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What is a purge valve and charcoal canister?

A purge valve is the part of the vehicle Evaporative Emission Control (EVAP) system.

The EVAP system prevents fuel vapours in the fuel tank from escaping into the atmosphere. The EVAP system traps fuel vapours from the fuel tank and temporarily stores them in the charcoal canister.

When the engine is running under certain conditions, the fuel vapours are purged from the canister and burned inside the engine.

The purge valve precisely controls the amount of fuel vapour that is purged from the charcoal canister.

In modern cars, the purge valve is an electrically-operated solenoid that is controlled by the engine computer (Engine Control Unit – ECU).

When the engine is off, the purge valve is closed. When the engine is running and fully warmed up, the engine computer gradually opens the purge valve to allow some amount of fuel vapour to be moved from the charcoal canister to be burned in the engine. The purge flow is monitored by a number of sensors. If the purge flow is less or more than is expected under the conditions, the computer illuminates the “Check Engine” light.

Are the number of keys on your keychain ruining your ignition?

This is one of the most common questions we get asked! Most people today own multiple sets of keys for their vehicles, properties, storage facilities, bottle openers and even small flashlights etc, and instead of placing them on separate keychains they are often placed in one ‘safe’ spot – the keychain holder. It’s the obvious thing to do if you have a tendency to lose keys, but what you may not know is the damage that is being done to your vehicle’s ignition system. A heavy keychain can place significant pressure on the ignition switch and can cause it to fail, which then will not start the vehicle.

What damage does a heavy keychain cause to a car?

When the weight of the keychain hangs, gravity continues to do its work and pull down. The ignition has to handle the weight when the car is at rest, while making turns, riding over bumps and going uphill. All this extra force continues to wear out tumblers in the ignition. A worn tumbler from the weight eventually will no longer be able to engage and turn the ignition lock. Once these internal parts start experiencing problems starting up the vehicle must be serviced for ignition repairs, meaning spending more money.

If the key starts to stick in the ignition and does not initially start the car until the keys are wiggled, these are signs that the ignition is beginning to wear away. Take a look at the key itself, if the key looks old and worn it is recommended to get a replacement key. The key gets worn from the normal use and the excessive weight dangling from the keychain. If the tumblers in the ignition lock are replaced before it fails it will be an easy fix, before complete failure and leaving the car owner stranded.

How heavy does the weight have to be to damage the car’s ignition?

Most car experts believe that nine keys or less will not cause damage. While some will say that weight ignitions are able to withstand up to three pounds of weight while the car is at rest. There is no definite answer, but if the keys feel heavy while in the ignition remove some items from the keychain.

What should go on a car’s keychain?

If possible, remove all other keys from the car’s ignition key and drive with only one key in the ignition switch. Perhaps consider attaching the extra keys with a removable keychain to easily remove all other items before driving.

In our opinion, a keychain should consist of:
• One or two keys (including the ignition key)
• Car alarm remote

Even if the car has keyless transmitters, the car ignition lock is still prone to suffer from excessive weight.

If it’s too late and the ignition is starting to show signs of wear and tear, SVS Autocare are able to help. They know that most car models require special tools to remove the ignition cylinder and interlock system, so in the event that this happens your car can be rescued. Do not let your car get you stranded in the middle of the night. Call the specialists at SVS Autocare and have them replace your worn car keys. Cut down the weight on your keychain and disconnect all other keys from your ignition key to maintain a long lifespan for your car’s ignition system.

Source: Pro Locksmith, San Diego

What Client Say

As a former sales rep in the automotive industry, I’ve had the opportunity to visit over a thousand workshops between Brisbane and Bundaberg, including all of the major prestige dealerships. The SVS Autocare workshop is one of the most pristine …

Michael Lane

We have had a cars serviced with SVS Autocare several times and they are amazing!! From the moment you walk through the door, the service is fantastic and they go above and beyond what they have to. All of the …

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I’d like to thank the crew at SVS Autocare for their great service throughout the years. My car broke down last week and from the first second on the phone they were 100% professional and understanding to my needs as …

Alexander Symonds

A few months ago I had an issue with the timing chain on my Mercedes CLS. This immediately became a MAJOR problem when I received a quote from the local Mercedes dealer for over $19,000!!! As I was familiar with …

Natalee Nancarrow

I can’t speak highly enough of the service and workmanship of all at SVS. My experience began with a friendly, warm reception by the owners wife and staff. After a sympathetic ear, the owner / technician was summoned and came …

Stephen G Rado

Dear Catherine, Martin and the fabulous team at SVS, I would like to say a very big thank you to everyone who had a hand in putting my Mitsubishi Pajero back on the road. After the months of drama and …

Gwyneth

The service provided by SVS Autocare is secondary to none. All their staff are friendly, efficient and knowledgeable. They send regular reminders. They pick up our cars from work and drop them back before the end of the day or …

Dr Oliver Gunson