How To Clean Purge Solenoid Valve

How To Clean Purge Solenoid Valve

Cleaning purge solenoid valve can be done in two different ways and which one you pick depends on how much technical knowledge you have. Since our main objective is to get rid of the dirt that does not let it work properly, just rinsing internal components without opening should get the job done for most people.

  1. Locate the purge solenoid valve
  2. Spray a mass air flow sensor cleaner.
  3. Pull out and shake the valve.
  4. Spray contact cleaner.
  5. Let dry completely.

It’s more effective to open the valve and then clean it but this requires some skill. So, if you are not up for it, do it without opening the valve or just hire a professional. If you have some experience, you can do it yourself.

The primary job of the purge solenoid valve is to control the fuel vapor and not allow it to escape from the fuel tank.

The valve is connected to the charcoal canister to the engine, where the combustion occurs. Different types of sensors are attached to it to check the flow and pressure in the machine.

If the purge solenoid valve is dirty, the fuel-air ratio will be messed up. Most likely, more air will be entering the ratio. This can cause issues with fuel efficiency and the engine.

Here’s a complete guide on how to clean purge solenoid valves.

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How To Clean A Purge Solenoid Valve Without Opening It

How To Clean A Purge Solenoid Valve Without Opening It


This is what I recommend beginners do. If you already know what a purge solenoid valve does and where it’s located but don’t have much experience, I recommend this method.

Spray The Valve With A Dedicated Cleaner

You will need to use a dedicated cleaner here and not household products. The go-to products here are car cleaners and the mass air flow sensor cleaner.

The cleaner is supposed to enter in the openings without you opening the valve. So, you can use a generous amount of cleaner here but not too much.

Remove The Liquid Inside The Valve

All the cleaner you sprayed will have formed into a pool of liquid inside the valve. So, you need to shake the liquid off.

Pull out the valve from its place. Then, take it in your hand and start shaking it. It’s best to hold the two openings of the valve with your fingers. This will prevent cleaner spray from getting out while shaking.

The idea is to collect all that dirt inside so you can then take it out all in one squeeze. Be thorough with the shaking, a minute should be enough.

Then just remove the liquid trapped inside the valve. From one opening let the liquid spill out.

Spray The Valve With Contact Cleaner

The contact cleaner comes in a tin size container. The tin contains liquid stored under high pressure. When you spray the liquid under high pressure, the dirt trapped in the purge valve gets removed due to pressure.

Once the dirt is removed, let the valve dry for a while before you connect it back to the engine.

If none of the methods works, you have to use a deep cleaning. The technique is a little trickier and needs expert help from professionals.

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How To Open And Clean A Purge Solenoid Valve

Purge valves are supposed to be opened. However, it can be opened using a screwdriver with a flat blade or something like a knife. Here is how to deep clean your purge solenoid valve.

  1. Remove the glue. 
    The majority of purge valves look like two halves glued together. So, you can easily separate the two using a flat blade screwdriver. Remove as much glue as you can before using your hands to separate the case.
  2. Disassemble the valve body. 
    After splitting the purge valve, one of two parts will have the components, and the other is empty. Therefore, you should remove the case of the valve body.
  3. Clean the interior of the valve. 
    Check the interior rubber parts and O-rings. Lubricate them using silicone grease. Remember the seal the O-ring properly when reassembling the valve to prevent possible leakage.
  4. Use a carb cleaner or mass air flow sensor cleaner for deep cleaning.
    Using MAF of Carb clean, spray the solenoid and rub the orifices using a dry cloth for deep cleaning.
  5. Assemble the valve again. 
    Put everything back correctly. Be careful while working as to not damage components of the valve.
  6. Glue the valve back again. 
    You will need to glue the valve back again. Otherwise, you won’t be able to reinstall it. A strong glue is needed here, Epoxy is recommended. Remember to be careful to not put too much glue.

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Signs Of A Bad Purge Valve

Signs Of A Bad Purge Valve

If your purge solenoid valve is not working correctly, your car will emit more. You will also notice bad fuel efficiency. A couple of more symptoms can occur due to a bad purge valve.

  • Car sounds rough while idling.
    The bad valve will create a vacuum which will result in your engine sounding rough while idling.
  • Check Engine Light Alert.  
    The faulty valve will trigger some sensors in the car, particularly sensors that monitor the fuel-air ratio. The sensors will prompt the check engine light on your dashboard.
  • The car will have trouble starting.
    Because of the vacuum, the trouble will also have trouble starting. So, if you have a healthy battery but you have trouble starting, it may be due to a bad purge valve.
  • Bad engine performance and bad fuel efficiency. 
    While driving with a faulty purge solenoid valve, you will notice that your car requires more power. So, your car will need more gas and in turn, it will burn more fuel.

Related Questions And Other FAQs

Can A Purge Valve Get Clogged

Yes, a purge valve solenoid can get clogged. Purge valves have two openings. If one of the openings gets stuck, the purge valve can get clogged.

Can A Purge Valve Be Repaired

Repairing a component on a purge valve is quite complicated and requires a professional. Depending on the issue, you may need to repair or replace the purge valve.

Can You Clean A Purge Valve

Yes. You can clean the purge solenoid valve easily. There are two methods for cleaning a purge valve. One requires opening the purge valve, the other doesn’t.

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