Vacuum Pump Replacement and Repair

Vacuum Pump Replacement on BMW, Audi, Porsche, and VW

Vacuum Pump Replacement and Repair

SPRINT MOTORSPORTS Auto Repair Services: Vacuum Pump Replacement & Repair

What is a Vacuum Pump?


Many controls on your car, SUV, or truck, use engine vacuum to power servos or small vacuum controlled motors. The most common uses for engine vacuum is to power various smog controls and for various controls in your Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning system (HVAC). All gasoline engines create vacuum (negative air pressure) during operation, but sometimes that vacuum produced isn’t enough.  Many modern gasoline engines that have variable valve timing and/or valve lift mechanisms produce very little vacuum. Diesel engines produce very little or no vacuum at all except under special circumstances. Therefore, many car engines use a Vacuum Pump to provide a constant and strong supply of vacuum to power various controls. Vacuum pumps can be belt driven, chain or shaft driven, or powered by electric motors. Many modern vacuum pumps also may have electric controls or sensors built into them. Depending on the car design, they can be placed at the front or back of the motor and sometimes they are buried behind other items such as AC compressors or underneath intake manifolds. Therefore, the amount of labor and cost of a Vacuum Pump replacement and repair can be huge from one car to another.


What are Common Symptoms Indicate that you may need to replace the Vacuum Pump?


  • Hissing noise.
  • Hard brake pedal.
  • Various heater controls don’t seem to function properly.
  • Oil leaks around shaft driven pumps.
  • Malfunctioning smog controls that often result in a Check Engine Light and/or drivability issues.


How Important is a Vacuum Pump?


Depending on the weather you may be able to live without some of your HVAC controls and put off the repair for a little while. But if your failing vacuum pump is causing a hard brake pedal, that is a major safety issues and it should be replace right away.  Also, if the failed vacuum pump is causing a engine malfunction light and engine performance issues it should be repaired promptly. Any loss of smog controls due to a bad vacuum pump can cause fast and premature failure of the catalytic converter, which is very expensive to replace.


General Auto Repair or Auto Service Procedure:


  • Scan vehicle for relevant failure codes and perform actuator tests if available.
  • Identify faulty vacuum pump and location.
  • Remove and replace vacuum pump assembly or valve.
  • Test brakes and heater controls for proper function.
  • Road test vehicle and review engine performance data and test brakes.
  • Perform actuator test if available and clear codes.


Additional parts and labor that may be needed:


As stated earlier, major disassembly and removal of other components may be needed to access the vacuum pump.


  • If the Vacuum pump is driven by a serpentine belt, timing belt, or drive belt; now would be a good time to replace those belts.
  • Additional seals and gaskets will be needed for shaft driven vacuum pumps.
  • Air Compressor removal and AC System Service; and/or power steering pump removal and related parts and fluids may be needed during the repair process.
  • Many cars have hard plastic air lines or tubes that connect to the Vacuum Pump that get brittle from age. Be prepared to receive a call from the repair shop informing you of the need to replace those lines. Better yet, make sure the repair shop includes them in the estimate.


Preventative Maintenance Recommendations:


None. Mechanic should inspect housing of shaft driven pumps for oil leakage during a major service. Drive pulley should be inspected on belt driven vacuum pumps.

Quality and Competence

At SPRINT MOTORSPORTS, we take pride in caring for our customers, and are invigorated by the opportunity to provide you competent and comprehensive auto repair services. We strive to be your BEST car repair, service, and race facility in the San Jose Area. We provide you personalized, detailed, and friendly service. Our relationships are built on trust, communication, integrity, and commitment to you.


Give your car the proper love and car that it needs by experts with the proper tooling and equipment and avoid using the ill-equipped mobile mechanic.


We stand behind our work with a 2 year warranty on repair work!!!

If you think that your Vacuum Pump may need to be replaced, or you have a check engine light and need your car inspected, please contact us at service@SPRINT-MOTORSPORTS.com or 408-370-7480. We also perform routine maintenance and oil services.  We welcome you to stop by our shop at 2099 S 10th St Unit 40, San Jose, CA 95112. If you have any questions about your car’s performance, auto repair needs, or maintenance, don’t be shy and ask our friendly staff for assistance.