Question about 2006 Saturn ION

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I was told by a mechanic that my 2006 Saturn Ion needed a purge soleniode and vaccum canester. The gas sap light and engine light stays on. I replaced gas cap and they went out for couple of days now back on, and this id what they said I needed. HELP!!!

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The purge solenoid valvend canister are part of the EVAP system. The automatic diagnostic method tests the integrity of the EVAP system for leaks by pressurizing everything and then checking to see if pressure is lost. The filler cap is the main seal to the gas tank and if this is loose then compromises the ability of the system to be pressurized. Put a film of grease around the rubber seal and fit the cap tightly.

The following is a brief overview of the system (any spelling anomalies are due to my British background). I hope you find it helpful :-

What is it? The EVAP system is a collection of pipes and devices designed to prevent fuel vapour emission to protect the environment.

Where is it located? Pipes run from the top of the fuel tank to the carbon (vapour trap) canister which can be located between the inner and outer fenders (wings), on the inner fender or on the firewall (bulkhead). A pipe connects the canister to the throttle: the pipe exits just in front of the throttle plate.

How does it work? The EVAP system passively stores the vapour from the fuel tank in a charcoal filled canister. When the engine is running above idle speed the ECU opens a purge valve to the pipe leading to the throttle body. A vent valve allows the ingress of air into the canister and this encourages fuel vapour to be drawn out through the purge valve to be added to the air intake mixture to be burnt. The opening of the purge valve cycles with engine speed. The purge valve should be closed during idle.

Symptoms of faulty EVAP

  • Erratic idling - If the purge valve fails to close the ingress of unmetered air will compromise the ECU's ability to maintain a suitable air/fuel ratio.

How to check? Simply clamping off the pipe from the EVAP purge valve should result in an immediate improvement in engine idling performance. Remove the purge valve and try to blow through it. If there is resistance then the valve is mechanically OK. Applying voltage to the electrical connections should open the valve and remove any resistance to blowing.

How to fix? If the valve is jammed open permanently or fails to open when signaled to do so then replace it. It may be possible, taking the greatest of care in the process, to open the valve to clean it up in the hopes of affecting a repair. If the solenoid itself, however, shows 'open-circuit' due to an electrical break it is best to replace it.

Posted on Mar 15, 2011


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