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I have a 2003 Ford Focus ZX3, with 210,000 miles.

For a long time the Check Engine Light and Fuel Cap Light were on. Then as the Michigan weather decided to test how cold we could stand, the warning lights went out. About the same time my fueling system would only allow me to put about 1.25 gallons of fuel into the car before is backed up stopped the pump (normally) and spit a little fuel out of the fueling nozzle. I thought maybe I had a frozen vent line, so I added so HEET and the car fueled fine. The check fuel cap and engine light both remained off. There was a problem however. The fuel mileage dropped from about 27-28 mpg to 23-24 mpg. At the same time, the car rarely got up to a normal operating temperature. Last fall I had the leaking thermostat housing and water pump (which blew out) replaced. Now after a month of frozen temperatures, the temperature gauge now goes back to reading normal operating temperatures, the car fuels fine, the mileage has returned to a more normal fuel economy and the check engine and check fuel cap lights are ON. What could be causing this mix of issues? When I went to get the check engine light read, I'm pretty sure he said it was code P0442.

I have already replaced the fuel cap several times as well, and it didn't change the check fuel cap light.

The best information I can find seems to indicate that there must be a small leak somewhere in the EVAP system. This leak is causing the lights to come on. The only reason I can think of that the lights would have gone off is that I got ice and snow under the car and maybe the EVAP hose that has the leak got encased in ice and snow. That "sealed" the leaking hose, thus shutting off the error code. Once it got warmer (Finally) the error returned and the lights came back on.

About the time it started warming up some, I also went and had the car washed, which could have broken up the ice on the hose.

These are the only issues I can think of.

Could the EVAP system also have played a part in the temperature issue?
 

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If not the fuel cap then the evap hose system has a leak somewhere.
 
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