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P0441 code fixed for fairly cheap. Purge valve was bad.

09-04-2006, 07:53 PM
1999 Prizm. Check engine light came on, used my scanner to pull up a single code. P0441. 'Incorrect purge valve flow' I cleared the code twice, but it would come back on in less than ten miles each time. Ok, since this car has 77,000 miles on it I called the local Chevy dealer to see if this was one of the parts covered for 80,000 miles under emmissions warranty. Nope. (bet you all knew that already) OK. They said 'bring it in - we'll fix it" Well, for $89 an hour they will. Plus parts. I don't think so. So I fixed it myself. Went on an E-bay tour and found a NEW Vapor canister purge valve for $85 including shipping. AC Delco part number 214-950. GM # 94858015. The seller was
Installation was simple. It's located near the top of the engine on the driver's side. It's "L" shaped and has a single 10mm bolt holding it on. Real easy to reach. Just disconnect the two vacuum lines, disconnect the wiring harness and put the new one on. Only tool needed was a 10mm socket with a 6" extension. Then I cleared the check engine code. That was last week - no problem since and the car is driven every day. Thought I'd share this with everyone who doesn't like paying the dealer to fix the easy stuff. Tom

09-11-2006, 11:08 AM
My purge valve works fine when energized out of circuit. I still get the code. Sometimes it doesn't come back for a few weeks.

Keep an eye on it, and let me know.

Electronic tech

09-11-2006, 07:55 PM
My purge valve works fine when energized out of circuit. I still get the code. Sometimes it doesn't come back for a few weeks.

Keep an eye on it, and let me know.

Electronic tech

Got my fingers crossed. So far so good (knock on wood) I'll post back after 1000 miles or so.
Thanks John,

02-04-2007, 09:57 AM
Hey guys I know it been a while since anyone has posted on this thread but I just wanted to add that there are 2 purge canisters the one that breaks the most is located at the back of the car next to the charcoal canister. I had the same problem with my 99 prizm. I bought the front purge valve and it worked to about 140 miles then I got the error back. I replaced the rear purge valve with one I got from the junk yard and haven had a problem since. The puge valve is like the one in the front but has a tube coming out of the bottom. If you get a used one when it's not energized you should be able to blow air from the bottom (metal) out the top. If you can't blow ari the part is bad.

I hope this helps someon else that has had this problem. (I't really common)

02-04-2007, 11:31 AM
Bumble - this is an awesome reply of yours for two reasons:

The timing is excellent, I have had my CEL come on twice since I installed the front one in September. Thought maybe I got a defective sensor, but since I bought it discount online, figured I didn't have recourse. The light came on again last week and I cleared it without doing anything else. I wasn't fully convinced in was a bad sensor since it can go 1000 miles without causing a fault.

I didn't know there were two sensors, and the back one is problematic. One of these days I was going to research the P0441 on these 'Prizollas' and try to learn more it. (Haynes & such) Now thanks to you I have something to work with sooner rather than later.

It's too friggin' cold outside here in Maine right now to mess with cars in the driveway. This P0441 is (knocking real hard on wood) the only issue with this car. Am real happy with it - it does better busting through the snowplow berm at the end of the driveway than my 4X4 Chevy truck!
Anyway, thanks for the reply - it's much appreciated. How much did you pay for a rear sensor? Delaership or other location?

02-07-2007, 08:52 AM
Hey I'm glad that my posting help you. I think the part from a store is like $65 I got mine from a junk yard it was only $30 and I think that was high since the guy had no idea of what it was. If you get it from the junk yard make sure it's working. You should be able to blow air from the bottom (metal tube) threw the top. If you can't blow air then it's a broken part. You can use the part from a 99 or a 98 prizm. I don't know how hard it will be to find but I had a hard time finding it. The damn prizm is a good can and the junk yards don't have that many.

Good luck and I hope all goes well.
An Acdelco dealer will have the part. The cheapest place I found on the net was:Check out B and B auto from the Bronx:


02-16-2007, 01:37 PM
When the weather warms up enough to crawl under the car, I'll pop it off and take a good look at it. Maybe it's something that can be fixed by a careful cleaning of the valve and electrical contacts?

02-28-2007, 12:44 PM
The valves in the rear are the tank-pressure sensor, vacuum switching valve, and the canister ventvalve....a malfuntion of any, or combination of will throw the 441 code. Sometimes it may even be the canister itself. This is why things go to hell... ROAD SALT or...because the canister is lower than the tank.

When these gas monkeys fill your tank past the gas pumps' automated kick-off, and they always do this to get more money, it soaks the canister with raw gas.

