You are driving down the street on a beautiful day, You feel contented because you are driving one of the world’s safest and most comfortable cars, the Honda Accord. Suddenly, your check fuel cap lights up and you wonder if it indicates danger, or that your car is going to need an expensive repair.
The check fuel cap warning light can be indicative of a few different problems. It is helpful to know what those problems are and what you should do when they occur.
The Fuel Cap and Modern Technology
Today’s vehicles have advanced systems that are called ODB-IIs or On-Board Diagnostics. Various components of the car are moderated by these systems. Although they make cars a bit more expensive initially, they can save you a lot of time and heartache in the long run.
When an OBD-II detectives problem, it will display a warning sign on your dashboard. These turning signals should never be ignored. The “ check fuel cap” is one of the most difficult displays you will find on a Honda Accord.
Whenever the message displays it means that the fuel tank has a pressure leak. You will get the message if the fuel tank simply is gone, if it is damaged, or if is simply not tight enough.
When your “check fuel cap,” warning sign displays, it may be because your gas cap is loose or just improperly attached. A lot of the time, it may even just say, “loose cap.” If this happens, you will want to take several steps to fix the problem.
- Park your car and turn off the engine. Remember you should let the engine cool down first. Depress the button that unlocks your gas cap to open it. You will find this button underneath the steering column on the floorboard.
- Open the gas cap by screwing it in a counterclockwise manner.
- Put the gas cap back on making sure that it is seated properly this time. Make sure the cap’s the threads are lined up properly. Listen for the sound of three clicks to make sure that you have done this correctly.
You should now be able to get back into the car and resume driving. You should know that the light may continue to illuminate for a day or so after you fixed it. If it continues to display longer than that, you will want to use the OBD-II scanner to determine the real problem.
How to Use an OBD Scanner
You will find a port below the steering column of your car. You will want to connect the OBD-II scanner to the port. Be sure to set the OBD scanner before you begin. This clears the system so that you will have an accurate reading.
There is a seal made of rubber on the inside of a gas cap that rests against the fuel inlet. When a gasket goes bad, fuel vapor might escape through the cracks. This will cause the “Check Fuel Cap” light to illuminate.
Drive the car around and observe the dashboard for any warning lights. If the gas cap light still illuminates, you may want to consider replacing the cap. Cap replacement will solve the problem 90% of the time.
Driving Without a Gas Cap
If your gas cap needs to be replaced and you are unable to get to the store to get a new one immediately, you may wonder if you can drive the car without the cap. It is never a good idea to park your car in a public space without its gas cap because gas can be siphoned and stolen. However, you may want to know if driving without a gas cap is safe and possible.
Driving without a gas cap is possible but detrimental to the environment and your car. It also lets debris get into your vehicle’s tank and that can eventually damage your engine.
Exposure to the air can also cause a car to have poor fuel economy.
Fuel starts to dissipate when exposed to the air. Not replacing a and gas cap can end up costing you a good bit of money in the long run. You can get a new gas cap for somewhere between $10 and $50.
What is EVAP?
Honda Accords have an Evaporative Emissions Control system of which your fuel tank is a part. Fuel caps secure pressure in a gas tank. When there is a dramatic increase or decrease of pressure, your “check fuel cap” light will display.
How Gas Caps Have Changed Over The Years
You probably never give your gas cap a second thought. However, it is an important component of your car and it has evolved quite a bit over the years.
Initially, gas caps were included in cars to keep rain and debris out of the tank. Although some better automobiles had caps with vent holes that equalized the pressure between the outside atmosphere and the inside of the tank whenever fuel was pulled out.
In the 1970s, car manufacturers and the general public became more concerned about safety and the environment. Gas thanks can catch fire and a good cap may help to prevent such a disaster. A solid cap will also use much less fuel.
Fuel caps changed a lot over the course of the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s. Manufactures developed caps that maintained the seal even if the crown broke off. In the early 1970s, the government became more stringent on environmental law. Requirements for evaporative loss were put in place.
