Gas Cap Capers
by Pat Goss
There is something that every driver hates to see: the miserable check engine light. There’s one light but a thousand things that can cause that one light to come on. So what can you do? Well, there’s not much that you can do by yourself but there is one thing you can check, and that is the gas cap to make sure it’s installed properly and it’s tight.
If that doesn’t make the light go out, the next thing you have to do is to check the gas cap, and that means you need a shop that has a gas cap tester like this Way-Con unit. It has a bunch of adaptors to fit all the different caps, and they put the cap into the tester and then they pump pressure into the cap, and either it holds pressure or it doesn’t. If it doesn’t, the cap is bad, very simple.
Or another way to do it is just replace the cap, but make sure you buy a name brand quality cap. These are not just something that covers the entrance to the gas tank: there are check-valves in there that react to pressure and vacuum; there are safety devices that are built in to help prevent fuel spillage in an accident; lots of things going on in this lowly gas cap.
One other thing that you want to keep in mind is if your car has a yellow gas cap, that typically means that your car is E85 compatible - 85 percent ethanol - and you want to replace it with the same type. Oh, and with gas prices to the moon, you might want to consider a good high quality locking gas cap to keep thieves out of your gas tank.
If you have a question or comment, write to me or send me a DVD video of your question and you might see yourself on TV.
The address is MotorWeek, Owings Mills, MD, 21117.