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George H.
George H., ASE Certified Technician
Category: Kia
Satisfied Customers: 18701
Experience:  Hyundai Certified and 15+ years as an ASE Maser Tech
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kia spectra: Help... just got a diagnosis of PO442. small

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Help... just got a diagnosis of PO442. small leak detected. 2003 Kia Spectra...Is this considered a major repair? Will it be okay to drive the vehicle for a few months while obtaining finances for the repair?

Hello I will help you with your question,

This is a minor problem that usually will not affect the operation of your engine.

The fuel system is sealed to prevent vapors from getting to the atmosphere, the computer checks this system to ensure there are no leaks, even pinhole sized ones. When the computer cannot maintain a vacuum on the system it will set a large leak or small leak code. Your code means that you may have a hose or valve leaking or the charcoal canister that traps the vapors is starting to come apart. In any case the hard part is finding the leak, once found it is rarely more than $150 to repair the leak.

You can wait to have this repaired, the only issue is that with the light on you do not know if some other problem comes up because the computer can only turn the light on for one thing.

Make sure the gas cap is firmly closed and get it repaired as soon as you are able.

Please let m e know how I can help you with this

Thank you

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thank you...The value of this vehicle is less than $1800...I may not even have this repaired. If I do, can any mechanic find the leak or do I need to go to a Kia certified mechanic?


You do want a shop that has experience finding evaporative system leaks, it will cost less in diagnostic time as they will find the leak faster so you do not need a KIA mechanic.

If you find the fuel tank hard to fill or the engine hard to start after fueling that would be a clue to get it fixed sooner rather than later. I have seen vehicles operated for years with the check engine light on and this code stored. Does not mean it is a good practice but I have seen it.

Please let me know what I can do to help you with this

Thank you

George H. and 2 other Kia Specialists are ready to help you