Volkswagen P0442 Fault Code
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P0442 VW/Audi Engine Code – Diagnosis & Repair

Chandler Stark

Meet Trey

Trey is an automotive enthusiast and has a huge passion for Volkswagen and Audi vehicles of all kinds. His enthusiasm started with the MK5 GTI, and he has massively expanded his knowledge over the years. When Trey is not delivering high-quality and in-depth content, we can usually find him working in his garage on his modified Genesis coupe. Trey created VW Tuning several years ago, and he is the primary visionary behind the content.

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P0442 Volkswagen/Audi Fault Code: EVAP Emission System Leak Detected (Small Leak)

Receiving a P0442 code in your Volkswagen or Audi is easy to diagnose if you have an OBD-II scanner. On it, this code will more than likely read: “EVAP Emission System Leak Detected (Small Leak)”. So what does this the P0442 engine code mean? It means as it says, there is a small leak in the EVAP (Evaporative Emission Control) system. So what does the EVAP system do? The EVAP system prevents gas vapors from escaping the fuel tank and fuel system into the atmosphere. The majority of the time when this code pops up, it is a faulty N80 purge valve.

Can I still drive with a P0442 Volkswagen or Audi Fault Code?

Short answer, yes. If this engine code pops, it is not the end of the world. More than likely you will have reduced fuel economy and increased emissions, which is not great, but not threatening to your vehicle’s health for a short period of time. With that said, you won’t want to ignore this for very long, but it is a simple diagnosis and fix if there isn’t an EVAP hose leak.

P0442 VW/Audi Symptoms

  • Check Engine Light (CEL) illuminating
  • Decreased fuel economy
  • Increased fuel smell
  • Increased fuel emissions

Causes of P0442 VW/Audi Engine Code

  • Faulty/Loose gas cap
  • Failing N80 Purge Valve
  • Leaking/disconnected EVAP hoses
  • Faulty EVAP charcoal canister or leak detection pump (LDP)
  • Failing Fuel Tank Pressure Sensor
  • Fuel tank leak

How to Repair a Volkswagen or Audi with a P0442 Engine Code

There are many fault codes that are difficult to diagnose, like the EPC Light, but P0442 is not too difficult to diagnose because it has to do with the EVAP system 9 times out of 10. We’ve provided some guides and replacement parts for the 2.0t engine below to ease the DIY process. If you were looking to take your vehicle to the shop so they can fix this code, you will be looking at a price of $100 – $600, depending on what parts need to be replaced.

How to Replace a Loose or Faulty Gas Cap

A faulty or loose gas cap makes up about 50% of the reasons this code pops up. If this is the case, it’ll take 5 minutes of your time and $15. So, needless to say, this is always the best place to start.

Buy Here: VW Gas Cap Replacement
DIY Difficulty: Easy

How to Replace an N80 Purge Valve

The N80 purge valve is another common cause for this engine code. Again, not a very difficult DIY and cheap replacement part. It is worth giving this DIY a shot before having to take it to a shop.

Buy Here: VW Purge (N80) Valve Replacement
DIY Difficulty: Easy

How to Replace an EVAP Charcoal Canister

Another pretty common reason for the P0442 code is the EVAP charcoal canister, which essentially absorbs excess gas vapors coming from the gas tank.

Buy Here: VW Charcoal Canister Replacement
DIY Difficulty: Intermediate

How to Fix or Replace the EVAP Lines

Volkswagen EVAP system line diagram

This is probably the hardest cause to diagnose, but it is possible that there is a leak or unhooked EVAP hose throwing this engine code. A common way to diagnose if there is a leak is by doing a smoke test (video below). Unless you know your way around the engine, this may be easier to take it to the shop. You would be looking at a cost of around ~$200.

Purchase Here: VW EVAP line Replacement
DIY Difficulty: Difficulty

How to Replace a Leak Detection Pump (LDP)

Lastly, after scrolling through forums, we have seen the LDP is a reason for this engine code popping up as well. If none of the above fixes work, then this could be worth a shot. The replacement part is not cheap, however. So if you are at the point where the code is still showing, it may be worth taking it to a shop to have a professional look at it.

Buy Here: VW LDP Replacement (CCTA Engine Codes Only)
DIY Difficulty: Intermediate

P0442 VW Conclusion

In conclusion, if your Volkswagen or Audi is receiving a P0442 code, the most likely causes include a faulty or failing gas cap, a failing or faulty N80 purge valve, or the EVAP charcoal canister. If you are getting this code, then you are able to drive on it for a short period, but it shouldn’t be ignored for an extended period of time. If you are looking to find guides or replacement parts for another Volkswagen or Audi vehicle, reach out in the comments and we will do our best in assisting you. We hope this guide has helped fix your Volkswagen/Audi.

Feel free to read more of our fault posts.

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  1. I recently lost the plastic cover from the door where the fuel cap is and i got the check engine light but first i got the fuel cap light,the code is PO442,i replaced the fuel cap,probably it got damaged from the rain and dust and deleted the code,i ordered the door and hopefully the engine light wont apear anymore but the code is still there after i turn on the car ignition,do i need to drive it a little until the code goes off or should i start fixing the other problem that might cause the code to apear?thanks in advance

    1. George,

      If you can reset the code and drive it around a little to see if the CCEL pops on again. If so, there’s another underlying problem going on. If the CEL does pop back on, follow the steps in this guide.

      Let us know if this assists you!

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