What Does the Engine Code P0441 Mean?

A P0441 engine code lets you know that your vehicle's evaporative emissions control system isn’t purging correctly.
Written by Max Werner
Reviewed by Melanie Reiff
A P0441 engine code will display when the purge valve of your evaporative emissions system isn’t functioning correctly. This disrupts the flow of vapor between your engine and fuel tank. 
The issue behind a P0441 doesn’t pose a threat to the driver but should be fixed as soon as possible.
Diagnostic trouble codes (DTCs) warn you when your vehicle is experiencing engine problems. An OBD-II code reader can help you understand what a code means but can’t pinpoint the cause of every issue. You’ll need a formal inspection to determine the cause of most DTCs. 
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What does the engine code P0441 mean?

Definition: Evaporative emission control system incorrect purge flow
Modern vehicles come equipped with an evaporative emission control (EVAP) system to prevent fuel vapors from escaping into the atmosphere
The EVAP system takes vapor from the fuel tank, combines it with air, then delivers the mixture to the engine to be used for combustion. Fuel vapors enter the engine via a purge valve—which, when damaged, results in too little or too much flow and triggers a P0441 code.

How much will it cost to fix?

Diagnosing the cause of a P0441 will usually take about an hour of labor—costing you from $75 to $150, depending on the shop you visit. 
Replacement parts associated with this service are not very expensive but will add to your total cost.

What can cause the P0441 engine code?

Your vehicle’s Engine Control Monitor (ECM) tests the evaporative emissions (EVAP) system for the following problems:
  • Large and small leaks
  • Excess vacuum
  • Purge flow at inappropriate times
  • Faulty fuel levels and fuel pressure sensor 
  • Faulty EVAP purge and vent valve
If any of these conditions are met, your vehicle will recognize a problem with purge flow and display the P0441 code
Possible physical causes for incorrect flow include:
  • Missing fuel cap
  • Damaged charcoal canister
  • Incorrect fuel filler cap
  • Fuel filler cap won’t close
  • Foreign material caught in fuel cap
  • Incorrect fuel tank vacuum relief valve
Most P0441 codes will result from a loose or missing fuel cap—which causes fuel vapors to leak outside the EVAP system. 

Common symptoms of the P0441 engine code

The first symptom of a P0441 will be your engine light turning on. Other symptoms of this issue include:
  • Rough idle
  • Erratic idle
  • Noticeable fuel odor
You can expect a noticeable fuel odor to leak from the EVAP system if the issue is due to broken, cracked, or missing components. 

How serious is the P0441 engine code? 

A P0441 code does not pose any danger to the driver—but it can affect the drivability of a car. To prevent damage to the engine, you should still have this code inspected as soon as you can.

Can I fix the P0441 engine code myself?

Fixing this issue requires a mechanic, but you can try to identify the source of the issue from home. To test your evaporative emission system, try the following:
  • Inspect the gas cap to see if it’s secure
  • Inspect the charcoal canister for damage or cracks
  • Check to see if vacuum hoses are properly secured

How to test the purge valve

If you can’t find signs of damage elsewhere, you’ll need to test the purge valve, which is located on the charcoal canister. This test can be a little tricky, so use the following steps as your guide.
  • Get a vacuum pump
  • Disconnect the vent line from the purge valve
  • Attach the vacuum pump where the vent line was
  • Pump the vacuum pump gauge to 17 psi
  • Check to see if the vacuum leaks
If the vacuum needle drops or the valve refuses to open, the purge valve will need to be replaced.

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