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Q: Can a loose gas cap or driving on really rough roads cause a P0193 error code?

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I was driving on a beach, probably a little faster than I should have been since the sand was not smoothly flat, and there were a few times where one set of wheels or the other left the ground or took hard bumps going over some sand humps when I first noticed the check engine light come on. I had about 1/4 tank of gas in the tank and I later found that my gas cap was not properly tightened. I had O'Reilly's check my code and it threw a P0193 trouble code, which I understand is a "Fuel Rail Pressure Sensor 'A' Circuit High" message. But they were unable to clear the Check Engine light (they said their tool did not do this) from the memory. What I am wondering is this: Could this error be caused by those immediate circumstances through either a momentary loss of fuel through the fuel pump (like when I hit the ground hard on such a low tank and the gas sloshed around) or the fuel cap not being correctly tightened in place? There is no hesitation in acceleration or starting problems.

My car has 120000 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

Hi there, thanks for writing in. To answer your question in a simple way: maybe. The P-0193 OBD-II error code is as you indicated, a fuel rail pressure sensor circuit issue. This may have been triggered by the aggressive off-road driving as a fuel rail sensor possible became loose during the bumps. It’s highly unlikely that the loose gas cap triggered this specific error code, but it’s not out of the realm of possibility. The best way to fix this is to contact a professional mechanic with the correct diagnostic scan tool that can clear your error codes, but verify the connections to sensors on your fuel rail and the fuel cap first. Here at YourMechanic, we can have a technician come to your home or office to inspect and diagnose this check engine light for you, and make or suggest the necessary repairs.

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