Join the Car Talk Community!

Discussion Rules

Welcome to the Car Talk Community!

Want to ask a question or join the discussion? Great! Join now.

Sign In Register


The check engine light on my 99 Camry went on at about 180,000 miles.
<br/> My mechanic checked the code and turned up an EVAPORATIVE EMISSION CONTROL SYSTEM INCORRECT PURGE FLOW
<br/> He said this could be any number of things,including the need for a gas cannister or some type of valve.
<br/> What does this mean?
<br/> How do you determine exactly what the cause of the problem is?
<br/> What are the likely fixes?
<br/> Will Toyota be able to better determine the cause than my personal mechanic?
<br/> What are the best options?
<br/> Thanks.


  • edited February 2011
    I think because evap emission systems are not very intutive to diagnois and repair the use of the trouble shooting chart in the factory service manual is a good idea.
  • edited February 2011
    So would Toyota be able to quickly diagnose it?
  • edited February 2011
    A competent independent mechanic with the service manual will be able to diagnose it.

    A Toyota dealership will likely try to scare you into buying a new car.
  • edited February 2011
    If there is a system that could require a return visit, in my experience the evaporative emissions system is that one,seems to give quite a few mechanics trouble,perhaps justified or unjustifiably
  • edited March 2011
    The cannister he's alluding to is the charcoal canister. The valve he's alluding to is the purge valve.

    As the gas tank breaths out, when filling the tank or for any other reason the volume expends (like when agitated), the gas fumes are collected in the charcoal canister. When you start the engine, the "purge valve solenoid" opens the "purge valve" and lets the engine's vacuum draw in the fumes collected in the charcoal bed. Either one of these components has failed or the orafice through which the fumes are drawn is clogged or gummed up.

    It sound like your personal mechanic knows of what he speaks and can troubleshoot and repair the system. A dealership would have no advantage in this scenerio. But they'd probably charge more.
This discussion has been closed.