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Figuring out diagnostic trouble codes (DTCs) might be intimidating, especially if you’re not very familiar with them. If your car is experiencing some issues and an OBD-II scanner shows a P0497 code, you’ll need to follow vehicle-specific diagnostic procedures to figure out the right fix.

What Does the P0497 Code Mean?

Diagnostic trouble code (DTC) P0497 stands for “Evaporative Emission System Low Purge Flow.” This code applies to all vehicles equipped with OBD-II, which includes the vast majority of vehicles manufactured after 1996.

purge valve
When the PCM detects a purging issue in the EVAP system, it might show a P0497 code.

A P0497 code might mean that your PCM has detected a low flow condition in your evaporative emissions control system (EVAP) system. Your EVAP system is responsible for capturing fuel vapors in a closed reservoir (also called a canister) until your engine is prepared to burn them. A network of rubber hoses and metal tubes transport the fuel vapors to this canister. When your PCM decides that the engine is in a state to efficiently burn the stored fuel vapors, the purge control solenoid is triggered.

A P0497 code is related to the EVAP purge valve. This component allows EVAP fuel vapors to enter the intake manifold and complete the normal engine combustion process. When the PCM detects a purging issue in the EVAP system, it might show a P0497 code.

One very common issue with a stuck open purge valve is a vehicle that is hard to start after fueling. This can happen on just about any vehicle, but is common on Fords and some Kias. The P0497 code, however, is centered around a lower-than-expected purge flow.

Not all systems store a P0497 code the same way. Some systems may store the code if there’s an insufficient change in the manifold air pressure or exhaust oxygen content. Other systems may store it if the EVAP pressure fails to drop when the purge control valve is opened.

If you’re planning to troubleshoot P0497 yourself, make sure to read our discussion about the EVAP system and the purge valve.

Note: The definition of code P0497 may be different depending on the vehicle manufacturer. Consult the appropriate repair manual or repair database for the exact code definition.

What are the Possible Causes of the P0497 Code?

Several issues can trigger a P0497 code. Make sure to thoroughly inspect your EVAP system components for signs of wear and tear to get an accurate diagnosis. Here are some of the possible causes of the P0497 code:

  • Faulty EVAP pressure sensor
  • EVAP purge solenoid or valve failure
  • Restricted EVAP canister or canister vent
  • The EVAP purge control solenoid or valve has a shorted or open circuit
  • Vacuum lines or hoses that have cracked, crimped, or collapsed

What are the Common Symptoms of the P0497 Code?

mechanic checking car engine
If you discover a vacuum leak noise coming from under the hood, your vehicle might have set the P0497 code.

A P0497 can cause all kinds of fuel efficiency issues for your vehicle. If you observe any of the following symptoms, we recommend taking your vehicle to a mechanic for immediate diagnosis and repairs.

How to Diagnose the P0497 Code

A P0497 code needs to be fixed right away to prevent further issues. The following video may help you understand the diagnostic procedures for troubleshooting a P0497 code. We suggest doing additional research on your specific vehicle to avoid any costly mistakes during this process.

How to Fix the P0497 Code

There’s no cookie-cutter solution for troubleshooting a P0497 code. If you want to troubleshoot this code yourself, you’ll have to first identify its underlying causes. The same diagnostic and repair procedure may not work for all vehicles. What may work to resolve a P0497 code in a Honda might not work for a Volkswagen. Keep this in mind if you plan to diagnose and repair your vehicle yourself.

If you need detailed information, repair instructions, and part diagrams, you’ll find plenty of reliable OBD-II resources online. We highly suggest subscribing to ALLDATA for your vehicle’s maintenance and repair needs.

There’s also the option of taking your vehicle to a certified mechanic. If you have the money for it, you can definitely benefit from hiring a mechanic. They can run the prescribed diagnostic tests and perform the necessary repairs to help you save time and energy.

About The Authors
Richard McCuistian, ASE Certified Master Automobile Technician
Richard McCuistian, ASE Certified Master Automobile Technician

Technical Reviewer at

Richard McCuistian has worked for nearly 50 years in the automotive field as a professional technician, an instructor, and a freelance automotive writer for Motor Age, ACtion magazine, Power Stroke Registry, and others. Richard is ASE certified for more than 30 years in 10 categories, including L1 Advanced Engine Performance and Light Vehicle Diesel.

CarParts Research Team Research Team

Automotive and Tech Writers

The Research Team is composed of experienced automotive and tech writers working with (ASE)-certified automobile technicians and automotive journalists to bring up-to-date, helpful information to car owners in the US. Guided by's thorough editorial process, our team strives to produce guides and resources DIYers and casual car owners can trust.

Any information provided on this Website is for informational purposes only and is not intended to replace consultation with a professional mechanic. The accuracy and timeliness of the information may change from the time of publication.

File Under : OBD-II Trouble Codes
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