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About a week ago I filled up my Outlook and had the unpleasant experience of it cranking but not starting two times in a row while sitting at the gas pump. Finally on the third attempt to start it struggled and sputtered to life (although it sounded awful).

After a bit of research I discovered this is a pretty common symptom when the EVAP purge control solenoid valve fails and the valve is left in the always open state. A couple days later the CEL illuminated. A quick scan with my bluetooth OBDII tool confirmed P0469 was the trouble code - Evaporative emission system high purge flow.

Searching on the net, I found the part in question to be replaced was available for less than $20.

I've captured as best I can the procedure to replace this part, with photos.

The part to be replaced is located in the back/centre of the engine bay. First off, the engine cover needs to be removed. I've never done this before so I was a bit worried about breaking it. You have to remove the oil cap, then starting from the front backwards, pop the cover off three grommets, each roughly near the remaining corners of the cover.

***IMPORTANT: Make sure you screw your oil cap back in while you are working on the Outlook to avoid the sickening proposition of something falling into the fill hole.



Once you remove the cover and replace the oil cap, the area you will be working in looks like this:




In order to get at the part and have some maneuvering room, you'll need to remove the air intake (large accordion like tube pictured above).

There are three steps to this:

1. Remove the small PVC fresh air hose that is attached to the air intake. You can just pull it out and move it aside towards the front of the vehicle.
2. Loosen the two metal clamps around either end of air intake. You'll need a 8mm socket to Remove.
3. Pull both ends of the air intake off. I found this to be a bear of a task - there is not much room to pull it out but eventually after wrestling with it for a couple minutes I was successful.

Here is a picture with the air intake removed:



You'll notice a bit a spilled oil in the photo. The air intake also acts as an oil sump (this is normal apparently). When I was pulling the air intake out, it tipped spilling this oil. I wiped it up before continuing.

Looking at the picture above, the hose with the green tape in the on it leads directly to the valve we want to replace.



Now the difficulty level increases a bit - only because the part is down low and its awkward to get at and handle. I'm 5'8" and I found using a foot stool helped me reach things easier and also be able to see what I was doing.

Here is an overhead shot of the valve, with the single bolt that holds it place visible:



So, removing the part involves disconnecting two hoses on either side of the valve, as well as the electrical connector, and lastly removing the bolt that holds it in place. I chose to remove the bolt first. I believe you could disconnect the other items first and it may even be easier. In any case I'll show you what I did. You'll need a 10mm socket with extension to remove the bolt.



Picture above shows where you will be working to remove the bolt.


Picture below shows the electrical connector and the hose on the right side of the valve. Next I removed the electrical connector by prying back the long tab while pulling at the same time...kind of a pain given the tight space but I got it off. The Hose on the right side of the valve (green square on the connector) can be removed by pressing in on the squares on either side of the hose and pulling.





Trickiest part was removing the hose on the left hand side. It is connected with a collar that is released by sliding a tab over and then pulling while it is moved over. The one that connected to the valve had the tab facing away from me which made it very difficult to slide and remove. I ended up removing the other end of the hose (also a collar connection but one that was in plain view), and this let me pull the hose and part right out (see photo). This also was a pain in the butt and required a few choice words to complete but eventually I was successful. Picture below shows the routing for the hose.



I then disconnected the old valve and replaced with the new one, reversing all the steps above. Some pictures of the part follow bellow.






Last step, if you have an OBD tool - you can clear the codes to get rid of the CEL. Alternatively, the CEL light should go out after a few running cycles after fixing.
I went and filled up for a quick test - Outlook started fine - mission accomplished.

Hopefully this will help someone down the road who encounters this problem. Let me know if you have any questions.

