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P1443 EVAP Control System Vent Control Function Problem

Dear All! I live in CT, My son and I were driving to Boston yesterday to watch the Lakers vs Celtics game. My son loves Kobe Bryant who is retiring and we thought of seeing him play for the last time. So, I have a Subaru Forester 2003 with 150000 miles. After we drove for an hour; the check engine light was on and the car was not accelerating well. We pulled into an AutoZone and had the diagnostics done. The code was P1443. I called the mechanic and gave him this information. The AutoZone employee was a smart young lady- while checking for the code, she commented that the cabin was smelling like gas. I mentioned to her that I filled up the tank last night. She suggested us that we could delete the code if we wish to drive peacefully without the check engine light flashing. I called the mechanic back. He said that we could go ahead with the trip and the issue will not jeopardize the engine. He asked me to bring the car to the garage today.
My questions to you are: Is there something wrong with the gas tank itself. The auto shut off does not seem to be working right. When I fill the tank, the gas guague inside the car shows that I have gas more thank the maximum level. Do I get the solenoid replaced in order to get the EVAP issue resolved?
By the way: during the drive back home the engine was reluctant to accelerate once, but the rest of the ride was smooth. I had the transmission and water pump replaced in August of 2015. Basically everything under the hood has been replaced and maintained properly.
The Lakers won the game and the trip meant a lot to my son. Please advice. Thanks.

The lack of power is a sign that there’s clearly something wrong. AutoZone is not the proper place to get this corrected. Take it to a reputable owner operated shop for a good look-see at your earliest opportunity.

It’s possible that your gas tank is not venting correctly and the pump is working against the developing vacuum and struggling to maintain fuel pressure, which would cause a power loss. If that turns out to be the case, you could kill the fuel pump by driving it this way. NOTE: remove and reinstall the gas cap before driving it to the garage to try to allow the vacuum in the tank to disspate. You might find that resolve the power loss, but that does not mean the problem is fixed.

Additionally, if someone has been “topping off” the gas tank, they should discontinue this practice. In some cars this can allow the charcoal bed to become saturated with liquid gas and the tank won’t be able to breath.

Thank you very much. Taking the car to my mechanic today. WILL NOT fill the tank up from now on…Happy New Year!

You can continue to fill up the tank, just that the definition of “full” is when the nozzle first clicks off. Don’t go beyond that point. That is when the tank is full, but the filler tube is empty.

Sigh — amazing how many people still top off their tanks. Even more so it the number of gas station attendants that do the same.


Fresh air has to have a way to get into the tank as the fuel is used during the drive, and the air and gasoline fumes in the tank has to have a way into the engine to be burned to prevent air pollution. And for this to all work the entire system has to be air tight. So there’s likely something wrong with all that. As posted above, if fresh air isn’t being allowed into the tank to replace the gasoline as it used, that can prevent the fuel pump from delivering gas to the engine, and can cause poor performance and stalling. In an emergency situation a work-around is to loosen the gas cap. But driving with a loose gas cap can be unsafe, and doing that will likely turn the check engine light on in any event.

The Subaru DTC P1443 points to a problem with the vent control solenoid circuit in the EVAP system.

The vent control solenoid allows the gas tank to vent when adding fuel to the gas tank, and when fuel is being pumped from the gas tank as mentioned.

So have the vent control circuit inspected for blockage or malfunction.


Happy New Year Folks: Took the car to the mechanic. Upon checking under the car, we could see a worn out part of the exhaust pipe connection ( rusted away) as well as an oil leak. It turns out the the exhaust pipe( small portion of it) has a hole in it, hence the noise. He replaced the worn out part. It cost me 95 bucks. I also have to get the leak fixed, another 300 bucks.
I purchased this 2003 Subaru Forester two years ago. Now it has 150000 miles. I feel like purchased a LEMON:-( So far I invested in a timing belt and water pump, radiator, and tune up. So, it keeps having issues. Now my driver and passenger side windows are stuck and I have to get them looked at.
I am wondering if I should sell it away and get a newer reliable vehicle. I have one last semester of classes to take and will graduate in May of 2016. I might be able to afford a newer vehicle…
Please advice about what you would do? Thanks a lot!

Nothing you listed is unusual repairs for a 13 year old vehicle with that many miles. Just wait until you finish school and fix only what you have to. Who knows what your needs will be then.

That is a nice way to look at it. I like the car very much…I will keep my fingers crossed and be positive. Much Appreciated.

timing belt is maintenance, not “issues”

water pump and radiator on a 13yr old car . . . typical

At 150k, it’s at the point where anything could fail or wear out at any time


Morning! It was -15 this morning and I normally go to work at 6:30 a.m. So, the car did start this morning but the cabin was smelling like GAS. The exhaust smelled like gas as well. I park outside. The check engine light was NOT on. Any suggestions? Thanks

In very cold weather the computer will inject a lot more gas at first, to get the car started. That can cause a gasoline smell coming from the exhaust first start in the morning. Usually more noticeable if started in a garage, but can be noticed outside too.

If you didn’t notice any gasoline smell until after you cranked the engine, it could just be that. It would be prudent still to have a good mechanic check to make sure of course as a gasoline leak, if there is one, could be very dangerous.

Especially if you noticed a gasoline smell before cranking the engine, that could well be a gasoline leak or defective canister, suggest make it a high priority to get your car into the shop for a look-see.

Along with having the fuel tank and filler tube area checked for leaks have the engine area and fuel line coming from the tank inspected for a leak. I think the fuel line runs inside the cabin area for a little ways at least. Another thing to check is the charcoal canister as it may be saturated with fuel due to over filling the tank. If you don’t have a block heater installed to help get the engine stated in the severe cold weather you should think about having one installed.

yup- two pipes that supply the fuel were damaged due to the cold…got them replaced yesterday. Started the car this morning and did not notice any gasoline smell either inside or outside the car. Many thanks:-)

Glad to hear you got the trouble fixed. You may be in an area that causes high corrosion issues with vehicles due to the winter road salts. The Soobs are great to have, especially in the winter. Hopefully your repair issues will settle down now and you won’t have to spend much more on repairs. As was already stated, you have to expect higher repair costs with all older cars but if you stick with what you have you then know what has been fixed and shouldn’t be a problem for a long time now. The engine and trannys should go a long time without needing repair usually. Head gasket problems are a lot less of an issue for your model year than previous older ones. Keep up on the oil and fluid changes as needed. If you didn’t get an Owner’s Manual with the car to refer to things on the car you can get one from Ebay.

Many thanks…I wish the Subaru cars did not have rusting problems:-) Will have to get under the the car washed during winter to prevent rusting I guess…

Glad you are back on the road. Thanks for posting the result.