Emission Control Parts
Not Just Blowing Smoke
It's no secret that driving an automobile that uses internal combustion produces certain gases that are harmful to the environment. Both the extraction process and the burning of fossil fuels ultimately lead to a buildup of greenhouse gas and lead to the worsening of an already dire climate crisis. Most vehicles on the road today feature several components and systems that work to reduce the amount of noxious material they emit.
Older cars like the 1970 Chevrolet Chevelle were highly inefficient and polluted in a range of ways. Their fuel tanks, carburetors, crankcases and exhaust systems all led to harmful emissions through evaporation (known as vapor emissions) which allowed hydrocarbons and lead compounds to be pumped from the engine directly into the atmosphere.
Today, the Environmental Protection Agency requires cars to use a system to reduce the emissions produced by automobiles. The Evaporative Emission Control system, or EVAP, was developed to trap and reuse harmful fuel vapors which consists of these main components:
- Fuel Tank
- Gas Cap
- Liquid-Vapor Separator
- Fuel Vapor Canister
- Vent Control Valve
- Purge Valve
- Vent Hoses
- Fuel Pressure Sensor
When your 2010 Ford Explorer is off, the vent control valve opens and the purge valve is closed. When you start your car, the computer commands the vent control valve to close, and the purge valve to open. The vapors from the fuel in your fuel tank vent to the fuel vapor canister. The fuel vapor canister contains activated charcoal that absorbs the fuel vapors for reusing.
Reduce, Reuse and Recycle
Two other systems, Positive Crankshaft Ventilation (PCV) and Exhaust Gas Recirculation (EGR) were developed to reduce emissions. PCV system was introduced in the early 1960s. During the final portion of the combustion stroke, some leftover fuel and air mix tend to leak from the piston sealing rings into the crankcase. This is referred to as "blow-by" and it must be removed before it can settle in the crankcase, or it will combine with oil to turn into sludge or dilute the oil. The EGR works by redirecting a small portion of exhaust gas to the engine's combustion chamber by way of the intake manifold. This reduces the amount of nitrogen oxide that is a biproduct of internal combustion.
These intricate systems require a symphony of functional components to work properly, and they can wear down over time or fail completely. If you've noticed a decline in your gas mileage, or your vehicle is idling poorly or sluggish when you accelerate, this could be an indication of failing parts of your emissions control systems. If your check engine light has illuminated and is throwing an EVAP code (P0440, P0442, P0456 etc), check NAPA AUTO PARTS near me, and come on in! We have all the parts, tools and Know How to get your vehicle's emissions control system performing at its best, so we can all breathe a little easier.