Warning Light ... what should I do..?

I received a warning light. O’Riely’s tells me loosely it is something about charcoal, vents, hoses and that it is against the law to reset the light. So I go down the road to another auto part store and they tell me it is P1448, Vacuum cut valve 2 and vent control valve. That my best bet is to stay away from the dealer and go to a mechanic that knows Nissans (98 Pathfinder). He had never seen these warnings, but guessed it had something to do with emissions. And reset the light.
Here is my quandary, if this has to do with emissions can I let this go until I am in a better position to take care of things? I also need to be driving this car on the freeway/highway for the next couple of weeks to gain the finances and time to gain the down time for repairs.
Am I okay to drive this without repairing for a couple hundred miles while I get to work for two weeks and make some money, to repair it?
In the past I had a warning light that only lasted for half a day and I was stopped dead in the middle of traffic! No power, no nothing!
That pi**es other drivers off as they are on their way to work or other places too. I don’t want to die in the middle of traffic.

P1448 Nissan - EVAP Canister Vent Control Valve Open
Possible causes

  • EVAP canister vent control valve
  • EVAP canister is saturated with water
  • EVAP control system pressure sensor and the circuit
  • Blocked rubber tube to EVAP canister vent control valve
  • Water separator

This seems like it deals with the scavenging system that collects the gasoline that evaporates from the gas in the tank and prevents it from getting into the atmosphere. It is collected and eventually returned to the tank.

Without it, if the car runs ok, you would just leak a bit of gas fumes into the atmosphere, just like all cars made before 1980(?) did.

So I’d ignore it, unless you have a state inspection coming up.

I hope you are not one of those who tops off the gas tank, instead of stopping when the nozzle clicks off. If so, that is the cause of the problem. NEVER top off. Do the a few times and you are in for expensive repairs.

Correct, did fill tank and ran into warning light a few times in the past. Replaced the gas cap and try to NEVER fill, over fill or top off. I live in a state where we have gas attendants.
And this time, my tank was at half when the light came on. I did go and twist the gas cap anyways.
Only thing different that day was that I had used the AC for the first time in about 5 years. And not for very long.
I feel better Bill. I do have a lot of things I need to take care of and a very sick friend to see today and I was afraid to take the car out for fear of breaking down in this 101* heat.

It’s possible the evap vent hoses are full of dirt, spiderwebs, charcoal, etc.

Check this out


That code is unlikely to cause you to break down. Some people will tell you to ignore it if money is tight, but that does mean that if some other problem starts happening, you’ll never know because the check-engine light is already on all the time. It also means that you’ll likely get less money whenever you sell the car, as any sensible buyer will reduce their offer by quite a bit. If this were my car, I’d have a good local mechanic at least give me an estimate on a repair.

However, what’s the rest of the story on when your car died earlier? Did anyone investigate that? If not, whatever happened there could certainly happen again.

Re topping off, yes, there are usually ongoing problems at gas stations that have attendants that pump the gas for you. They do not seem to be able to break the habit of topping off. I once stood next to the attendant, repeating “please do not top off” and he did anyway.

I try to avoid those gas stations now.

Maybe the light will stay off…If not, you can drive on until you have $300-$500 you don’t know what to do with…This is strictly your fuel tank vent system complaining about something…

BillRussell: If she is in Oregon it has been illegal for attendants to “top off” a fuel tank for a few years. If OP is in the only other state where self service is prohibited, New Jersey. I honestly don’t know. I do know from AutoZone’s commercial if a warning (check engine) light illuminates, what you are supposed to do is panic and scream all the way to the nearest AZ where warning lights don’t scare them!

Sgtrock: may be against the law, but does that mean anything? I’d still watch carefully.

Check your owners manual about the meaning of a Check Engine light.

For my cars, if lit it means there is a problem, but not an imminent danger.

If flashing, it means turn off engine ASAP.

Here is some more info for you that describes things.

The EVAP canister vent control valve is located on the EVAP canister and is used to seal the canister vent.

This solenoid valve responds to signals from the ECM. When the ECM sends an ON signal, the coil in the solenoid valve is energized. A plunger will then move to seal the canister vent. The ability to seal the vent is necessary for the on board diagnosis of other evaporative emission control system components.

This solenoid valve is used only for diagnosis, and usually remains opened. When the vent is closed, under normal purge conditions, the evaporative emission control system is depressurized and allows EVAP Control System (Small Leak)diagnosis.

Read more: http://engine-codes.com/p1448_nissan.html#ixzz3hs3X0aZZ

As you drive away after filling the tank, gas in the gas tank gets used up, and air has to come in somehow to replace it. Otherwise a vacuum will be created which will prevent the gas from reaching the engine, causing the engine to stall. Every manufacturer seems to deal with this problem in a different way. In any event, there’s various valves in the fuel and vent lines which allow the air to enter the tank as required, but not allow gas vapors to escape, while allowing the engine to burn excess gas vapors. If these parts fail, without knowing which ones are failing and if they are failing closed or open, it’s hard to say what might happen if you don’t address it. It may be only that you are loosing some gas vapors to the atmosphere, which means lower mpg for and pollutants escaping for the rest of us. Or it could mean your car’s fuel tank will develop such a big vacuum that the fuel pump can’t pump gasoline to the engine.

So it’s probably a good idea to at least get the problem properly diagnosed. If you discover the issue is minor, you can then decide if you want to defer the fix or not.

When I’m forced to use full service (like in NJ) I simply buy an amount of gas I know won’t fill the tank; never say “fill it up”.

circuitsmith, that’s a good idea. I’ve had the same problem, attendants just can’t break the habit of topping off. But I want to get a full or almost full tank so I don’t have to refill soon.