2009 Saturn Outlook trouble starting after getting gas

2009 saturn outlook @ 150,000 miles on the clock. No CEL

My mom’s car is hard to start (takes a few tries) after getting gas. Once it starts it runs a little rough for a few seconds then again runs perfectly until the next fill up. During these first few seconds I find it keeps the engine from stalling if I rev up the engine a little bit.

I’m not a mechanic but I’m inclined to assume EVAP purge valve or at least something EVAP related. Is this reasonable? She’s been asking me about a fuel filter. If I drive up a hill or peg the accelerator to the floor it seems to have no problem keeping up, it doesn’t seem like a fuel restriction to me or at least not one significant enough to effect performance. I’d think if the filter was plugged it would be plugged all the time and not just during fill up.

The purge valve is probably leaking and gas fumes are being forced into the engine when refueling.

This creates a flooded condition which makes the engine hard to start and runs rough once it does.

The next time you get gas, hold the gas pedal to the floor when restarting the engine, and if the starts/runs better, that’s the problem.


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That would also be my prime suspect.

Are you sure that the CEL is operative? Make sure that it lights up briefly when you first turn the ignition key.

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Yes CEL works fine.

I’ve tried cranking in clear flood mode for a few seconds after filling up. Seems to start right up after that.


It sounds like you’ve probably diagnosed the problem. Purge valve problems are fairly common posts here. The forum search feature will show you what others here have said about that topic.