Question about Dodge Stratus
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Posted on Jan 02, 2017
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During evaporative system diagnosis, Leak Detection Pumps have mistakenly been replaced. A thorough inspection for pinched, kinked, or disconnected supply vacuum lines (as currently listed in the Powertrain Diagnostic Procedures) is a critical step in diagnosing DTC P1494 (LDP SW OR MECHANICAL FAULT). Additionally, the other evaporative leak faults (DTC P0442 - SMALL LEAK, P0455 - LARGE LEAK, and P0456 - VERY SMALL LEAK) should have the supply vacuum lines examined for pinches or kinks prior to any LDP component replacement.
The supply vacuum lines should be checked from the engine compartment all the way to the fuel tank, including the LDP and purge system.
NOTE: VERIFY ALL RELATED SUPPLY VACUUM LINE ROUTINGS FOR PINCHES, KINKS, OR DISCONNECTION'S BEFORE REPLACING LDP SYSTEM COMPONENTS.
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EVAP Leak Detection Pump Description & Operation
The evaporative emission system is designed to prevent the escape of fuel vapors from the fuel system. Leaks in the system, even small ones, can allow fuel vapors to escape into the atmosphere. Government regulations require onboard Testing to make sure that the evaporative (EVAP) system is functioning properly. The leak detection system tests for EVAP system leaks and blockage. It also performs self-diagnostics. During self-diagnostics, the Powertrain Control Module (PCM) first checks the Leak Detection Pump (LDP) for electrical and mechanical faults. If the first checks pass, the PCM then uses the LDP to seal the vent valve and pump air into the system to pressurize it. If a leak is present, the PCM will continue pumping the LDP to replace the air that leaks out. The PCM determines the size of the leak based on how fast/long it must pump the LDP as it tries to maintain pressure in the system.
The main purpose of the LDP is to pressurize the fuel system for leak checking. It closes the EVAP system vent to atmospheric pressure so the system can be pressurized for leak Testing. The diaphragm is powered by engine vacuum. It pumps air into the EVAP system to develop a pressure of about 0.25 psi. A reed switch in the LDP allows the PCM to monitor the position of the LDP diaphragm. The PCM uses the reed switch input to monitor how fast the LDP is pumping air into the EVAP system. This allows detection of leaks and blockage.
The LDP assembly consists of several parts. The solenoid is controlled by the PCM, and it connects the upper pump cavity to either engine vacuum or atmospheric pressure. A vent valve closes the EVAP system to atmosphere, sealing the system during leak Testing. The pump section of the LDP consists of a diaphragm that moves up and down to bring air in through the air filter and inlet check valve, and pump it out through an outlet check valve into the EVAP system. The diaphragm is pulled up by engine vacuum, and pushed down by spring pressure, as the LDP solenoid turns on and off.
The LDP also has a magnetic reed switch to signal diaphragm position to the PCM. When the diaphragm is down, the switch is closed, which sends a 12v (system voltage) signal to the PCM. When the diaphragm is up, the switch is open, and there is no voltage sent to the PCM. This allows the PCM to monitor LDP pumping action as it turns the LDP solenoid on and off.
Diaphragm Downward Movement
Based on reed switch input, the PCM de-energizes the LDP solenoid, causing it to block the vacuum port, and open the atmospheric port. This connects the upper pump cavity to atmosphere through the EVAP air filter. The spring is now able to push the diaphragm down. The downward movement of the diaphragm closes the inlet check valve and opens the outlet check valve pumping air into the evaporative system. The LDP reed switch turns from open to closed, allowing the PCM to monitor LDP pumping (diaphragm up/down) activity.
During the pumping mode, the diaphragm will not move down far enough to open the vent valve. The pumping cycle is repeated as the solenoid is turned on and off. When the evaporative system begins to pressurize, the pressure on the bottom of the diaphragm will begin to oppose the spring pressure, slowing the pumping action. The PCM watches the time from when the solenoid is de-energized, until the diaphragm drops down far enough for the reed switch to change from opened to closed. If the reed switch changes too quickly, a leak may be indicated. The longer it takes the reed switch to change state, the tighter the evaporative system is sealed. If the system pressurizes too quickly, a restriction somewhere in the EVAP system may be indicated.
Diaphragm Upward Movement
When the PCM energizes the LDP solenoid, the solenoid blocks the atmospheric port leading through the EVAP air filter and at the same time opens the engine vacuum port to the pump cavity above the diaphragm. The diaphragm moves upward when vacuum above the diaphragm exceeds spring force. This upward movement closes the vent valve. It also causes low pressure below the diaphragm, unseating the inlet check valve and allowing air in from the EVAP air filter. When the diaphragm completes its upward movement, the LDP reed switch turns from closed to open.
Removal & Installation
The Leak Detection Pump (LDP) is located under the left quarter panel behind the left/rear wheel. It is attached to a two-piece support bracket. The LDP and LDP filter are replaced (serviced) as one unit.
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