The oil and fuel in your vehicle give off vapors that are very harmful to the environment. Evaporative emissions control systems – EVAP for short – are mandated in all cars and trucks. The job of the EVAP system is to capture these vapors and direct them into the engine to be burned – kind of an on-board recycling program.
The EVAP system is a complicated network of hoses, valves, filters and such. Issues with the EVAP system are in the Top 5 reasons for a Check Engine Light to be illuminated. A qualified service technician pulls the trouble codes and begins a diagnostic procedure to isolate the fault. With the proper equipment, the technician can test the valves in order to trace a blockage. A low-pressure smoke test can be performed to find any leaks. The necessary repairs are then made to get the EVAP system working again and to reset the Check Engine Light.
While EVAP problems don’t generally lead to vehicle damage, the fact that they trigger the Check Engine Light can mask other more serious problems if left unaddressed. After all, there are hundreds of conditions that can trigger a Check Engine Light – but there is only one light. So, if the light is on because of an EVAP issue you haven’t fixed and another problem arises, you won’t be alerted to the new condition because the light is already on.
Of course, if you live a jurisdiction that requires emissions testing to register your vehicle, you won’t pass the test until you make the necessary repairs. An EVAP trouble code could be caused by something as simple as a loose or worn gas cap or a leak in a hose to problems with a purge valve of even a rusty fuel filler pipe.
When your Check Engine Light comes on, bring your vehicle into the shop and let us check it out. A trained technician will be able to diagnose the issues and work out a plan to address any problems that are uncovered. There’s peace of mind that comes from knowing what is wrong and taking care of it.