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Old 10-20-2011, 08:09 AM
Philster Philster is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2000
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Fun with cars! Car stumbles/stutters, only after refueling.

re: 2002 Toyota Celica GTS with 1.8 VVTL-i engine and 6-speed manual trans ~98k miles. She's a screamer (and my last ride was a 2005 G35 coupe. This car is much more fun.)

Runs great... a real screamer that just averaged 29.5 MPG over the last two tanks of fuel in mixed driving, including occasional traffic slow downs. That's without trying.

So I get gas one day and just throw about 35 bucks worth of premium (required) fuel into her, and it gets the fuel level up to between 3/4 and Full. I tighten cap (yes, til it clicks) and fire up my little commuter go-kart. She stumbles. She bogs. I can't make a leap and say she was stumbling from being rich, but she was stumbling, bogging and seemed to clear out after 60 seconds. After 60-90 secs, she's back to normal. I write it off as maybe a loose cap on the last tank, or something. This is at a BP station, and not some off-shoot station. Been there many times with other vehicles.

Ok.... so about half-way through that tank, the 'check engine light' (CEL) comes on. I tighten the fuel cap and go about my business. Bugger stays on for days and miles of various use. Got code checked: p0441

I replace the fuel cap, but p0441 is the 'evaporative emissions' code and can be various things for a mechanic to experiment with, some at great cost - some less than 100 U.S. bucks. CEL still on. Car runs fine, and this code should not affect performance, but it won't pass inspection if it is on and I would like to be enviro-friendly and not have vapors escaping into the air.

So... time for fuel... and she's running great. Same deal: 35 bucks worth and she's between 3/4 and Full. I tighten the new cap, the CEL is on, she's been running great.... cranks, starts.... stumble....press accel pedal and she tries to clear out... she stumbles at idle speed for 15-20 secs... I press accel and clear 'er out. I drive home, CEL on, new gas cap, still w/ p0441, she runs great.

So, there ya go.

Last edited by Philster; 10-20-2011 at 08:14 AM.