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Old 09-26-2021, 01:20 PM   #3
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Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: NYC
Posts: 45,318

2003 L-Series 3.0L Sedan
Default Re: Gas gauge empty, stalls, steering brakes hard to manage, starts up afterwards

Save money by not throwing it away on fuel booster and premium gas. Fuel booster does absolutely nothing plain regular gasoline already does. 87 regular gas is perfect for everyday driving. You're not driving a high performance engine with several hundred horsepower or high end cars like Ferrari, Land Rover, turbo charged engine, Audi, etc, requiring premium gas. If you're not street racing using an aftermarket turbocharger to boost your engine from factory power to add another hundred horsepower, stop using premium. There's absolutely no benefit of using premium gas in cars set-up for regular.

Repair shops make money from hourly labor rates and marked up parts. To stay in business and pay their overhead costs, we pay a lot of money to keep them in business whether or not they fix problems. If you ever hear or read any repair shop or new/used car dealer refunding money because they didn't fix a problem, please let everyone know. Good repairs are fixed the first time. Poor repairs may take another visit or third time to fix, often increasing the original repair bill, indicating the repair wasn't corrected the first time and a second try, adding to the bill, may fix the original problem or 'another' explanation is used to justify added repair costs. Dishonesty runs everywhere. The reputable repair shops fix things once.

P0446 is either a simple or difficult repair because of the emissions control system used. Many parts are involved along with rubber or nylon hoses used for vacuum control to extract fuel vapors from gas tanks, storing vapors in a charcoal canister. When an engine runs, the evaporative emissions control system is tested at startup to ensure engine vacuum, solenoid valves, sensors and tank don't have any pinholes anywhere. pinholes or rotted rubber fittings/hoses prevents vacuum from operating. Sensors check fuel vapor pressure and vacuum during tests on every engine startup and while driving. While driving, the fuel tank and vapor lines are used to extract fuel vapors from tank and charcoal canister, feeding vapors into the engine for burning along with fuel. Electronics controls the evaporative emissions control system. Diy familiarity or expertise in emissions systems are required to diagnose, troubleshoot and repair faults. This isn't for the average diyer to troubleshoot unless willing to learn and crawl around under the car to visually inspect rubber or nylon hoses, sensors, solenoid valves and make measurements to solenoid valves, inspect for wiring damage, etc.

Knowing how evaporative emissions control systems operate and getting hands dirty along with some basic electrical and electronics knowledge can help diyers perform diagnosing, troubleshooting and repairs.

There may be two problems here, the engine randomly stopping and the P0446 error code. I agree with PrestonIII about inspecting battery connections being clean and free of corrosion and connections not loose. Side terminal batteries are prone to over tightening, damaging the battery. Older top post battery terminals never suffered damage from over tightened connections. As mentioned, the other ends of battery connections need to be examined too for possible problems that may contribute to the random engine die off unless there are other issues not brought up; lack of maintenance like oil and air filters, replacing spark plugs periodically, etc.
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