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P0455 with occasional fuel smell

P0455 with occasional fuel smell

  #1  
Old 03-01-2019, 09:02 AM
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Default P0455 with occasional fuel smell

Hi everyone, newbie here. Not a newbie to fixing cars though.

My mother has a 2003 Ion 1. It's been pretty reliable so far, just needing some small things over the years, and she has about 120k on it. About 6 months ago the Check Engine light came on and the car smelled like it was leaking gas, back by the left rear side. After convincing her that the car was not going to explode (she really was concerned of that) I had her bring it over to my place for a look. My code reader showed P0455. I Googled it and read that the most common culprits were the gas cap, fuel filler neck, and purge valve, so I replaced all of them. That seemed to fix it, but after a month or so it happened again. I cleared the code and again the light stayed off for another month or so. Now her car is due for an inspection and the light came on again. I just cleared it again last night.

While searching this forum today, I came across a thread from a couple years ago that it could be the fuel lines / metal evap lines that are rusted and leaking. I'm in Buffalo, so that is definitely a possibility, but... if that was the case wouldn't you smell gas all of the time? The only time when you can smell gas is right after the CEL comes on. And it is a very strong smell.

Maybe I searched wrong or something, but I couldn't seem to find anything really helpful here, so I am wondering if anyone else has experienced this issue and what they did to fix it, besides the gas cap, filler neck, or purge valve. Any help would be appreciated, I really don't feel like crawling under this thing on a wild goose chase when it's in the 20's outside.

Thanks
 
  #2  
Old 03-02-2019, 09:52 AM
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Have you checked the charcoal canister? It could be gas soaked and needs replacing. I have no idea where it is located. They get saturated by people who keep pumping gas after the auto shut off clicks. I just round mine to the nearest nickle and stop. I've never had to replace one. When you replaced the gas cap, did you give the filler neck a good cleaning too? It might not be making a good seal with the new cap. I'd clean them both with some WD-40 and see what happens. I had to do that with my PT Cruiser after I kept getting the loose gas cap code.
 
  #3  
Old 03-02-2019, 10:45 AM
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I have not checked the canister.

What I find odd, it that the only time you can smell gas is right after the Check Engine light comes on. The smell goes away rather quickly. The other day I was going over to my mothers for dinner. I called her to tell her I was on my way. She told me that she just got home and that as she was pulling into her driveway the Check Engine light came on and when she got out of the car all she could smell was gas. I got there 15 minutes later and there was no smell at all, and no gas on the driveway. I know that the canister collects the fuel vapors and at a certain point the the purge valve opens to purge the system... so if the canister had actual gas in it you would smell it... but would that set the code? All this emissions crap gets so confusing.

For the time being, since the code only pops up like once a month on her car, I've told her to drive it for a couple days to set a ready status then have her take it for inspection. I'll look into this more when it warms up here. My garage isn't heated and I'm not really fond of working on cars when it's below freezing. I think that the canister and lines are the only parts that I haven't changed, so I guess those are next to look at. If she weren't on a low fixed income I'd just tell her buy a new(er) car... but she really likes "Fred" the Saturn.

Thanks Rubehayseed
 
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Old 03-05-2019, 08:34 AM
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I'm not saying that the canister is the problem, Keith. It just seems like you've looked at or replaced just about everything else that I can think of. Don't have her put more money into a "maybe" thing, just look at the canister and lines going to it first. I think if it was saturated, you'd notice it being sort of heavy if you remove it. IDK, just speculating.
 
  #5  
Old 03-05-2019, 10:12 AM
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Rubehayseed, I understand what you're saying. But like you said, I've replaced just about everything else. Anyway, I thought that I had replaced the purge valve, but when looking on Rockauto, I realized that I did not. It was the vent valve that I replaced. So, I've ordered a new purge valve and canister filter. It's supposed to warm up some this weekend, so I'll try to swap those out then, as well as check out the lines.

I also have to figure out what's going on with her wipers. Sometimes when you turn them on, they don't go on. As in, you turn the switch and they don't move at all. I have another thread for that, and derf suggested I flip the switch on and off like 200 times. That used to work on the old (really old) ****-style TV tuners, so it's worth a shot. I just texted her and told her to try it... hopefully she doesn't rip the whole stalk off, lol.
 
  #6  
Old 03-05-2019, 08:21 PM
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The EVAP purge valve is periodically opening to release fuel vapors into the intake, then closing. I suppose it could be getting stuck open every now and then, but even so it shouldn't be leaking the fuel vapors to the air unless it has a pressure relief built into it and it's actually getting stuck closed.

Are the solenoids that control the valves built into the valves themselves or are they separate entities? Meaning when you replace a valve are you also replacing the solenoid that actuates it? If not, you may have a failing solenoid or an intermittent electrical issue to one.

Just throwing out semi reasonable ideas......
 
  #7  
Old 03-05-2019, 09:03 PM
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Originally Posted by derf View Post
The EVAP purge valve is periodically opening to release fuel vapors into the intake, then closing. I suppose it could be getting stuck open every now and then, but even so it shouldn't be leaking the fuel vapors to the air unless it has a pressure relief built into it and it's actually getting stuck closed.

Are the solenoids that control the valves built into the valves themselves or are they separate entities? Meaning when you replace a valve are you also replacing the solenoid that actuates it? If not, you may have a failing solenoid or an intermittent electrical issue to one.

Just throwing out semi reasonable ideas......
The valve and solenoid are a single unit.
 
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