P0445 code definition
The P0445 code identifies a problem with evaporative emission control system purge control valve.
What the P0445 code means
P0445 is the OBD-II generic code for a fault involving the purge control valve along the evaporative emission control system. The evaporative emission control system involves the fuel cap, gas tank, charcoal canister, and the purge control valve. As the gas in the tank evaporates, gas fumes are created. If left unchecked, these fumes can build up and cause excess pressure in the fuel system.
The evaporative emission system captures these fumes and allows them to make their way to the engine to be burned just like liquid gasoline. The P0445 code appears when the purge control valve, the valve responsible for releasing the fumes into the engine itself, encounters an error that prevents it from properly releasing pressure in the evaporative emission system.
What causes the P0445 code?
The P0445 code has a number of common causes:
- Faulty purge control valve
- Faulty purge control valve solenoid
- Loose or faulty gas cap
- Break in a fuel line within evaporative fuel system
- Loose or corroded wiring around purge control valve circuitry
- Faulty powertrain control module
What are the symptoms of the P0445 code?
When the P0445 code appears there will usually be no symptoms present whatsoever aside from the Check Engine light illuminating on the dashboard. The problems that tend to cause the P0445 error code are not directly related to making the engine start or run smoothly. Fuel economy may suffer a small amount, but the effects would not be noticeable to most owners.
How does a mechanic diagnose the P0445 code?
To diagnose the P0445 code, a qualified technician will use an OBD-II code scanner capapble of retrieving the factory code readings from the engine. They will also use a voltmeter and possibly a smoke machine to diagnose the P0445 code. The first step in diagnosis is to veiw the error codes stored by the engine and record the times at which they occurred. Once the technician has this information, they will reset the codes and take the vehicle for a test drive.
If the code appears again during the test drive, then they will continue to diagnose the problem knowing that the code appears consistently. Components like the gas cap and fuel filler neck will be inspected for damage. After that, the purge control valve, purge control valve solenoid, and the related circuitry will be inspected using a voltmeter. If the technician expects that there is a leak in a line within the evaporative fue system, then they may use a smoke machine to locate the leak.
Common mistakes when diagnosing the P0445 code
Since the P0445 code can be triggered by a problem as small as a loose gas cap, careful attention should be paid to the process of diagnosing the issue. If the issue is a small, easy to repair problem, then it would be an expensive mistake to replace major components like the purge control valve or purge control valve solenoid.
How serious is the P0445 code?
The P0445 code is only moderately serious. A loose gas cap or leak in the lines within the evaporative fuel system has a negative effect on emissions and fuel economy. While the drop in fuel economy may not be noticeable, it is wise to get the P0445 code sorted out shortly after it appears. The P0445 code will cause the Check Engine Light to illuminate on the dashboard, but that is mostly the extent of the problems it will cause.
What repairs can fix the P0445 code?
The most common repairs to address the P0445 code are as follows:
- Tighten or replace fuel filler cap
- Repair gas tank
- Repair or replace fuel lines within the evaporative fuel system
- Repair or replace wiring harness surrounding purge control valve
- Repair or replace purge control valve
- Repair or replace purge control valve solenoid
- Replace charcoal canister
Additional comments for consideration regarding the P0445 code
The P0445 code, in many applications, is the most common code to appear when the engine is working fine mechanically. This is due to the fact that the code can appear, and with it the Check Engine light, when the fuel filler cap is not fully tightened.
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