 

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Very good description, I've done this about 4 times now on my FWD Outlook XR 2008 Trailer Package with 160,000 miles, and even a GM part is not fixing it. The diagnostic only runs on a cold engine, fuel level between 15% and 85%, and runs within 1 minute of starting. From what I can see, the only thing that P0496 checks for is a leaky purge valve, all other manner of failures are trapped with other codes.
The other freeze frame instrument readings look normal, and vary considerable to get the same code set.
I'm working on changing some of the engine side fittings, though I don't think that they can create this problem. I do notice that the manifold side of the Purge Valve now comes from GM with a foam insulator section on it.
I've even gone so far as to work on the PCV system, in case the piston blowby was somehow fooling the diagnostic, but freeze frame EVAP pressure shows -10 to -11 inches of water, which is a considerable vacuum.
I also have a lot of oil in the intake manifold resonator, that must be PVC valve passing engine/piston blow-by, but this is after the Mass Air Flow sensor, so doesn't gum it up.
I'm now collecting freeze frame data from my Harbor Freight OBDII tool, to see if I can figure out the pattern, sometimes it can go 400+ miles, other times 10 miles between cold starts, though it seems to be a cool night after a warm day makes it susceptible.
I experimented with cracking the gas cap in the morning before starting, to see if that is the source of the extra vacuum the ECM is measuring, it remains a mystery.
 

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WOW! THANK YOU for posting this fix.....took only about 10 minutes to do once I got the part from the store. Really appreciate you posting this article - thanks so much!
 

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Further update on Bosch Canister Purge Valve intermittent failures.
Because GM does not allow dealer to replace more than 1 bad purge valve in a row, P0496, I let them have at it, to figure out what I already have figured out, the quality control on these valves appears to have slipped, at least from 2008 standards.
These are intermittent failures, sometimes in 10 miles and the typical 2 required cold starts, to the last 2 times 740/660 miles 19/41 Warmup cycles between valve diagnostic failure.
During this entire time, the valve performs flawlessly, regulating the vacuum applied to the tank/canister, coordinating with engine load & fuel mixture, with maybe 1 or two cold hiccups, for over 127 warmup cycles and over 2600 miles.
The dealer has had my fuel tank down twice, replacing tank vacuum/vapor pressure sensor, it was cracked and leaking, which would make it less likely to be able to produce P0496, as a vacuum leak on the tank would not lower the pressure to the -10" w.c. pressure it calls a leaking valve. (engine vacuum measured in the fuel tank with valve closed) Needless to say, this was no fix, the car coded P0496 in the next 2 cold start cycles.
Then another Hail Mary, pull the fuel tank down again, change the canister vent valve, which also could not cause P0496 if it was stuck open or closed. Needless to say, this was no fix, still getting P0496.
After $1000 of this and entering a claim to GM Warranty for bad Bosch valves, (still not paid since mid November) their next step was to decide the replace the ECM, which is much less likely to give an intermittent result than a piece of mechanical equipment with moving parts. Will not be doing this until I get my money back for the first ineffective set of repairs.
Also requested an ECM update, it is possible the 2008 ECM P0496 diagnostic was testing the valve more rigorously than later ECMs, allowing Bosch to relax their QA specifications. It seems that not all dealers have the equipment to program ECMs, so my next step is to find out how I can get the ECM I have programmed with perhaps the less rigorous test.
This is 2008 Saturn Outlook XR 174000 FWD with tow package, original owner, lots of weird & strange intermittent electrical problems, but none that have stranded me.
 

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Further update on P0496 Leaky Bosch Valves, finally convinced the dealer to refund the money for the ineffective repairs, they suggested I take it somewhere else to be repaired.
I went to our local Advance Auto, and was presented with a menu of 3 purge valves, now $20 AC Delco/Bosch, $40 Dorman, and $60 (maybe BWD).
I installed the Dorman unit, and the DTC P0496 has stopped setting. This was 3 consecutive Bosch valves, February, May and July manufacture date, bad out of the box. I suspect that the new lower cost for the AC Delco parts was the result of some manufacturing change, material substitution, and that the newer ECMs have a less stringent test that the new sloppily made valves have no trouble passing.
So maybe only a caveat for older vehicles. The valve is cycled open & closed many times per second to modulate the vapor flow into the engine manifold, very impressive control when viewed on the PID monitor.
 
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