P0457: Evaporative Emission Control System Leak Detected
Whether driving or parked, modern vehicles have a complex system of emissions control to minimize emissions. One error code that relates to the passive system is P0457. If your check engine light appears and your OBD-II scanner reads this code, you’re probably wondering, how do I fix trouble code P0457? Here’s a quick guide for identifying and solving this error code.
How Your Evaporative Emission Control System Works
As a passive system, the evaporative emission control system works when your engine is off. Fuel vapors that would normally escape your vehicle and add to the overall emissions pass through a series of hoses to a charcoal filter. Once your engine is started, a purge valve opens and allows an intake vacuum to draw the vapors into your intake manifold.
The system also uses an intake vent to allow air to mix with the vapors for a more efficient mixture. Any leak or damage in this entire system will cause your vehicle to begin emitting fuel vapors. The entire system must be working properly to create a vacuum and avoid leaking fuel vapors into your environment.
What are the Symptoms of a Fuel Vapor Leak?
Now that you know how the evaporative emission control system works, what does the code P0457 mean? This error code is the result of a failure to create a vacuum due to a leak. Even a major leak in the vacuum system will typically go unnoticed, so your first symptom will be your Check Engine light and error code P0457.
Over time, you may experience the smell of fuel as your car remains stationary. You may also notice a small decrease in your overall fuel economy, but these symptoms are only sometimes present, depending on the severity of the leak.
What are Common Causes of P0457?
Identifying the cause of P0457 can be difficult. There are many interrelated components, so you need to systematically check each one to find the source of the leak. Begin with the most convenient solution and work towards more complicated ones until you find the source. It’s important to find the cause and promptly repair it, as fuel vapors can become dangerous over time and affect the fuel economy of your vehicle.
An uncommon cause is the sensor. An error code of P0457 may not mean there is a definite leak, but it could be caused by a damaged or faulty sensor. Repairing the wiring or replacing the sensor may help you determine that your vehicle has a definite fuel vapor leak.
How to Fix P0457
Your first step should be inspecting your gas cap. A loose, damaged or missing gas cap is the most common cause of a fuel vapor leak. Thankfully, it’s also the easiest to fix. Tighten or replace your gas cap, reset the code and check to see if your P0457 trouble code returns. If it does, turn to one of the more complex repairs.
Another common issue is a cracked vacuum canister. A charcoal canister traps vapors until your engine is started, so a crack in this canister will allow vapors to freely escape. Replace your canister and check again to see if that solves the issue.
Other sources of a fuel vapor leak include the purge solenoid or hoses and fuel lines. Hoses can be cracked, cut, or rotted. This rarely happens from routine use, but can occur in older vehicles and from weather damage. If you can’t find any leak, consider asking a professional to use a smoke machine to look for minor cuts. Finally, the issue could be the sensor itself, rather than the evaporative emission control system. Inspect your sensor to see if it has caused your lit check engine light and error code P0457 problem. Replacing the sensor and repairing any loose or frayed wiring are another solution for your vehicle.