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P0497 Code – What Does It Mean & How To Fix It

This is one of the most frequent OBD2 trouble codes. Read the full article below to know what it means, how to fix it, and what other codes may show related to it.

Definition

P0497 is an OBD-II Code that refers to Evaporative Control System Malfunction

Meaning

A P0497 code is the result of the ECM (Engine Control Module) receiving a signal that there is a fault in the evaporative control system which helps to control the amount of fuel vapor that is let out into the surrounding atmosphere. If there is a leak or other fault in the system pertaining to and consists of:

  • The EVAP vent solenoid and vent line pressure

  • Vapors are kept in the canister until they are used up by the engine

The PCM (powertrain control module) will detect a difference in the pressure level and store the code in the system.

Causes

Common causes for this code include:

  • Vacuum lines/hoses that are cracked, crimped, or broken
  • The charcoal canister in an EVAP system may have been clogged.
  • EVAP purge valve/solenoid is faulty
  • For the EVAP purge control solenoid/valve, you can either have a shorted or open circuit (wiring or connector)
  • An EVAP pressure sensor that is not working

Symptoms

The symptoms of a P0497 code are: 

  • Illuminated Check Engine light
  • Poor fuel economy
  • May also fail an emissions test

Diagnosis

To diagnose a P0497 DTC code, a technician would:

  1. Reviewing freeze frame data, clearing them and checking if they return after a test drive.
  2. Inspection of the charcoal canister, purge valve, hoses, wiring, and connections
  3. Leaking at the purge control valve and hose might be possible. Inspection is a necessity. 
  4. Using a smoke machine to expose leaks in the EVAP system's network of hoses
  5. Checking the purge control solenoid and its surrounding components for resistance

Common mistakes

The following are common mistakes when diagnosing the trouble code P0497:

Failing to check for freeze frame data

Assuming the PCM's output signal is correct and replacing parts without further testing. 

Choosing one random hose and attempting to find a leak, which may take an incredibly long time and waste money.

Because fixing an EVAP purge flow problem is so easy, it's frequently neglected as the source of this code.

How serious is this?

A P0497 code is not very serious, but it does affect the vehicle's emissions. It can be fixed by repairing small leaks or replacing broken hoses. It is usually necessary to re-check for this code after repairs are made.

P0497 codes are not leading causes of failures in vehicles that have them, but if they are present, they should be diagnosed and repaired as soon as possible. 

What repairs can fix the code?

The following are solutions that may fix this problem:

  • Changing the gas cap
  • Replacement of a charcoal canister
  • Replacing the wiring
  • Checking the vacuum sealing
  • Hoses or loose connections that have been disconnected must be reconnected
  • The canister purge valve needs to be replaced

Related codes

A P0497 is related to and may be accompanied by the following codes: 

P0486 - Evaporative Emission Control System Purge Control Valve Circuit Malfunction 

P0488 - Evaporative Emission Control System Purge Control Valve Open Circuit

How much does it cost to fix the P0497 code?

The repair cost of a P0497 code varies depending on the type and location of the leak. A new gas cap typically costs about USD 3.00. Replacing the EVAP purge valve is about USD 100 and replacing a clogged canister may cost around USD 200 (costs vary depending on the vehicle).

Conclusion

In conclusion, the P0497 code is an indication of a problem concerning the evaporative control system. There are many possible causes for this code, but there is no need to panic because it's fairly easy and inexpensive to repair. Also, there is no need for excessive worry as it mostly only negatively impacts the vehicle's fuel economy and emissions.

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