Caps today have a better venting system and they are designed to be easy to put on. They almost all have locks, so you don't have to worry about getting gasoline stolen from your car. They are made of materials that are less likely to fall apart because of outside elements.
Gas cap problems are very easy to fix. If securing the cap properly won't work the cost of buying a new one is nominal. A check fuel cap warning may seem scary but it is actually one of the easiest problems to fix.
No one would ever take their car to a mechanic because their gas cap didn't work properly. However, if there's something wrong with the gas tank on an older car, you may want to take that car in for repairs. If your car does need repairs, you will have several options as to where to take the vehicle.
Having your Vehicle Serviced at the Dealership
The dealership tends to be considerably more expensive than an auto body shop. You are also unlikely to be able to speak directly with the mechanic at a dealership. However, there are some advantages to letting a dealership mechanic work on your car.
A dealership will have the parts your car needs, so you don’t have to worry about being without it for days and driving a rental car while you wait for a part to come in. The mechanic who works on your car will also be certified by the manufacturer in your make and model of car. They will charge you by the job and not by the hour so you'll never be surprised at the bill.
Having Your Vehicle Serviced at an Auto Body Shop
Most drivers choose to take their car to an auto body shop rather than the dealership. This is because they are less expensive and you will have the opportunity to meet and speak with the mechanic who will work on your car. You can look around for a mechanic who is well versed in working on your type of car.
When looking for an auto body shop, be sure to visit AAA’s website where you will find a list of approved shops. You should check out any business for complaints on the Better Business Bureau website. Angie’s List provides you with references and reviews for a mechanic.
If your car is simply too old to be worth fixing, you may decide to get a new vehicle. If you need the money, you can always donate the car to a charity and they will sell it and keep the money. Old cars also make great gifts for the teenager in your family who has just learned to drive.
If you don't have a kid and you do need the money you may want to consider these options for selling your car.
You can always trade your car into the dealership when you buy a new vehicle. A dealership is unlikely to give you the amount of money you deserve for your old car. They will count on you being too lazy to explore other options. They know you want to get on the road with your new car as quickly as possible and that you won’t want to have to waste time selling your old car.
You should know that dealerships will often give you a good trade-in price for your car. If they offer you a good price you should read your final offer for your new car very carefully. When a dealership does something like this they may end up taking the amount of money they gave you for the trade-in back onto the final price of the car.
When you go into the dealership, you should not tell them that you have a car to trade-in. Let them give you a final price and then tell them about the trade-in.
Sell Your Car Online
You can always try to sell your car yourself. There are many online websites that will let you list your car on them for a monthly price. You will be able to list the specs and pictures of the vehicle on these sites.
If you advertise on one of these sites, you will be in competition with many other sellers. If you do get an interested buyer, you will have to take the time to show them the car. They may decide they don't want the car or they may try to haggle over price. If this happens you will find yourself back at square one.
Selling your car online can actually be dangerous. Criminals such as rapists, murderers, and thieves find their victims this way.
Sell the Car to Us
Cash Cars Buyers will give you a great price for your old car. We tend to look for vehicles manufactured between 2002 and 2018. In some cases, we will pay $500 for a junk car.
If you sell your car to an individual person or if you use it as a trade-in, you will have to have the pink slip also known as the title. If you did not have the title you will have to go to the Department of Motor Vehicles in your area. You will have to fill out paperwork and pay for a replacement title.
In most cases, no title is no problem for us. All we really need is the registration of the car and to see your driver's license.
Our process is a simple one. All you have to do is fill out our online form and we will call you right back. You just need to provide your name, email address, and phone number. We will also need the make, model, VIN number, and mileage of your car.
We will make you an offer and, if you accept that offer, we will schedule a time for pick up. Our team member will perform a fast inspection, pay you in cash, and tow the old heap away for free. Click below to get started