Niagara Gazette

Features

October 20, 2013

TOM'S CORNER: Taking a look at EVAP system problems

(Continued)

Niagara Gazette — What’s it take to fix the problem?

Sometimes, as in Sandy’s case, simply replacing the gas cap will fix the problem. But when an EVAP code comes up in the diagnostics, the job becomes more complicated. In order to find a way to identify where a leak is in the EVAP system, tool designers came up with a device called a “Smoke Machine.” Much like a fog machine in a stage production, the smoke machine generates vapor. An EVAP line is disconnected and hooked up to the smoke machine, which feeds vapor into the EVAP system. The tech then scans the lines, hoses, valves, and canister for any escaping vapor, pinpointing the source of the leak. The repair the leak, reset the computer, perform a drive cycle and you’re off to the races again!

•••

LINDA FROM LITTLE ROCK: Is there a product on the market that can stop oil from leaking in an engine? My Lexus is leaking oil and I was quoted $1200 to fix it. I don’t have the money and want to drive the car. Please help.

TOM: No product stops oil leaks. The only way to stop an oil leak is to restore the sealing capacity of either the mating surface or the seal. Mating surfaces must be clean and have enough material to fit securely to a gasket or seal. Seals and gaskets must be flexible and pliable so that they can form a tight seal against the mating surface. Linda, you’re going to have to find a way to get it fixed. Sorry.

Linda brings up a hot topic. This one falls under the category I call “Mechanic in a Can.” Some companies take advantage of the ignorance of consumers, and promise them instant cures for mechanical problems by simply adding their wonder elixirs. Be wary of products that claim to “Stops Engine Oil, Transmission Fluid, and Coolant Leaks.” What are the hard facts surrounding these snake oil compounds?

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