Symptoms of a Bad or Failing Evaporative Emission Control Canister

The smell of gasoline is difficult to miss, and even more difficult to ignore once you’ve smelled it. It is caustic and burns the nose, and can be very dangerous if inhaled and cause nausea, headaches and breathing problems. The amount of fuel vapors that can escape from a vehicle are strictly regulated, and the evaporative emission control canister helps keep everything working with valves, hoses, charcoal canister as well as a sealed gas cap.

Fuel is going to evaporate into a vapor, and that vapor is stored in the charcoal canister for later use in the engine as an important part of the air/fuel mixture. Particulates can accumulate on the emission control canister and wreak havoc with the valves and solenoids, even potentially cracking the charcoal canister itself. While a cracked or dirty canister is not a reason to be immediately concerned, the fact that fuel or fuel fumes can leak out is a big problem and needs to be addressed immediately.

1. Check Engine Light is on

The Check Engine Light can go on for dozens of different reasons, but if you see that particular light in combination with the strong odor of gasoline fumes then it’s a possibility that your evaporative emission control canister is the problem.

2. Raw fuel smell

If you’re smelling raw fuel, and you’re standing near the back of your vehicle, then it’s a possibility that this emissions-important part is failing and allowing fuel to escape from your gas tank.

3. Collapsed or leaking fuel tank

If the evaporative emission control canister undergoes a catastrophic failure, the gas tank can actually collapse – if the car has a solid-type gas cap. If there is a whooshing sound when the cap is removed, suspect the problem is venting-related. No maintenance schedule exists for this particular part, but the canister can easily become clogged or damaged and begin to leak. If that happens, be sure to consult a mechanic at your earliest convenience.

YourMechanic makes getting repairs to the evaporative emission control canister easy, since our mobile mechanics will come to your home or office to diagnose and fix your car.


Next Step

Schedule Exhaust and Emission System Inspection

The most popular service booked by readers of this article is Exhaust and Emission System Inspection. Once the problem has been diagnosed, you will be provided with an upfront quote for the recommended fix and receive $20.00 off as a credit towards the repair. YourMechanic’s technicians bring the dealership to you by performing this job at your home or office 7-days a week between 7AM-9PM. We currently cover over 2,000 cities and have 100k+ 5-star reviews... LEARN MORE

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Recent Exhaust and Emission System Inspection reviews

Excellent Rating

(4)

Rating Summary
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Anthony

28 years of experience
113 reviews
Anthony
28 years of experience
Hyundai Sonata L4-2.4L - Exhaust and Emission System - Moriches, New York
Anthony was very knowledgeable in diagnosing the problem with my car. explained everything that needed to be done in terms that I could understand. I would use this service again.

Pedro

22 years of experience
33 reviews
Pedro
22 years of experience
Infiniti Q60 V6-3.0L Turbo - Exhaust and Emission System - Woodland Hills, California
Very professional and honest. Was fortunate to have him be the one to show up. Thank you Pedro!

MICHAEL

33 years of experience
184 reviews
MICHAEL
33 years of experience
Mercury Mountaineer V6-4.0L - Exhaust and Emission System - Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Did everything he could to track down a emissions code, after all recommended to replace a bad PCM.

Jamahl

20 years of experience
830 reviews
Jamahl
20 years of experience
Honda Element L4-2.4L - Oil Change - Orlando, Florida
Jamahl was professional from start to finish. From the courtesy call prior to arrival and to working efficiently and the clean up after the job was completed. What stood out most of all was his professionalism when maintenance crew for my HOA stated he couldn't work in the parking lot. Despite that being my fault if it was indeed in the rules he was able to keep his composure and educate what happened. Despite that, because he was efficient he was still able to get the job done. He even went ahead and cleaned the parking spot next to mine with CRC cleaner as an act of good faith. Very personable and was able to have small talk while he was wrapping up. I would highly recommend Jamahl specifically to friends and family. *Word of advice to help your mechanic: Verify that you are able to have done on your car with property management prior to booking an appointment to save the mechanic trouble.

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