your control over the automobile brakes and engines. No doubt, the flexible rubber vacuum lines work very well in the vacuum system of a car. But we suggest you replace your broken vacuum tubes with silicone lines. Make your car under control by using properly functioning vacuum lines in your vehicles.


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