Do You Have a Loose Fuel Cap?

March 30,2015

closed fuel cap

One of the most common and easily addressed car problems is a loose fuel cap. The good news is, it’s a cheap and easy fix. So if your check engine light comes on unexpectedly, this is a great place to start.

Let’s take a look at a few other signs that your fuel cap might need attention:

Lower than usual fuel mileage

Do you find yourself filling up your gas tank more frequently? If you’re dealing with a loose seal on your fuel cap, your gas could be evaporating. And with prices on the rise, that’s the last thing you want. Additionally, any opening to the fuel tank allows hydrocarbons to vent into the atmosphere. This is a health as well as environmental concern. And it’s why automotive fuel systems have been regulated since the 1970s. 

Strong fuel smell

Are you detecting an unusual odor of gas? This may be a sign that your gas cap seal is worn or damaged. However, it’s also important to check that you’re tightening your cap all the way after you fill up. Most caps make a clicking noise to signal that they are closed. It’s always a good idea to count three clicks before you close the fuel door. At three clicks, you should have nothing to worry about. 

“Check engine” light is on

Your car has dashboard lights for a reason. Ultimately, it’s to keep your car in great shape. Cars manufactured over the last four decades trigger the check engine light when the fuel cap is loose. This also happens when any other leak within the fuel system occurs. However, it’s far likelier that a loose fuel cap is the culprit.

If you’ve noticed any of these warning signs, it’s a good idea to check with your mechanic. Tightening a fuel cap is a “repair” you can easily make yourself. However, if your check engine light remains on, call 616.454.6597 to schedule a 22-point inspection at Veenstra’s. We’ll have you back on the road and running in no time.