Whether you call it an air pump or a smog pump, it comes down to the same thing – a pump designed to force air into the engine to help improve emissions by re-burning spent vapor. Most air pumps today are electronic, but older ones were belt driven. Both types are susceptible to wear and tear, and you’ll need to replace yours when it eventually quits working.

When considering a replacement air pump, there are several factors that need to be looked at, including whether you prefer a new model or a remanufactured one, the size of your engine, and the make/model you’re driving.

  • New or remanufactured: One of the first things to consider here is whether you want a new air pump or a remanufactured one. New pumps cost more than remanufactured pumps, and many remanufactured models come with a warranty that rivals what’s available with a new one. Depending on the age of your car, remanufactured may be the only option available.

If you do go the remanufactured route, make sure the air pump comes with an OEM connector (for electric pumps), and that it has been tested to correctly seat the pump vanes. Some other things to keep in mind include:

  • Make and model: Smog pumps aren’t available in a one-size-fits-all configuration. You’ll need to buy one that is specifically designed for your make and model.

  • Engine size: Some automakers offer different engine sizes for the same make and model. This will have a definite impact on the air pump you choose. Make sure it’s sized for your specific engine.

  • Transmission type: Vehicles with automatic transmissions use different types of air pumps than those with manual transmissions, so make sure you buy one that pairs with your transmission type.

YourMechanic supplies top-quality air pumps to our certified mobile technicians. We can also install an air pump that you've purchased. Click here to get a quote and more information on air pump replacement.

This article originally appeared on YourMechanic.com as How to Buy a Good Quality Air Pump and was authored by Valerie Johnston.


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