P0442 – EVAP Leak: What You Need to Know

Evap Leak - Evap system components

An is a pretty common problem with modern vehicles. If you have a with the code P0442, you’re probably wondering what the evaporative emissions (EVAP) system is. Also, what or why it’s leaking.

Is It Safe to Drive With an EVAP Leak?

The EVAP system counts as an emissions repair, which means it won’t usually effect the way your vehicle runs. Still, you’ll need to get it fixed in order to pass an test.

What is an EVAP System?

The Evaporative Emission Control System (EVAP) is used to prevent gasoline vapors from escaping into the atmosphere from the tank and fuel system at all times. EVAP systems have been required on gasoline powered vehicles since the 1970s. Without it, the fuel system would pollute the atmosphere with hydrocarbons 24 hours a day. Whether the vehicle was running or not. That’s a lot of potential pollution!

The code simply means that there is a leak somewhere in the system. As a result, a small amount of gasoline fumes are escaping into the atmosphere.

The OBD II EVAP monitor on 1996 and newer vehicles runs diagnostic self-checks to detect vapor leaks. If it finds any (including a loose or missing gas cap), it will set a fault code and turn on the Check light. 

How do I tell if my gas cap is causing an EVAP Leak?

Your gas cap may or may not be the cause of your EVAP leak. The most obvious sign of a bad gas cap is the odor of gasoline coming from the gas cap area of the car. You can also visually inspect the gas cap, and gas cap seal for cracks or damage.

How Much Does a Leak Cost to Fix?

The cost to an leak varies pretty widely depending on which part of the system is leaking. It could be as cheap as $50, or as much as $500+ if the tank needs to be removed in order to fix a leak above it. The best thing to do is make an appointment to get your vehicle diagnosed so you can get an accurate estimate.

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