In short the CAN PERGE VALVE [under the hood] almost never goes defective. TRUST ME..I've bench tested them.

And the code takes at least 3 drive cycles to reflag the CEL indicator, will not flag in sub-zero weather, at full tank, or empty tank condion.

02-28-2007, 06:01 PM
Thanks John,
This information is really helpful.

Still not warm enough here to crawl around under the car - and thankfully I haven't had another code come up.

And oh yeah.....I live in one of the ROAD SALT capitals of the country. it doesn't make things any easier....

Thanks again,

01-11-2008, 07:22 PM
This and code 0446 can come up if the canister gets gas in it, when its supposed to only filter fumes. The common cause, from my experience, is topping off your tank too much and flooding the evaporator canister. This is why the problem just goes away for some people. If left long enough without replacing any parts the system clears itself out. You'll have to reset the check engine light for a while until it does though.

10-30-2011, 02:56 PM
Thanks so much for the info. My check engine light has been on for about 5 years and today I just replaced the purge valve on the rear side of the 98 Prizm. I found an exact part at The purge valve for the rear of the vehicle costs $60 and the purge valve for the front costs $100. The links posted on this forum no longer exist.

This was supposed to be an easy fix, but it took me well over 4 hours to take off the one and only screw. The screw is in a tight spot where you need to screw it off at a 90 deree angle. My 1/4" socket wrench did not have enough room to rotate in the tight space. I tried to take the vapor canister off, but I couldn't get a plastic connection to disconnect. I typically break these connectors accidentally so I didn't work on it too much with a screwdriver. I'm sure this connector comes off easy if you know what you're doing. I also realized that once I did get the connector off, I may not have enough room to remove the vapor canistor. The Haynes manual says you have to take the muffler off to remove the canister, but the bolts connecting my muffler are completely deteriorated. So I gave up, but just before I gave up I decided to hold the socket wrench in place while I rotated the old purge valve and I managed to get the tiny screw loose.

So I have posted a part that I think (haven't tested) will work for this situation. It's a right angle screw driver head. I bought one so I don't end up in this situation again. This may be the worst case I've come across as far as time goes.

I have my fingers crossed that this may fix my check engine light problem, but I'm doubtful with the amount of rust around the parts near the canister. I hope this response helps someone.

11-06-2011, 01:00 PM
Update. My check engine light went off today. I didn't unplug the battery, the light went off on its own. This is the first time this has been fixed in probably 6 years! Woohoo! Big thanks to everyone who posted on this forum!

06-29-2013, 05:26 PM

Following up on the posts by "bradj17" which were very useful.

To anyone reading this in the future if you have a P0441 code (and no other codes!) then it is very very likely that you have a VSV failure as others have mentioned in this thread. At the time of this writing you may purchase such a part on ebay for as low as 55 dollars, which makes fixing this yourself very attractive.

As "bradj17" noted, there is a very tight place that you need access to. I followed his instructions and purchased the tool he recommended, however the screwhead was so corroded that the tool couldn't be used.

I suggest all others following in my footsteps do the following:

* Back car onto ramps. Get under car. Locate the VSV valve which is immediately above the middle center rear axle.

* Take a picture so that you remember what it looked like before proceeding.

* Take flathead screwdriver and disconnect the hoses from the VSV, and around the VSV. When this is done you may disconnect the power to the VSV also.

* Take a 9V battery connected to 2 alligator clips. Attach the alligator clips to each terminal of the battery, and then connect this to the VSV. Upon becoming energized a properly functioning VSV will make a loud audible click.

* If your VSV clicks, you may exit this thread, your problem is elsewhere and none of the information present on this page will be useful to you. If the VSV does *not* click, proceed to the next step.

* Lucky you, your part part is broken! Put your car back together and order the part you need. It will take a few days, most places do not seem to have this on hand, at least near me.

* Once you have the part, set your car back up as in step 1. Remove hoses and soforth again. Disconnect power from the VSV.

* Given the age of the car, and the problem (VSV failure, likely from corrosion) you are going to need to get creative to remove the single screw preventing you from easily swapping in the new VSV. I used a set of needlenose and a pair of vice grips.

* Take needlenose and hold the screw as best you can. Take vice grips and secure it around the vsv. You will not have a lot of room here, but if you play around you will be able to shift the VSV and probably break the screw (at least mine broke, I expect others will too.

* Reattach VSV. Given the state of the metal under the car I I opted to use a screw (which was loose unfortunately, possibly used wrong replacement) and a zip tie. It's possibly to get a zip tie going diagonally across the VSV at which point the thing isn't going anywhere.

* Drive your car around. I drove 15 miles at which point the dash light turned off for the first time in a year. Yay!

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