Tricks of the Trade: Hunting for Leaks-Helping You Wrench
It's safe to say that the older an engine gets, the more problems occur. Higher-mileage engines are prone to developing a high idle, often associated with vacuum leaks. Before pulling into your local repair shop, take a few moments to visually search for any dislodged vacuum hose or cracks in any of the rubber lines. If your hunt comes up inconclusive, a quick and easy trick is to spray brake cleaner or starting fluid around vacuum lines and manifold gaskets-if the idle changes or drops significantly while spraying over a certain section . . . voilà! You've just found the elusive leak. This process works to identify vacuum leaks, but not boost-pressure leaks. If your force-induced engine is experiencing boost leaks, we recommend using a spray bottle filled with soapy water, which will bubble upon contact with air escaping the system.