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Its the charcoal canister for the evap system. If I remember correctly one hose comes from the gas tank (vent).. The other hose goes from there to the throttle body (small hose at the bottom of the TB)..
The hose to the throttle body has a valve between the TB and the canister... Thats the evap purge valve.. It makes sure your not always putting the fumes into the engine (I can't remember when it opens)..
Yea it connects to the bottom of the TB like maniak said. At any position but idle is when it opens to allow fumes built up from the gas tank to flow into the TB and be burned in the engine instead of escaping into the atmosphere.
I would hook it up personally, what likely happened is the canister purge valve likely went south, so this sucker got removed.
I would get a good canister purge valve, install it with the hose from the bottom of the throttle body then to the inlet of your charcoal canister...which vents the fumes from your gas tank into the upper intake manifold
currently the fumes in your gas tank are venting just into the canister, not into the engine to be burned.
Up to you, but I like to keep my emissions stuff in place because it was designed to be there. Do you currently have a check engine light?
Is the hose on the bottom of your throttle body open to atmosphere?
Is there a canister purge valve just hanging on the wiring harness not hooked up?
410, is it possible this could in any way affect mileage? Here's my thought process (hope you can follow it), if there are gasoline fumes going to atmosphere, and fumes are flammable, couldn't this affect mileage? I know it won't be a huge difference, but it could?
Any evaporative emissions leak will affect fuel economy, yes. A leak between the purge valve and intake will be a very very small difference. Any other leak in the system will allow fuel loss when the engine isn't running. Your gas dries up like a glass of vodak left out in the sun.
I didn't even notice the connector underneath the TB. I've got some extra parts around since I ripped out my AC at the same time, and wasnt sure what went with that and what didn't, so I'll see if I can find this purge valve in the pile of "extras" in the trunk.