DTC P0496 (Diagnostic Trouble Code P0496) is defined as “EVAP Flow During A Non Purge Condition.”
It essentially means there’s an issue with the purge flow in the Evaporative Emission Control (EVAP) System, or the system is purging fuel vapor when it shouldn’t.
The EVAP system seals the fuel system of the vehicle, helping prevent fuel vapor from escaping the fuel tank and being released into the atmosphere. Fuel vapor contains hydrocarbons that form smog when they react with sunlight and air, polluting the environment.
The fuel vapor is contained in the EVAP canister. When the EVAP canister purge valve opens, the fuel vapor is siphoned by the vacuum of the intake manifold into the engine for combustion. In this way, the EVAP system also helps improve fuel efficiency.
If the Engine Control Module (ECM) identifies an unplanned vacuum in the EVAP system’s intake vacuum flow, it will also store the P0496 code and turn on the Check Engine Light.
Normally, a planned vacuum would help the fuel (gasoline) reach the combustion chamber. But an unplanned vacuum or loose gas cap could lead to a vapor leak instead.
Note: In Asian vehicle brands, like Honda, Mazda, or Hyundai, this code may come up as “EVAP System High Purge flow” for the same issue.
Code P0496 is hard to identify since there aren’t many obvious signs.
But here are some symptoms that you could look out for:
Yes, you can still drive with a DTC P0496. But do ensure you get your vehicle checked as soon as possible.
Prolonged driving with an EVAP flow issue can lead to:
Note: Any Check Engine Light issue should be resolved as soon as possible, even if it’s a low-priority one like a code P0496. This way, you won’t ignore any major engine issues that could also trigger the Check Engine Light.
The EVAP system consists of several components, including:
As a result, several malfunctioning components can trigger code P0496.
Since the EVAP system is one of the most complex systems in your vehicle, a high purge flow problem isn’t easy to DIY.
So, here’s how a mechanic would diagnose the issue:
A mechanic would fix a code P0496 by:
Once these repairs are done, the mechanic will re-scan the code and check if the vehicle still has a flashing Check Engine Light.
Depending on their labor rate, a mechanic could charge between $75-$150 for a diagnosis. They’ll then be able to give you an approximate cost of repairs.
Here are estimated figures for repairing some EVAP system parts, including the cost of the parts and labor:
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