How to Clean Purge Solenoid Valves? [Complete Guide]

Purge solenoid valves are used in cars to control the flow of water and other fluids into and out of the vehicle. When the system detects a problem with the valve, it will open to allow the fluid to flow out. This prevents water from flooding the engine and causing a problem.

If you are experiencing issues with your purge valves, it is important to clean them as soon as possible. By doing so, you will avoid potential problems and ensure that your Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning (HVAC) unit is functioning at its best. In this article, we will detail the steps necessary to clean purge valves and provide a guide on how often they should be cleaned.

Signs of a Faulty Purge Solenoid Valve

Before proceeding, we need to know what are the symptoms of a bad purge solenoid valve. Typically, when a car’s solenoid valve malfunctions, the following symptoms may occur.

Check Engine Light

If your car’s purged solenoid valve is damaged or defective, the first thing you notice is a check engine light. Your car’s computer system will turn on the light as soon as it detects a purge solenoid valve problem.

Engine Performance Principles

When your car’s solenoid valve gets stuck, it leaks. This causes air to flow at a very high level in the combustion chamber of the engine and disrupts the performance of the engine. This causes various problems in your car.

Trouble Starting

Another common symptom of bad purge valves is that your car will suffer from hard start trouble. The reason behind this is the vacuum leak that is created for the canister purge solenoid. As a result, you will notice that your car is not running fast.

High Fuel Consumption

When your car’s solenoid valve malfunctions, the fumes from the oil must be released. That is, it must be burned. That is, your car will need more fuel, and fuel consumption will increase.

Pressure Build-up Inside the Fuel Tank

Damage to the purged solenoid valve causes pressure on the fuel tank. This is because, when the canister purge solenoid valve gets stuck, it creates limitations in the fuel system. As a result, pressure builds up in the fuel tank.

Harsh Idle

When the canister purge solenoid valve stick is exposed, a vacuum leak is created in that open mouth. When you keep the car idle or drive at a low speed, it will make the car rough. Also, if the leak is relatively large, the engine can always stall along with low RPMs.

How to Clean Purge Solenoid Valves?

There are two strategies to rinse a car’s solenoid valve. One is without opening the valve, and the other is opening the valve for deep cleaning. Below we describe the two ways step by step respectively.

Clean the Purge Solenoid Valve Without Opening It

Step 1: Spray Mass Air Flow (MAF) Sensor Liquid or Carb

Notice that the purge solenoid valve has a total of two tubes. First, spray a decent quantity of MAF liquid or carb cleaner on both ducts.

Step 2: Nod the Tube and Stay Cool

Use your fingers and wrap both edges of the tube. Now shake it well. Cover both ends and give the cleaner some time to clean the turf.

Step 3: Deplete the Liquid Out of the Tube

Now remove your hand from the valve tubes, expose them and drain the fluid. The liquid is supposed to be dark due to charcoal, dirt, and debris. If the first time is not clean enough, repeat the above two steps several times as mandatory to ideally clean.

If your valve tube is cleaned for the initial time, there is probably not too much dirt or debris stuck in the purge solenoid valve. Another good thing is that you can clean the valve tubes as many times as you want, it will not harm them.

Step 4: Now, Spray the Contact Cleaner

Once the tubes are clean on demand, you need to spray the contact cleaner on the vehicle switch and the valve connector.

Step 5: Allow Time for Every Part to Dry

Finally, let all the ingredients dry.

Open the Purge Solenoid Valve and Do Deep Cleaning

Manufacturers do not allow their car’s solenoid valve to open. However, if you have a lot of dirt, you can force open the case using a tiny flathead screwdriver or something as sharp as a little knife.

Step 1: Rub Out the Glue

Most car models have Bosch-type purge solenoid valves. The two halves of these are glued together with glue. To detach the two parts you need to try to peel off as much glue with a flat head screwdriver. When most of the glue has been removed, try to untangle the two parts with a little force.

Step 2: Pull Out the Valve

When the two counterparts are separated, you will see a cap-like round part inside one of them. The upper half contains other parts, such as the electrical connector of the valve, the solenoid, and so on. All you have to do now is omit the valve from the inside of the case.

Step 3: Examine and Replace Parts

Check valve body parts, such as rubber parts or O-ring condition to see if they are OK. If there is a problem with them, then sadly you cannot buy them separately in the current market. Next, take a little bit of silicone lubricant and lubricate the parts. You will have the most problems with the upper O-ring and the rubber.

Step 4: Spray MAF Cleaner or Carb

Spray the inside of the solenoid with MAF cleaner or carb. If you want a little more cleanliness, rub the tubes with a clean dry rag after spraying.

Step 5: Put All the Parts Back Concurrently

When the valves are as clean as you need them to be, everything needs to be reassembled. You can use Room Temperature Vulcanizing (RTV) silicone or epoxy adhesive to combine. Apply these and put the cases together. Be careful, once you assemble the purged solenoid valve it would be difficult to open the next time. Apply pressure to make sure the two parts of the valve are joined.

Step 5: Allow Time for Everything to Dry

Finally, let all the ingredients dry.

Is It Safe to Drive With a Bad Purge Valve?

If you have a bad purge valve, this might be unsafe to drive. This is because a purge valve is responsible for removing air from the system to prevent vacuum loss. If air is not removed, the system can become overloaded and cause a loss of vacuum, which can lead to a loss of braking power. In addition, a purge valve can also cause the engine to run rough and cause other problems.

Frequently Asked Question

1. Can a Purge Valve Be Repaired?

A purge valve can be fixed up, but it is typically not a simple task. The valve is typically made of metal and plastic, and it can be difficult to remove the damaged parts without causing further damage. In some cases, the entire valve may need to be replaced. Additionally, it is important to make sure that the new valve is compatible with the system’s plumbing and other components.

2. Can a Purge Valve Get Clogged?

Yes, a purge valve can get blocked, but there are a few things that you can do to prevent this from happening. First, always make sure that the purge valve is installed correctly and that it is not blocked by debris. When the purge valve gets clogged, it is best to remove the obstruction and clear the valve using a plunger. Finally, make sure to regularly check the purge valve for wear and tear and replace it as needed.


Purge valves are important components of every car engine, and their proper functioning is essential for keeping your engine running smoothly. However, like any other mechanical equipment, they can start to malfunction over time, and this can lead to some serious problems.

In this blog, we have discussed the safe way to clean purge solenoid valves, and also have explained the symptoms that might indicate that one of these valves is not working properly. We hope that this will help you address the issue before it becomes too serious.