Symptoms of a Bad or Failing Evaporative Emission Control Canister

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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.

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Richard

15 years of experience
60 reviews
Richard
15 years of experience
Ford F-150 - Brake Pads Replacement (Front, Rear) - Fremont, California
Excellent communicator, walked me through the fixes and even gave me an idea of what might be next on the fix list.
Dodge Grand Caravan - Brake Pads Replacement (Front, Rear) - Union City, California
quickly diagnosed the problem but knew it would take longer than appt time to fix. since we had appt the next day for brakes he rearranged his schedule to do it all together the next day. very knowledgeable, friendly, and professional.

Tung

14 years of experience
285 reviews
Tung
14 years of experience
Hyundai Elantra - Brake Pads Replacement (Rear) - Mableton, Georgia
Very detailed and customer service oriented. Did an amazing job fixing my back brakes and even set-up a schedule of future appointments for my car!
Ram 1500 - Brake Pads Replacement (Front) - Marietta, Georgia
Tung showed up on time and was very friendly. Changed my brake pads in about 30 minutes and gave me recommendations on when to change the rear pads. Will ask for him by name next time.

Horus

9 years of experience
103 reviews
Horus
9 years of experience
Land Rover Range Rover - Brake Pads Replacement (Front, Rear) - San Antonio, Texas
Horace worked on my Land Rover today. Showed up on time and was professional and courteous. Replaced front and rear break pads. Great job!

Juan

11 years of experience
37 reviews
Juan
11 years of experience
Dodge Avenger - Brake Pads Replacement (Front) - Mountain House, California
Was very thorough in explaining the condition of the car and how the repairs will impact it’s service.

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