Q: Car stalls out if I fill the tank all the way

asked by on November 07, 2015

Very strange problem with my 2006 Kia Optima. Every time I fill up the fuel tank (actually top it off) the car will stall the first time I start it after. The motor has just under 100,000 miles on it. I searched around for hours to find a mechanic shop in a gas station so I could show them the issue. They agreed that it was weird. Anyway, I need a proper diagnosis. What on earth is causing this?

Does the Check Engine light illuminate when the car stalls? If so, a mechanic will be able to trace the issue with a scan tool. That said, this concern is likely related to the On-board Refueling Vapor Recovery (ORVR) valve or the emissions systems charcoal canister. The ORVR valve is known to fail over time. The charcoal canister can become saturated if the fuel tank is “topped off” repeatedly. If either of these units fail, it would cause the concern that you describe. Armed with this knowledge, I would recommend having a certified mechanic, such as one from YourMechanic, perform a fuel system and emissions system inspection. One thing that you can check on your own is the sealing gasket on the fuel cap. Remove the cap and turn it over, so that you are looking at the rubber seal on the cap. If the seal is cracked, dry, or rotted, a new cap should be purchased and installed.

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