My engine light came on about 2 months ago--and then a couple weeks later I left my gas cap at a gas station. I went to Auto Zone yesterday and they came back with I believe they said a code 6, which was one (or more) of 4 possible problems: Loose fuel cap (which I replaced); Vapor canister saturated; failed vent solenoid; failed purge solenoid. The only problem is he said if it was the fuel cap, I would have to drive 60-80 miles to get the light to turn off. Since I need to have my car inspected asap and only work 2 miles from home, I was wondering if there was a way to narrow this down better? Thanks! I should never have treated her so badly and waited.
I was mistaken--code is actually P1456: Emission control system leak detected (fuel tank system)--the 4 possible causes were then listed.
Last edited by michelle6818; 03-04-2012 at 02:07 PM.
Reason: Mistaken about code
WTF is a "code 6"? That's not a code that is relevant to anything.
Only 4 possible causes of the code? Bull****.
4 common causes, maybe.
4 things they can sell you, absolutely.
The actual Pxxxx code is the only thing that matters.
Make sure the gas cap is correct for the car, and is a quality part.
Have ChinaZone clear the codes and turn the light off, or just wait to see if it goes out on its own.
IF the codes get erased, you will have to drive through a few "drive cycles" to rerun all of the on-board monitors, that could take forever if you only drive 2 miles at a time. (A drive cycle is a specific set of driving conditions that must be met to enable certain tests to be performed by the computer.)
See if the light comes back on later.
Obtain the code again, start over.
If you are in a time crunch because of your own issues, that is your own problem. These things take time.
We reapir what we think is wrong, then you have to drive it for a while, and the computer decides if the car is repaired later on.
Now, if the idiot light was already on BEFORE you lost the gas cap, then it stands to reason that you had a real problem before you lost the cap, and that a cap alone will not fix it.
An average shop may be able to fix, or take wild stabs at your problem. Maybe they could accidentally fix it in the process.
A well equipped shop equipped with a smart tech and excellent electronic support (a dealer level scan tool) should be able to make short work of your problem.
Quite a fierce reply, though I appreciate you took the time. As you read, I added the correct P code, and already acknowledged the fact that I mistakenly waited too long through exams to have her checked out. Definitely have been discouraged from posting.
I reread what I posted, and I'm not seeing where I was really horrible.
If you had read what I have posted over the last couple of weeks, you may see this reply was rather mild.
See, I am now close to 2 weeks without nicotine, and everyone else already wants to kill me so get in line.
Don't let my reply discourage you from posting.
I thought I had addressed most of your questions: You know it needs a cap, put it on. Just expect for it to need more than that.
Your next choice was about letting the light go out by itself, or not.
I would have the Zone clear the code, and then you drive the car until all the monitors run and pass, or fail and the light comes back on. At least you would know right away if something fails again this way. If you just left the light on, you may never know that something failed the tests.
All of this takes time, and you apparently don't have much of it.
Most people aren't going to be able to do much in the way of troubleshooting at home without a service manual and hopefully a scanner, jumper wires, DVOM, a vacuum pump, a water manometer gauge, maybe a smoke machine, a jack and stands, a clear understanding of the system and all of its components at hand, and more.
It is easy enough to toss all the parts that the Zone listed at it and still not solve the problem.
One of the more common valves to fail sits above the fuel tank, and may involve dropping the gas tank for access. It fails electrically (most of the time).
If one of these units shorts internally, the engine computer can be ruined.
Not cheap at all.
Even after the car is fixed:
You still have to drive the car through its drive cycles, and that can be done in about 10 miles if all conditions are correct (rare, but possible).
One saving grace might be if your emissions testing places allow one or more monitors to have not run and still be able to pass the test that way. Check with your local test center.
The CEL still needs to be OFF though.
IMO, the fastest way is to let a pro handle it. The price of accurate diagnosis is probably cheaper than just wild guesses and random parts replacement.
I can't tell if this reply helps or makes it worse.