resuming snowbird circuit, van repairs, Ally locks my accounts

leaving El Paso

I’ve been wintering in El Paso both to get my V.A. appointments done and as part of my reduced snowbirding circuit. Temps are starting to warm up (nearing 80F) so it’s time to move on.

Some things have been delaying my departure

tire puncture

I picked up nasty piece of debris in my driver-side rear tire; pretty sure it was a carriage bolt. The tire lost ~7lbs of pressure overnight so I used my compressor to top it off while I looked for a tire shop.

Because of the size of the bolt I was worried I might need a new tire. But Bori at M&M Ecomony Tires thought it would be a simple patch. He showed me the backup plan (a patch with an integral centerpost like this IIRC) but a plain patch workd fine.

Fast, friendly, and $15. 100% satisfied.

van codes

[note: I’m pulling/clearing codes with this cheap OBDII bluetooth dongle and Torque Pro. The free version also worked but I had credits on Google Play and wanted to support the author.]

I’ve had some emissions-related codes since the time a rodent started dragging debris into my engine compartment:1 P0455 gross leak, P0456 very small leak, p0457 check fuel cap. I started replacing the least expensive and most likely candidates over time: vapor canister purge valve, leak pump module, MAP sensor. No change.

The next in line was the vapor canister but it was hundreds of dollars and I wasn’t sure that was the problem. I waited.

more van codes

Recently the van started throwing P0172 and P0175 errors, which are “too rich” errors on both banks. For those keeping track, the full list of codes is shown to the right.[^spoiler] I could clear them with Torque but they’d come right back.

Drivability was not affected so I started googling. And started looking for a mechanic. Everyone was booked out for at least a week so I Googled Harder. It was starting to look like the vapor canister was implicated in both problems. Since the “too rich” codes and fuel trims were similar on both banks I figured it had to be something common to both rather than something like a leaky injector on one bank. I listened around with a tube trying to find vacuum leaks to no avail. I had 3 out of the 4 common symptoms for clogged vapor canister2 so I figured I’d need one whether or not it was related to the codes.

Then the engine started running rough on cold start. I decided to dig back into the harness to dike out the chewed sections of wire and splice in new wire. No change, but I felt better about it.

Fine, if I need a canister I might as well source and install it myself. It would cost less and (if I were incredibly lucky) solve the issues/codes. I found one at Autozone for ~$250 after tax, which is at least $100 less than the OEM. The Autozone experience was a beatdown (failure to pick, broken part, exchange at different location) so in total it took almost 6 hours to get the part from them.

I installed the canister, cleared the codes, and started the engine. No new codes, just the historical ones. [cautious optimism loading….]

This morning there were no new codes and most of the historical codes were already falling off. Woot! Since there are no new codes I suspect this means the canister was the last piece of the puzzle. The other parts might have helped but I have no way to know. They didn’t cost much, anyway.

general delivery mail

So from a van standpoint I am free to move about the country, as the commercial said.

But I am waiting on a packet of mail to come in by General Delivery. I think it will be here by Friday the 8th. I hope so because by Sun/Mon temps will start touching 80F…..

The mail is a re-cut check.

bank shenanigans

[I moved all this noise to a separate blog post]

  1. an unrelated coincidence, it appears 

  2. emissions codes, slightly reduced MPG, pump shutoff while filling tank