Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

Q: Can an open gas cap which causes the Check Engine Light to come on cause the car to not start and the ECM to appear bad?

asked by on

Gas cap was left off. Check engine light came on after a couple days and stayed on for approx 3 weeks. The day after the check engine light went off, the car shook while driving, then lost power, and eventually would not restart when turned off. At first the car symbol with an exclamation point in the center lit up, then other lights when the car wouldn't start. Was told that the ECM needs to be replaces. Concerned that it may need to be reset and not replaced or that there could be a fuel issue causing the problem.

My car has 147900 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

A: Yes, there are a lot of things a bad gas ca...

Yes, there are a lot of things a bad gas cap or open gas cap can affect. If you don’t have a gas cap then you may be experiencing issues with debris getting into your tank or fuel filter and affecting the drive performance. Since the ECM is a costly repair, you may want to have another independent technician diagnose the vehicle’s loss of power. They will be able to confirm the cause of the issue or advise you on another fix.

Was this answer helpful?

Need advice from certified mechanic? Get help now!

Over 1000 mechanics are ready to answer your question.
The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details

Ask a Mechanic
(100% Free)

Have a car question? Get free advice from our top-rated mechanics.

Ask A Mechanic
Over 10,000 questions answered!

Get an instant quote for your car

Our certified mechanics come to you ・Backed by 12-month, 12,000-mile guarantee・Fair and transparent pricing

Get a quote

What others are asking

Q: My air conditioner is not working , but my heater is , what can be the problem

Hello. Thank you for writing in. The A/C system and the heating system have relatively little to do with each other. They share a blower motor, and climate control switches. With the heater working we can assume that these components...

Q: Hi I had a misfire in cylinder 2 today. I had replaced the ignition coil and spark plugs of the front 3 cylinders after the plugs

If the car sat for a year with fuel in the gas tank, that fuel has oxidized and created gum, varnish and other solid contaminants that have plugged up the fuel filter and the fuel injectors. The fuel filter is...

Q: my focus ran out of fuel and won't start

A lot of times when the fuel tank is run completely empty trash will accumulate at the bottom of the tank in the fuel lines, which will make you car to be hard to start. Use a can of Seafoam...

Related articles

How Long Does a Heater Control Valve Last?
Keeping the right amount of coolant in a car is essential in keeping the engine at the right temperature. Failing to have the right amount of coolant or even bad elements...
P0052 OBD-II Trouble Code: HO2S Heater Control Circuit High (Bank 2 Sensor 1)
P0052 code definition HO2S Heater Control Circuit High (Bank 2 Sensor 1) What the P0052 code means This code is seen when the Engine Control Module (ECM) tries to control the...
Rules of the Road For Iowa Drivers
Driving on the roads requires knowledge of the rules, many of which are based on common sense and courtesy. However, even though you know the rules in...