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Old 03-19-2012, 01:57 PM   #1
hydromech
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2000 SL1
Default code P0442

Code P0442 stays ON for a while then disapears...

Car is running OK for it's milage... It is due for Emission Test next month so that "Check Engine" has to be fixed...

I visually inspected vacuum hoses - nothing... Checked vacuum - normal...

Anybody know what to do about that intermittent P0442 ?

Please help me troubleshoot this...

...
2000 Saturn SL1, SOHC, Automatic, 170K

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Old 03-19-2012, 02:38 PM   #2
awilson506
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1998 SL
Default Re: code P0442

How long has the light been on? I had this code a while back it meant a fuel vapor leak, and sometimes these can be near impossible to find. I was told to first go get a new gas cap or gas cap seal, and start with the cheap stuff. It turned out to just be the seal on the gas cap was leaking vapor. You might have the same problem, I would try the cheap solution first. You can pick up a gas cap at the junk yard for about $5

Last edited by awilson506; 03-19-2012 at 02:44 PM..

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Old 03-19-2012, 04:00 PM   #3
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2003 L-Series 3.0L Sedan
Default Re: code P0442

From the service manual;

DTC P0442

The evaporative emission (EVAP) system is used to store fuel vapors as to reduce the amount of unburned fuel from escaping into the atmosphere. The EVAP system consists of the EVAP canister, fuel tank pressure sensor, EVAP lines and hoses, EVAP purge solenoid - normally closed, EVAP service port, EVAP vent solenoid - normally open, fuel tank and PCM. The PCM monitors the EVAP system for circuit faults in the fuel tank pressure sensor, EVAP purge solenoid and EVAP vent solenoid circuits. The PCM also monitors the EVAP system for small and large leaks. During the DTC P0440 diagnostic, the powertrain control module (PCM) monitors the fuel tank pressure sensor for an atmospheric pressure reading when all of the DTC parameters have been met with engine running. The PCM will then command the EVAP vent solenoid ON, close valve, and command the EVAP purge solenoid ON, open valve. The PCM will let the pressure drop in the fuel tank for a certain length of time, after which it will turn OFF the EVAP purge solenoid. If a correct amount of vacuum is achieved, the PCM will run the DTC P0442 diagnostic which will monitor the decay in vacuum of the sealed system over a calibrated amount of time. DTC P0442 sets when the vacuum decay is greater than the calibrated amount for a certain length of time due to a small leak.

Possible causes of a small leak:
  • The fuel cap leaking
  • The EVAP vent solenoid stuck open
  • The EVAP vent hose loose or damaged
  • The EVAP canister leaking
  • The fuel sender assembly O-ring leaking
  • The fuel tank or filler neck leaking
The small leak diagnostic can detect a leak as small as 0.02 of an inch in diameter.

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Old 03-20-2012, 07:21 AM   #4
hydromech
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Default Re: code P0442

I did try new gas cap - did not help: code P0442 still ON and OFF...

Gas milage is about 20 MPG in city - not as good as before...

...
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Old 03-20-2012, 08:05 AM   #5
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Default Re: code P0442

Before ripping the system to shreds check that the vacuum line from the throttle body to the purge solenoid is in place at both ends and not cracked.

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Old 03-20-2012, 08:08 AM   #6
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Default Re: code P0442

Just a little heads up when looking for an elusive problem.

I had a small leak that was gas cap related and took the time to analyze some of the possibilities before proceeding. For me, all I did was examine the OEM cap for imperfections (mold flash, pits, etc.) the filler neck, and gasket. Applied some spray lube and years later the leak has never returned.

Replacing the cap may not be the quick answer if nothing else is addressed. A step by step process is needed to eliminate each item listed. Guessing doesn't work. This problem is a 'hands-on' issue. Start with the easy things and work up to the difficult ones on the list.

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Old 03-21-2012, 07:31 AM   #7
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Default Re: code P0442

Thank for information, fellows

What kind of Spray Lube did you use ?

So far I found rust on the matting surface of gas filler tube and removed it with sand paper... Also the OEM gas cap gasket has small cracks and looks worn-out...

All other hoses are connected and have no visual damage... Engine vacuum is normal and steady...

... and my "Service Engine Soon" is still ON

...
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Old 03-21-2012, 07:53 AM   #8
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Default Re: code P0442

Small cracks in the gas cap gasket may be the reason for the error code. The rubber gasket provides a seal for the on board self tests that checks for pressure and vacuum. Any leak will trigger the error light. Either replace the gasket or buy a new OEM gas cap.

My spray lube of choice is silicone, any percentage. What it will do is rejuvenate synthetic rubber and vinyl instrument panel coverings from uv light. Just a light coat on my OEM gas cap did the trick - 9 years later on the same gas cap.

The on board emissions self test uses the fuel pressure sensor to detect very low pressure and vacuum - the smallest leak isn't tolerated so the error light turns on. Smaller than pinhole size............................

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Old 03-21-2012, 08:42 AM   #9
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Default Re: code P0442

Quote:
Originally Posted by hydromech View Post
Thank for information, fellows

What kind of Spray Lube did you use ?

So far I found rust on the matting surface of gas filler tube and removed it with sand paper... Also the OEM gas cap gasket has small cracks and looks worn-out...

All other hoses are connected and have no visual damage... Engine vacuum is normal and steady...

... and my "Service Engine Soon" is still ON
You need a replacement cap. Parts store sells them. You can carefully transfer the actual seal from the new cap and replace the one on the car so as to retain the plastic cap leach. Spray grease is a white grease in a spray can and you can find it at the parts store but it is not a permanent fix. A finger smear of silicone grease on the gasket/seat will prolong its life though and tend to prevent rust.

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