DeAnn Owens
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Signs Your Car’s Gas Cap Is Bad

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Gas cap fuel tank refill pump open
Photo: The News Wheel

Your car’s gas cap helps protect the gas tank from getting gunked up with dirt, dust, and debris. It also provides an effective barrier to help prevent fuel vapors from getting into the air. The small component has a big responsibility to your car, so it is important you recognize the signs when the gas cap is bad, failing, or compromised.

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Loose fit

If you have clicked and clicked and clicked the gas cap after fueling up, and it still does not fit right, it is time to replace it.

“If the cap does not click, or clicks and then pops loose again then that may be a sign that it may need to be replaced,” according to YourMechanic.

Stinky fumes

Since the gas cap provides a seal for your gas tank, you should not smell fuel around the vehicle when it is properly closed. If you do smell a hint or blast of gasoline fumes, then the gas cap is damaged or broken. A failing gas cap lets gas vapors escape, which are unpleasant to smell and dangerous to the environment.

Dashboard indicator light

Typically, when the “Check Engine Light” pops on, you assume the worst, aka most expensive problem with your car. However, a faulty gas cap can cause the light to come on.

“An improperly sealing fuel cap may cause an evap system leak, which will set off the Check Engine Light when the computer detects the leak,” warns YourMechanic.

Although the gas cap can trigger the Check Engine Light, it is still important to have the issue investigated by an automotive professional. If your car is scheduled for an emissions test, an activated Check Engine Light will cause it to fail.

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The next time you get gas, check that your gas cap is working properly.