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Evap Vent Solenoid Problem


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#1 Guest_Talzok_*

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Posted 05 December 2005 - 04:27 PM

I recently bought a 2001 Toyota Corolla LE from a used car dealership as my second car. It's been about 3 or 4 weeks since I've had the car, and about three days ago I noticed that my "check engine light" was on. I took it to Goodyear and they said it was some glitch code and they had no idea what it meant, so they just turned the light off and told me to come back if it came on again.

Today, about three days later, the light came back on. I took the car back in to Goodyear, and the guy told me that the error code said something along the lines of "Evap Vent Solenoid" and since they had no data on the code, he tried calling the Toyota dealership, but they said it could be a number of different things. He told me my best bet would be to take it in to the Toyota dealership.

I've done some research on the error code, and it seems that this is a common problem with Corollas and other cars as well. I'm wondering if I should take the car in to have the code properly diagnosed at the dealership, or if I should just keep driving until I notice a physical problem with the car. I've read that a possible solution to this problem is a new canister and gas cap that can cost around $500.00. Also, does anyone know if this particular problem has unlimited coverage? I think the basic warranty has expired on my car, but I still have drivetrain, corrosion, specific components, and safety belt / inflatable restraint. Emmissions has also expired.

Does anyone know if this is a serious problem that needs immediate repair?

Any help much appreciated.

Thanks.

#2 Guest_Talzok_*

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Posted 07 December 2005 - 09:58 AM

I went to AutoZone and got them to read the code. They came up with: "P0446 - The PCM has determined that a malfunction exists in the electrical circuit for the vent control in the evaporative emission control system."

I know a lot of people have this problem, but does anyone know any simple tasks, other than buying a new gas cap, that I could do to my vehicle to try to fix it? Keep in mind, though, I'm pretty much car illeterate when it comes to stuff under the car and under the hood. I read somewhere on the boards that someone had this same problem and it was finally fixed with a new o-ring (is that hard to install yourself?).

Thanks.

Edited by Talzok, 07 December 2005 - 09:59 AM.

#3 Ross_t

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Posted 07 December 2005 - 08:34 PM

I went to AutoZone and got them to read the code. They came up with: "P0446 - The PCM has determined that a malfunction exists in the electrical circuit for the vent control in the evaporative emission control system."

I know a lot of people have this problem, but does anyone know any simple tasks, other than buying a new gas cap, that I could do to my vehicle to try to fix it? Keep in mind, though, I'm pretty much car illeterate when it comes to stuff under the car and under the hood. I read somewhere on the boards that someone had this same problem and it was finally fixed with a new o-ring (is that hard to install yourself?).

Thanks.



Solenoid purge valve needs to be replaced. Very common problem. Most garages just replace the charcoal canister and solenoids as a unit, but the solenoid can be replaced seperately.

#4 fishexpo101

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Posted 07 December 2005 - 10:45 PM

I had that same code (P0446) a while ago - turned out it was a cut-off valve on top of the gas tank. $30 for a gasket and it was fixed - but took about 4 hours to do myself, since I had to drop the tank.

Ross_t brings up a very good point - most of the time, the charcoal or vapor canister is fine - the electricals (purge valves, hoses, vents, etc.) are the ones subject to problems. But it is more profitable and easier to replace the entire unit instead of find the ture problem. You might get lucky and get an honest dealership to completely diagnose the correct problem ($85 for diag fee - but they determined it was a cut-off valve - $360+ with labor and an additional $350 for the vapor canister).

Sometimes this will go away on its own - sometimes it will only get worse. Best bet is to take it into a Toyota dealer or an import specialist with Toyotas and have them do a proper diagnosis. You could do it yourself, but it will require quite a bit of work and specialized equipment.

Good Luck.

#5 Larry Roll

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Posted 07 December 2005 - 11:37 PM

Just out of curiosity, what was the mileage on the '01 LE? I have an '03 with around 33.5K miles on it, I'm just wondering if this problem is in my own future. Has anyone else had this problem with a 9th gen. Corolla?

#6 Ross_t

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Posted 08 December 2005 - 12:39 PM

I was able to get Toyota to fix my daughter's car for free. It wasn't easy and it took a lot of research and a call to the EPA in order to get them to honor an extended warranty on this item. (Both the local dealer and 1-800-Toyota refused help at first.) I was about to fix it myself and sourced the solenoid from an internet Toyota parts source, but the EPA intervention worked wonders! It's possible that a 2001 might still have emission warranty coverage.

#7 Guest_Talzok_*

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Posted 08 December 2005 - 01:54 PM

The 2001 Corolla LE has about 54,000 miles on it. I guess I'll just keep running the car as it is until I either save up enough money to get it properly diagnosed and fixed, or maybe I could try and get a manual and do it myself. Is it a very difficult operation to replace the solenoid purge valve (something a novice could do?) Also, does autozone or napa carry purge valves?

#8 fishexpo101

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Posted 08 December 2005 - 04:30 PM

Depends on your definition of difficult - may entail removing a suspension bracket and removing the vapor canister (located under the car, between the gas tank and rear suspension).

Last I checked - most retailers do not stock these parts. You would be able to get a good price from an online Toyota OEM vendor though, just have to look around.