Gasoline engines produce a lot of carbon emissions which can pollute the air if they are released from the vehicle. That is why every vehicle with a gasoline engine now has an evaporative emission control system which helps reduce the level of carbon emissions that get released into the atmosphere. One critical component of this system that works to reduce these emissions is called the charcoal canister. This component has the ability to trap hydrocarbon emissions because of the charcoal properties inside of the canister.
Charcoal canisters are basically like vapor canisters. When fuel is sitting unused in your gas tank, it will emit carbon vapor. In fact, your engine can be turned off altogether, and the vapor will still get discharged from the fuel. If the vapor is not blocked from escaping the gas tank, then it will go into the outside environment and cause airborne pollution to occur. With a charcoal canister in place, this will not happen because its job is to block this vapor from escaping. After it does this, it redirects the vapor to flow toward the engine instead. This will assist in making the internal combustion process a success.
If you were to have a bad charcoal canister, then it would no longer be able to block carbon vapor from the fuel anymore. Aside from the negative environmental impact that this would have, it will also have a negative impact on the performance of your vehicle as well. Remember that the vapor is supposed to get redirected to the engine because it assists with its performance. So, if the vapor is no longer going to the engine, it will cause a reduction in engine power and a weaker fuel economy. You will even start to smell a fuel odor in the cabin of your vehicle because the carbon emissions will be quite high in the air.
These are all signs that you need to replace your charcoal canister right away. The replacement cost of a charcoal canister will be between $190 and $600, depending on the type of gasoline car you have. The parts cost will be the biggest expense because it will be between $160 and $450. The cost of the labor will only be between $30 and $119. It is not a long job to do, but you should still search for a mechanic that has a low hourly rate. Be prepared for extra taxes and fees to be added to the total too.