An air leak in the fuel line of a car means air is getting into the system when there should be a vacuum. This disrupts the air-to-fuel ratio and may result in symptoms like hissing, rough idling or ignition and fuel problems.
An air leak is most evident when the car is idling, because that is when extra air entering the system can make the most difference. At higher engine speed, air intake rises and extra air is less noticeable, according to the AA1Car website. Idling may be rough or fast.
Whether an engine has fuel injectors or a carburetor, there may also be stalling or misfiring. Common locations of leaks include the gaskets in the intake manifold and the O-rings in the injectors.
Methods of detecting air leaks include visual inspection, using an electronic vacuum leak detector or exhaust analyzer. Sometimes, it's a simple manner of tightening bolts on the intake manifold or carburetor, but if hoses and parts are worn, they should be replaced.
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