OK. It looks like this thread is dead, but I thought I would update it one last time in case some poor stiff with a similar problem does a search and finds it. I’ll try to summarize what I think was my problem.
As I said in the first post, I bought this car from a relative that had been living with the check engine light for over 50k miles (several years). The P1441 is a minor fault that really doesn’t have much negative impact, so the motivation to fix it had been small.
Given the time frame and separation from details, it was hard for me to reconstruct the events immediately preceding the defect. It could have been a week after a tune-up or intake replacement (which this car had) or it could have been unrelated to any other work or repair.
I decided it was an independent defect. After replacing the gas cap and both solenoids in the system (about $70.00 in parts) and inspecting the vacuum lines I still had the fault. So I was contemplating dropping the gas tank and having a look at the Fuel Tank Pressure transducer. (Yuck!)
About message #8, Echo SSEi listed some info that I reviewed and decided to check. I had done everything except consider that the lines were switched at the solenoid on the intake manifold.
I will confess that I made an *****u*me* that the vacuum solenoid was simply an electric valve and that it would either be open or closed no matter which way it was plumbed up. So checking for the lines reversed sounded silly. But, since I was under there anyway…
So I took the old solenoid and did a hillbilly vacuum test on one of the outlets. No flow. Tested the other outlet. SOME FLOW!! (what the…) Took the new solenoid off and put it on the same test equipment, same result.
It turns out that there is an INLET and and OUTLET on the vacuum solenoid and if it’* hooked up backwards there’* enough vacuum in the manifold to pull enough air past the closed solenoid to trip the fault. At least on this car anyway.
When I changed the solenoids out I know I hooked them back up the same way they came out, so it is possible that the entire fault was due to someone (at a repair shop even?) reversing the lines some years ago and not realizing the mistake because it may take, depending on your driving habits, some weeks for the vacuum to overcome the resistance in the valve and the computer to call for a check and etc. I probably could have fixed the problem more than $70.00 ago if I had checked this first, but, well, look at all the fun I would have missed.
Sooooo, thanks Echo SSEi and everyone else that pitched in and helped and gave me ideas for what to fix or check. Without your help I’m certain I would have spent many more hours, and probably an expensive trip to the dealership without much guarantee that they would have found the fault either.
I smile every time I look down and see that dern light is dark.