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05 - Check engine light - vapor canister - warranty?

Discussion in 'Gen II Prius Care, Maintenance and Troubleshooting' started by Diotima, Dec 21, 2009.

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  1. Diotima

    Diotima Junior Member

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    Hi, folks!

    At about 57k miles, my check engine light came on. Took it to the dealer, who charged me $110 for the privilege of turning the light off and told me I probably left my gas cap loose. Half an hour down the road, the light came back on.

    Took it back to the dealer who charged me another $110 to tell me that my evaporative / vapor canister needs replacing and I'm looking at several hundred to get it done.

    At 58k, does anyone know if this ought to be a warranty thing? I thought emissions systems were covered for longer? Dealer says no. And yes, we're still 'discussing' the two $110 charges. ;)

    Thanks!!

    Dia
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  2. Patrick Wong

    Patrick Wong DIY Enthusiast

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    Hi Dia,

    Suggest you look at your maintenance/warranty book regarding the emissions control warranty, to see the covered components and the duration/mileage associated with that warranty.

    If the dealer can trace a failure of the vapor canister to improper refueling technique - such as continuing to pump gas after the pump clicks off - then that failure would not be covered under warranty.
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  3. Diotima

    Diotima Junior Member

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    Thanks, Patrick!

    I found the booklet, and in case anyone else is interested, the charcoal canister is covered for 3/36k only. So yep, I'm clearly out of warranty. (Pooh!)
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  4. 2009Prius

    2009Prius A Wimpy DIYer

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    I find it outrageous to charge two $110 for the same issue. Did they tell you the charge up front?
  5. Diotima

    Diotima Junior Member

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    They call it a 'diagnostic fee', so even if they find nothing wrong and just turn the light off, they still charge you for making the 'diagnosis'. If they find an issue and you agree to the repairs, the $110 is credited toward the repair. Allegedly, they will credit BOTH of the $110 for me and so long as they follow through with that, I'm fine.

    Otherwise - yeah, it's a "bend over moment" to be charged $110 for the privilege of having them tell me (incorrectly) to be more careful with my gas cap.
  6. Diotima

    Diotima Junior Member

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    Wow - wierdness on this issue.

    Updating... Had the car in for a pre-road-trip minor service and once over. Politely griped about the unresolved CEL and here's what they said.

    I have a hole in my fuel tank. (??!?) It is not leaking fuel, but it *is* leaking emissions, hence the persistent CEL. They suggested that the repair might be covered under my regular insurance as either 'road damage' or as part of a prior claim from me being the middle part of a sandwich accident. That thread is here: http://priuschat.com/forums/gen-ii-prius-main-forum/55209-another-accident-thread.html

    Now then - this is a Prius we're talking about, not a Hummer, so let's just say I haven't been doing any off-roading. Nor do I remember running over anything at all, much less something that would have holed the gas tank.

    So, comments, conspiracy theories, suggestions, commiseration, anyone? Does this even sound plausible? Anybody want to speculate on accident vs. road damage?

    Estimator can't look at it for a couple of days, so there's plenty of time for me to fret over it. :) And, of course, we're t-minus 9 days from road trip.

    Cheers, and TIA,

    Dia
  7. vertex

    vertex Active Member

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    You should buy the Autoenginuity, with a laptop & $400 you can read and reset most codes. You can get a generic OBDII code reader for $50 that will read and reset the engine codes, including the one you have.
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  8. seilerts

    seilerts Battery Curmudgeon

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    What is the diagnosis code? Frankly, if they charged you twice to diagnose the same problem, then I don't trust them for a moment.
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  9. Diotima

    Diotima Junior Member

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    Codes: 441, 442, 446, 455

    Adam says it looks like a nail hole. Actually, this kind of thing makes sense to me as it explains the other codes and the persistence. I'm talking to the insurance peeps again today and we can have the tank swapped out before the big trip. They didn't charge me the diagnosis fee, and they credited the other two on the fuel cannister. Yes, we may not have needed the fuel cannister, but it was long enough ago that it's water under the bridge as far as I'm concerned.

    Although... completely separate issue - around the time this issue popped up, it would not have been far-fetched for this to have been sabotage of my vehicle instead of road damage. (nutjob stalker) Would a thrown nail on the road be likely to puncture a gas tank, or are they sturdy enough that it takes an act of God to hole a tank?

    The answer makes no difference to the repair, of course (and said nutjob stalker eventually moved 2500 miles away). Just idle curiosity on my part.
  10. seilerts

    seilerts Battery Curmudgeon

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    I could see that, the guy trying to puncture your tank so that you could run out of gas and he would conveniently drive up and play the hero. Bastard.
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  11. Diotima

    Diotima Junior Member

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    Ha! No, in this case, dude made multiple threats to car-bomb me. More likely he was hoping I'd have a fire or run out of gas somewhere horrid. I'd give it maybe 5% odds on stalker, 95% random nail.
  12. seilerts

    seilerts Battery Curmudgeon

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    I don't know, I think it is more likely the stalker, though about 15 years ago I did have a piece of rebar puncture the body pan in the Stratus, so a random puncture is possible. Anyway, that doesn't make your stalker any less of a bastard!
  13. Diotima

    Diotima Junior Member

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    Picked up the car yesterday and can already tell that the mileage is better. Took 'er for a drive up the mountain and back this morning and the CEL stayed off, so here's to hoping we've finally got the problem solved.

    My deductible is $250 and insurance is paying for the rest.

    Final update 7/24 - CEL has stayed off. Hallelujah!
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