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Q: Engine light showing on a 2011 Toyota Corolla

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I have a 2011 Toyota Corolla. It shows the engine light on. I took it to a friend with a code reader and it said it's an emissions leak somewhere in the system. Is this an expensive leak to fix?

A: It could be. I would put a gas cap scan on ...

It could be. I would put a gas cap scan on it first, that’s often the easiest fix. If the gas cap is worn and it leaks, it’s going to trip that code. If it’s not that, the problem is what’s called the EVAP system, and you have a minor EVAP leak.

EVAP systems go from the gas tank and all the way around, under the car, in front of the engine. It’s very complicated to check. It requires a dealer-level scan tool, the open-and-closed valve, and a smoke machine to check for leaks. It can be a real stinker.

But on the plus side, on a Toyota, they will run perfectly fine. I had a customer that had that. He drove his car for five years that way and then, for some inexplicable reason, at the end of the five years--it stopped tripping the code and the light didn’t come out anymore. So, it doesn’t really mean all that much if the car runs fine. You could get a second opinion from a certified technician if you are not sure. A mechanic from YourMechanic can come to your home or office to diagnose your Check Engine Light and detect any leaks if they are present.

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