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There is no issue with the charcoal canister. The issue is when people over fill the tank and damage the canister by filling it full of fuel. If you always stop pumping at the first click, you should never have any problems with the charcoal canister. What is your problem?
 

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Having just cut one open I can assure you it is clearly a design flaw. There is absolutely nothing holding the filters in place.
Perhaps there is nothing holding them in place, but failures have always been attributed to overfueling. Have you experienced a different failure mode?
 

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Not understanding how overfilling can be an issue. The canister is well above the fuel tank. Even a ”full” tank, which is impossible due to designed air pockets for expansion cannot raise the fuel level to the point where it saturates the carcoal in the canister. The issues have typically been charcoal pellets filling the lines and stopping the venting. These canisters are typically installed vertically. Not horizontally.
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Absolutely. The faulty design makes it so that the separating filters cannot stay in place when I leave on its side. It appears it would work fine if it was standing up.
The popular consensus is incorrect. The vent line that is connected to the neck is directly connected back to the gas tank itself. The lines connected to the charcoal canister or different lines. To add to that the charcoal canister is positioned high above the gas tank and even further above the vent line going to the neck.
 

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Absolutely. The faulty design makes it so that the separating filters cannot stay in place when I leave on its side. It appears it would work fine if it was standing up.
The popular consensus is incorrect. The vent line that is connected to the neck is directly connected back to the gas tank itself. The lines connected to the charcoal canister or different lines. To add to that the charcoal canister is positioned high above the gas tank and even further above the vent line going to the neck.
In that case, when you finish the re-design you can offer the community a superior alternative to OE.
 

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There is a long-established history of members identifying unique solutions to problems, developing the procedure, device, or material needed, and creating a cottage industry to provide it to others. You can help people out and make a profit at the same time.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
The possibility exist that someone has already reached out to the manufacturer and the issue has been corrected. That is the purpose of this post hoping to hear from someone that knows.
Taking into consideration that the original canister is 15 years old I am hoping that someone has replaced one say 5 or 10 years ago and can reply that they have done so it had no issues cents.
 

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The possibility exist that someone has already reached out to the manufacturer and the issue has been corrected. That is the purpose of this post hoping to hear from someone that knows.
Taking into consideration that the original canister is 15 years old I am hoping that someone has replaced one say 5 or 10 years ago and can reply that they have done so it had no issues cents.
Given that many of us have not had problems for the lives of our cars, that would not tell you anything. My Skys have 115 and 95 thousand miles on them with no canister issues.

There have been no reports of replacement canisters being any different than the originals in any case.
 

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Have you owned them since they were brand new? That would be handy information if the canisters are lasting 100,000 miles it is certainly worth $127 to replace it.
I bought the higher - mileage one new in '06, and the other one used.

As an additional data point I just read a post on the Solstice forum that reported 350k miles having replaced only a water pump, cooling fan, battery, and tires.
 

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@TexasTTB ;
If you tap on the forum members names, you’ll see since when they’ve been a member.

Rob joined in ‘07, John in ‘06 and I joined in ‘09.

Those who’ve replied here are among the most knowledgeable on the kappas and have torn apart their fair share. I myself have ‘literally‘ taken apart every bolt, replaced them and reassembled a project car... I only mention this because even though I thought I‘d seen it all on a kappa... I never thought of disassembling a charcoal canister and have learned something new with this thread (come to think of it, I don’t think I’ve ever seen a post with one pictured that was taken apart either. maybe someone here can confirm).

The canister and it’s location is a known issue, but because the canisters are still available from GM, once you go through the replacement steps, it’s done and part of ones past.

Johns remarks of your efforts possibly yielding good results for the community wasn’t a joke either. Since the cars have long been discontinued, the community has looked within to solve stuff like this. 3D printed parts, bringing new vendors in, supporting used parts sellers, etc is how the community has stayed alive (thrived?).

I welcome all your input and although I can’t see a way for the canister to sit vertically, I also didn’t know what the inside of one looked like 3 minutes ago!

I AM excited to see if this thread opens new doors though.

 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I had a mechanical engineer come over and put in his two cents. The spring loaded plastic pieces along with the filters go at the very top/bottom/side of the canister. I previously assumed they were at the bottom
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These are used to hold pressure on the activated charcoal.
Looking down inside the canister there is supposed to be additional filters preventing the charcoal from exiting the canister. You cannot see them because they are completely gone. There is residue along the side of the left hand channel and a thin layer in the center channel.

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The one I pulled out of this vehicle was made in Mexico. I would be interested in knowing if others that have not had issues with them had the same brand. This brand is a KAYSER pa66. Next is a photo of the front of the unit or the lines connect. I expected to see a mesh screen made from stainless steel somewhere but there is not one.
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Is there a means to remove all the charcoal and install the unit back in service without tripping a code? I realize this would render the evap system less effective in managing raw emissions, but still I wonder.
 

