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7 Signs Of A Bad Charcoal Canister

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Have you been suspicious lately that your car’s charcoal canister is going bad? If yes, then this article is the answer to your queries and the solution to your problems. What are the signs of a bad charcoal canister and what are its effects? What does it do? Read further to learn about this in detail.

When you drive your car, the fuel ignites, producing a lot of toxic gases and vapours, which are really harmful to the environment. As we know fuel ignition is a continuous process and thus, we need something to prevent the gases from polluting the environment. Now, obviously, car companies need to do something to prevent this pollution. Cars have a charcoal canister fitted in the space between the fuel tank, carburettor and intake manifold. It is a fuel evaporative emission control device. Sounds confusing? Well, it is quite simple. 

Functions Of A Charcoal Canister:

It is a part of the Evaporative Emission Control System (EVAP). Its job is quite simple but very crucial for the surroundings and the car. The gases produced after the burning of fuel is absorbed by the charcoal canister, before getting released into the environment.

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The components of the canister trap the gases formed and then recycles the vapours back into the engine. This takes place with the help of a purge valve and the Engine Control Unit. The charcoal canister is even more essential in a petrol-run car as fuel is ignited at a faster rate.

Signs Of A Bad Charcoal Canister:

A bad charcoal canister can cause a lot of functional problems for your car. Henceforth, this article is going to help you a lot in identifying this issue. Given below are the symptoms of a bad charcoal canister. 

1. High Emissions-

Well, if your charcoal canister is going bad, then this symptom is quite obvious. If the canister simply cannot trap carbon emissions, there will certainly be a lot of emissions through your exhaust. A simple emissions test will help identify whether you have this problem. Your car failing in this test would suggest that your canister is going bad.

2. Burnt Fuel Odour-

If you experience the smell of burnt fuel in the cabin, and the rear of your car, chances are your charcoal canister is defective. This can be explained by the fact that a defective canister simply cannot trap the odour of burnt fuel.
This odour is in no way healthy for your lungs, in fact, it is quite harmful and toxic. You should rush to a repair shop if you experience this and get this resolved.

3. Pinging Sounds From The Engine-

Pinging sounds from the engine are generally caused by an inappropriate fuel/air mixture, as the canister cannot do its job properly to trap the toxins and send them back to the fuel tank. It can happen due to something else as well but there is a high chance of a faulty charcoal canister if you’re experiencing this sign along with other signs mentioned above.

4. Weak Car Performance-

Whether it is acceleration or your car is simply not performing as it should, then there is a high probability of a bad charcoal canister. As, the toxic vapours aren’t being circulated back to the engine, which balances the fuel/air mixture, the car cannot simply get enough power to run properly. If your car isn’t working the way it is supposed to then it is a sign of a bad charcoal canister.

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5. High Fuel Consumption-

Most issues with the engine cause a fuel economy problem. If the canister isn’t working properly, the fuel/air mixture is not balanced which leads to higher fuel consumption. This leads to lowering the mileage of your car. If you are spending a large number of bucks on fuel then you should be spending, while facing other symptoms mentioned above, there is a high chance of a bad charcoal canister.

6. Trouble Starting Engine-

f you are having trouble getting the car on, like the guy with the old car in high school, then there could be an issue with the canister, as a bad charcoal canister can cause vacuum leaks, giving the car a hard time turning on. Of course, it could mean a hundred other things, but if you’re facing this issue along with other issues, chances are you have a bad charcoal canister.

7. Check Engine Indicator-

The charcoal canister getting messed up, messes up the engine. This might tell the car to indicate the driver to Check the Engine. There could be various reasons for this, but a bad canister might be the reason behind this, especially if you are facing other issues mentioned above.

8. Problems While Filling Up Tank-

If the charcoal canister of your car has gone bad, then fumes produced are creating high pressure, making it difficult for them to flow. If you’re facing problems while filling the tank up there might be a faulty charcoal canister.

9. Hissing Sound From Fuel Tank-

A clogged charcoal canister causes an imbalance of the fuel/air mixture, making the fuel tank over or under pressure. When you open the fuel tank cap and you hear a hissing sound, as air is either going in or flowing, the charcoal canister might be going bad.

What Is The Cost Of Replacing A Charcoal Canister?

A charcoal canister is fairly low costing compared to other engine components. Getting a new canister will charge you anywhere between a range of 70$ to 180$, depending upon the car you have. The labour cost for a replacement will be between 30$ to 60$.

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All the issues listed above are the signs of a bad charcoal canister. This is certainly not supposed to be ignored as it is harmful to your car, also harmful for you and the environment. The chances of replacing a charcoal canister are quite low but it gets higher if you have a high mileage car. If you want to cut some cost down, with some knowledge you can replace them yourself. But, going to a certified repair shop is absolutely the better choice.