With no actual fuel leaking then its a Vapor problem. It could be as simple as needing a new gas cap. Or it could be a leaking Evap Purge Pump. The Evap pump pulls Gas vapor from the tank and charcoal canister and pumps it into the engine. If its pump seals are bad it could leak fuel vapor back to the tank or out any number of openings. It could have a crack in the vapor "vent" line at the fuel tank.
If the Check engine light is not on then the system hasn't detected a vapor leak and wont throw a code.
Have your Mechanic test the EVAP system. Here is an overview.
2005 Pontiac Grand AM
Evaporative Emissions System: Description and Operation
EVAPORATIVE EMISSION (EVAP) CONTROL SYSTEM DESCRIPTION
EVAP SYSTEM OPERATION
The evaporative emission (EVAP) control system limits fuel vapors from escaping into the atmosphere. Fuel tank vapors are allowed to move from the fuel tank, due to pressure in the tank, through the vapor pipe, into the EVAP canister. Carbon in the canister absorbs and stores the fuel vapors. Excess pressure is vented through the vent line and EVAP canister vent solenoid valve to atmosphere. The EVAP canister stores the fuel vapors until the engine is able to use them. At an appropriate time, the control module will command the EVAP canister purge solenoid valve ON, open, allowing engine vacuum to be applied to the EVAP canister. With the EVAP canister vent solenoid valve OFF, open, fresh air will be drawn through the solenoid valve and vent line to the EVAP canister. Fresh air is drawn through the canister, pulling fuel vapors from the carbon. The air/fuel vapor mixture continues through the EVAP purge pipe and EVAP canister purge solenoid valve into the intake manifold to be consumed during normal combustion. The control module uses several tests to determine if the EVAP system is leaking.
Large Leak Test
This tests for large leaks and blockages in the evaporative emission (EVAP) system. The control module will command the EVAP canister vent solenoid valve ON, closed, and command the EVAP canister purge solenoid valve ON, open, with the engine running, allowing engine vacuum into the EVAP system. The control module monitors the fuel tank pressure (FTP) sensor voltage to verify that the system is able to reach a predetermined level of vacuum within a set amount of time. The control module then commands the EVAP purge solenoid valve OFF, closed, sealing the system and monitors the vacuum level for decay. If the control module does not detect that the predetermined vacuum level was achieved, or the vacuum decay rate is more than a calibrated level on 2 consecutive tests, a DTC P0455 will set.
Small Leak Test
If the large leak test passes, the control module will test for small leaks by continuing to monitor the fuel tank pressure (FTP) sensor for a change in voltage over a period of time. If the decay rate is more than a calibrated value, the control module will rerun the test. If the test fails again, a DTC P0442 will set.
Canister Vent Restriction Test
If the evaporative emission (EVAP) vent system is restricted, fuel vapors will not be properly purged from the EVAP canister. The control module tests this by commanding the EVAP canister purge solenoid valve ON, open; and commanding the EVAP canister vent solenoid valve OFF, open; and monitoring the fuel tank pressure (FTP) sensor for an increase in vacuum. If vacuum increases more than a calibrated value, DTC P0446 will set.
EVAP Purge Solenoid Valve Leak Test
If the evaporative emission (EVAP) canister purge solenoid valve does not seal properly, fuel vapors could enter the engine at an undesired time, causing driveability concerns. The control module tests for this by commanding the EVAP canister purge solenoid valve OFF, closed; and EVAP canister vent solenoid valve ON, closed; sealing the system, and monitoring the fuel tank pressure (FTP) for an increase in vacuum. If the control module detects that EVAP system vacuum increases above a calibrated value, DTC P0496 will set.
Check Gas Cap Message
The powertrain control module (PCM) sends a class 2 message to the driver information center (DIC) illuminating the Check Gas Cap message when any of the following occur:
- A malfunction in the evaporative emission (EVAP) system and a large leak test fails
- A malfunction in the EVAP system and a small leak test fails
EVAP SYSTEM COMPONENTS
The evaporative emission (EVAP) system consists of the following components:
The canister is filled with carbon pellets used to absorb and store fuel vapors. Fuel vapor is stored in the canister until the control module determines that the vapor can be consumed in the normal combustion process.
EVAP Canister Purge Solenoid Valve
The EVAP canister purge solenoid valve controls the flow of vapors from the EVAP system to the intake manifold. This normally closed solenoid is pulse width modulated (PWM) by the control module to precisely control the flow of fuel vapor to the engine. The solenoid will also be opened during some portions of the EVAP testing, allowing engine vacuum to enter the EVAP system.
EVAP Canister Vent Solenoid Valve
The EVAP canister vent solenoid valve controls fresh airflow into the EVAP canister. The valve is normally open. The control module will command the solenoid closed during some EVAP tests, allowing the system to be tested for leaks.
Fuel Tank Pressure Sensor
The fuel tank pressure (FTP) sensor measures the difference between the pressure or vacuum in the fuel tank and outside air pressure. The control module provides a 5-volt reference and a ground to the FTP sensor. The FTP sensor provides a signal voltage back to the control module that can
vary between 0.1-4.9 volts. As FTP increases, FTP sensor voltage decreases, high pressure equal low voltage. As FTP decreases, FTP voltage increases, low pressure or vacuum equal high voltage.
EVAP Service Port
The EVAP service port is located in the EVAP purge pipe between the EVAP canister purge solenoid valve and the EVAP canister. The service port is identified by a green-colored cap.