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This code refers to the EVAP purge flow happening when it is not commanded. Suspect a purge control solenoid. If the solenoid is stuck open, it will draw gas fumes and possibly raw fuel into the engine resulting in a rich condition ( black smoke ) and can cause the symptoms described. If left unchecked, it will compromise the evaporative emmission canistor by filling it with fuel and result in needless replacement of it
well auto zone needs to diag cars like i need to be a brain surgen . what code do you have if its p2181 yout thermostat needs to be replaced what happens is the thermostat stays open too long and the engine sees that and it will set in about 2 to 3 drive cyles your pcm looks at all sensors all the time to keep emmisions down and your milage will pick up when it is replaced
You need the code
Then you find the problem in the EVAP System
An EVAP Smoke Machine, would have you making the repair in about 3 minutes.
So unless you can find a loose hose,broken fitting Etc,you need professional help.
Then the job is completed with a scanner to test system, I doubt your spending 8 thousand for that piece of test equip.
Now you know why cars cost a lot to fix.
Maybe something very simple for example a vacuum/air leak in the emmission system ie., manifold. The best way to fix this is to buy a code reader which will turn off the light and the diagnostic code will tell you whats wrong. You failed to say what year the car is so I cannot advise on the system. If it's fairely new 2000 or newer then it may have the OBDII system. Buy or rent the appropriate reader for your car. This will not fix the light problem unless the cause is fixed. but you will know how serious the problem is.
the emmisssion light comes on to alert you to the fact that a fault has occured in the electronic engine and emmission control system, there are over 200 such faults poss and each has it's own distinct fault code that is set in memeory whenever the light comes on, if u have less than 70,000 miles on this car it is likely this will be covered by the US Goverment mandated emmssion system warranty.
P0300 is a general code for "multiple engine missfires". This can be caused by several things. Since it is stalling and "dieseling" (noisy engine) after you come to a stop it sounds like the ignition system is shutting down for some reason. (dieseling requires fuel but not spark) Have shop check for cam and crank sensers, coil pack, and PCM. If he gets a P0000 code ever it will need a PCM and reprogram. It can be a bunchof other items as well but this is the most likely path I would take.