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Nissan Sentra Vapor Canister

Causes of Your Nissan Sentra Vapor Canister Failure

As part of your Nissan Sentra's evaporative emission control or EVAP system, the vapor canister is tasked to store fuel vapors coming from the fuel tank and the carburetor. As you start your engine, a vacuum pulls these vapors into the canister. And while the engine is running, they are moved into the combustion chamber for burning, which turns them into less harmful substances once they are released into the atmosphere. However, this very same function may cause your Nissan Sentra vapor canister to fail. Here are some problems that often lead to its failure:


Test your vapor canister if it is in good condition by applying nitrogen, which would create pressure. Test this pressure and observe if it drops. If the pressure drops, a defect in the canister or in a hose may be present. Cracks are very common in these parts, so you might want to consider checking them first. Repair or replace the damaged component as needed.


Usually, your vapor canister leaks as a result of overfilling or topping off your fuel tank when refueling. However, it is also possible for gas to flow out of the fuel tank due to overheating. As a result, fuel gets drawn up to the vent line until it reaches the canister. And once the liquid gas makes contact with the canister purge valve, the valve saturates. In this case, a strong fuel odor would usually start to become apparent as well. The best thing to do is to replace your old vapor canister.

You may test your vapor canister for leaks using nitrogen, too. Make sure that no amount of air gets inside your canister while doing this test. Once fuel vapors are mixed up with air, it could lead to fire or explosion.

In changing your vapor canister, you need to run the engine and allow it to run for some time until all the fuel left inside are used up. You would know that your engine has already been emptied once it stops running. This is the only time you can start your vapor canister replacement.

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  • How to Keep Your Nissan Sentra Vapor Canister Efficient

    Also known as charcoal canister, the vapor canister acts as storage for excess fuel vapors while the engine is not running. These vapors come from your vehicle's fuel system and are sent back to it once the engine is in full operation. Afterwards, they will be turned over to the combustion chamber where they are converted into non-toxic fumes. Problems with your vapor canister may cause issues such as poor drivability, rough engine, and reduced gas mileage. However, you can prevent these things from happening if you follow these simple tips:

    Inspect the vapor canister.

    Check your vapor canister for leaks, cracks, or any physical damage. Look closely along the vacuum lines and see if the purge solenoid is still in good condition. Usually, the solenoid gets damaged due to gasoline that overflowed from the fuel tank. You would know pretty much that this is the case when you smell a powerful odor of raw fuel.

    Examine the vapor canister filter, too. Find out if it is clogged by blowing into the tank pipe. Use a low-pressure compressed air, which should flow from the other pipes without resistance. If it does, replace your vapor canister immediately.

    Test the vapor canister.

    To be certain about a vapor canister malfunction, you can test it by applying nitrogen to create pressure. Then, observe if this pressure drops. If it does, it is very likely that you have a damaged canister or hose. Replace the broken component as soon as you can.

    Clean the vapor canister.

    What you actually need to clean the most in your vapor canister is the filter. However, you must know that washing the canister is not advisable at all. Simply hold the upper canister pipes, making sure they are closed. Then, blow 43 to 50-psi air into the pipe of the outer valve.

    Replace vapor canister.

    Generally, vapor canisters are meant to last the life of your car. Replacement of the whole unit would only be necessary if it is confirmed to be defective. However, you need to periodically change the filter inside your canister to ensure the proper flow of vapor into engine.