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It is very unlikely that the canisters came from more that one manufacturing line, much less more than one company.

What you just described is the reason that we believe that overfilling the fuel tank can cause, or at least contribute to, the failures. Even though the canister is well above the fuel tank ithat does not apply to the filler neck, so filling the tank to the limit can make it easier for liquid fuel to get there. The fuel is also not static, and fuel is more likely to migrate out the vent line if there is some in the filler tube.

A valid change to the system could be to route the vent line as high as possible in the body to provide àn air lock of sorts, but no one has had a repeat failure that we know of, so we assume that the advice to avoid topping -up is being followed, and works.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I did try to vacuum out and blow out all of the charcoal. I wanted to do exactly what you were saying run it without any at all but I was unable to get all of it out.
My plan was to cut this one open empty everything out and put it back into the vehicle. After figuring out that the issue evolved over a long period of time I decided just to replace it. My biggest fear was I would replace it and six months later I would have to go through all of this again.
I did take it down to fill it up with fuel with everything off of it. After filling up the tank and spending a considerable amount of time trying to force more fuel into the tank I was unable to push anything through any of the lines. With the main line that plugs into the canister I expected to get something out of it seeing as how it was now lower than it typically is but I got nothing.
That’s all of the information I have, The new one arrives tomorrow.
I was trying to fix my electric mirrors and figured out the switch is burnt up. Does anyone know where I could find one?
Also if anyone can think of any questions or any test they would like for me to try while it is disassembled let me know.
 

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We began to experience the smell of raw fuel in about 2017

We did research and found that there were many similar complaints So many infact that it was very difficult to find a Pontiac cannister as they had been consumed in warranty repairs. I did find a couple but went looking for alternative sources and found other GM cars equipped with the Ecotec use basically the same canister that will fit with minor modification to one of the plastic tabs.

The factory repair involves dropping the fuel tank to access the canister and plumbing on top of the tank. This in turn requires dropping the rear suspension. Being a bunch of experienced shade tree mechanics and several engineers, this path was of course ridiculous.

So we pulled the trunk liner of the affected Sky and got out the moto tool and cut the top of the Mayan temple off. Brain surgery if you will.
Here are some pictures from later thread
Charcoal Canister... | Pontiac Solstice Forum

When we pulled the canister, it was contaminated with FUEL. When asked, the driver said that yes, they "topped off" regularly. When we cut it open it was obviously contaminated with fuel.

We replaced the canister and the valve put it back together, riveted tabs onto the Mayan temple top and screwed it back in place. It's been fine for a decade

Our conclusion based on inspection was
1) topping off will and does put fuel into the cannister
2) every instance of the same issue was associated with topping off
3) don't cut open a charcoal filter INSIDE THE GARAGE. It's very messy.

Could GM have made the fuel tank vent idiot proof? Probably but at what cost? The fix is to stop filling when the pump clicks off the first time. It is DESIGNED to operate that way. Back pressure turns off the filler. All good.

I don't view this as a defect. And I have been working with 50 club member cars and as soon as we got the word out about not topping off, NONE of those 50 cars have had an issue.

There are plenty of design tradeoffs that could have been done better. Start with them and suggest solutions.

Start with the flaps
And the buttress latches
And keeping crap out of the radiator
And the fact that if you turn the fan on HIGH for long duration you risk melting the wiring.
And the blend doors tend to fail at bad times and are a bitch to get at.
While you are at it, take a look at the passenger seat sensor. That is a real winner

I am somewhat mystified why the Charcoal canister has become the center of your focus when it is fine if operated correctly at least in my experience, and there are plenty of other "defects" to address first.
I did look up the cost of the canister and solinoid
 

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I did take it down to fill it up with fuel with everything off of it. After filling up the tank and spending a considerable amount of time trying to force more fuel into the tank I was unable to push anything through any of the lines. With the main line that plugs into the canister I expected to get something out of it seeing as how it was now lower than it typically is but I got nothing.
That’s all of the information I have, The new one arrives tomorrow.
The vent line in the filler neck is right at the top, so I think fuel would have to be dripping out of the top before it would actually get to the vent line when the car is just sitting level. Fuel - in very small incremental quantities - is going to get into the vent during cornering, and then get sucked into the canister when the ECM does the vacuum purge of the fuel tank. Consider @Rob the Elder 's comment that the failures were occuring ca 10 years on and you can see that the quantities are small, but cumulative.
I was trying to fix my electric mirrors and figured out the switch is burnt up. Does anyone know where I could find one?
Also if anyone can think of any questions or any test they would like for me to try while it is disassembled let me know.
Forum member @Hoosier GXP is a rebuilder of salvage Kappas and a purveyor of used parts, so he may have one. There is also a well-known salvage company named ReLine Automotive in Floeida that frequently has Kappa parts. I have tagged Hoosier so he will likely comment here, and you can find RedLine on line.

The switch is part number 10393310 and we sometimes find NOS parts on eBay.
 
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