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3 Symptoms of a Bad or Failing Gas Cap and How to Replace

The gas cap is a tiny but critical part of the engine that saves the gas tank against dust and debris. It keeps the fuel clean, and it also addresses the harmful gases into reusable form. In absence of a gas tank, the fuel would not be very much clean, and all those toxic gases would be released into the atmosphere. By recognizing the symptoms of failing gas cap or almost bad gas cap, you can make the replacement on time.

Symptoms of Failing Gas Cap

Every time you fill the fuel, the gas cap is removed, and this makes the component prone to wear and tear. Now that you know what is a gas cap, let’s see the possible symptoms you can recognize –

Loose Gas Cap

Beginning with understanding the symptoms of failing gas cap, here we have the first one. As we said, the gas cap is removed every time for fuel filling. This needs those rings to wear and tear, and it is possible that the cap become loosened as time goes. So while tightening the cap, if it seems not to tighten, then it is a sign you need a replacement for the cap.

You may also hear a popping sound every time you tighten the cap, and it becomes loose again.

Symptoms of failing gas cap
Gas cap keeps dust and debris away from fuel. Cre: MajaMitrovic / iStockphoto


Smell of Gasoline

So, we found out that what is a gas cap, let’s see how it smells. As the gas tank makes the vapors reusable, absence of it would not turn the gases into reusable, and hence you may smell gasoline while driving.

Check Engine Light

You may also encounter the engine light when the cap is loose. However, the engine light can appear for many reasons, you should check for the codes and verify the root cause.

How to Replace Your Gas Cap?

Replacing the gas cap is fairly easy, and the process may not be the exact for every vehicle. You should always check your user manual for further assistance. For standard cars, once you have the new gas cap, you need to take off the old one.

You may find a leash in your new gas cap that you need to unwind. Take the locking peg and connect it to the hole in the fuel tank door. With a twist, the gas cap should fit properly. Get maintenance tips about every issue in your car and solve the issue before it gets worse.

If you have a quick-on locking and pressure release gas cap, you would need the key to insert it into the gas cap. Rotate the key to the left, and the gas cap would come off. Now take the new cap and insert it into the place rotating it on the right. The gas cap that is newly installed should not bulge, else it is still loose.

Symptoms of failing gas cap
Gas cap prevents toxic gases to be released into air. Cre: Shutterstock


If you are confused about replacing the gas cap yourself, always take your car to the professional, and do not experiment. Loose gas cap may make you spend extra on the fuel, and that amount becomes huge in a year. So we hope that you would find these symptoms of failing gas cap helpful, and find out if your gas cap is intact.

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