Q: Car losing power, shaking, and sputtering.

asked by on

I left the gas cap off for two days. On the third day the car started to lose power. It also started shaking and sputtering with a vibration. I drove it to the lot with my foot on the gas and brake. Then the car would not start for 20 to 30 minutes. It finally started. It happened like that twice.

Leaving the gas cap off wont usually cause drivability concerns. Its function is basically to keep fuel vapors where they belong. If left off it often triggers a check engine light, but nothing more. Notice how I said "usually" in the first sentence? On some vehicles it might trigger a limp home mode. Limp home means just that, the vehicle computer shuts off most of the power and gives you just enough to get home. This is enough to scare people into calling a technician. If your gas cap is still off, put one on. If its in limp home mode, it should reset after a couple of key cycles. If it is still acting up, the drivability concern is probably coincidental with you leaving the gas cap off. Seeking help from a properly trained technician to diagnose the issue should be your next step.

Was this answer helpful?
The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details
  1. Home
  2. Questions
  3. Car losing power, shaking, and sputtering.

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: Car dies on exit ramp coming off interstate

Hello. I will be happy to assist you. I believe the problem you are having could be a result from a faulty mass air flow sensor or a throttle position sensor. Each component heavily inputs on the air fuel ratio of the vehicle....

Q: My car looses power sometimes and if I release the gas and press again it will work, the transmission also downshifts suddenly.

Hi there. Sounds like the downshift solenoid is loosing power in the transmission. Check the harness to the transmission and make sure that its plugged in all the way. Also, the gas pedal could have a loose connection on the...

Q: I want to install tachometer what do I hook to in the ignition switch?

Hi there. Take the power wire to the tachometer (the input wire) and hook it into the return wire on the coil system. This will register the tachometer and make it work. Put the ground wire on a good source...

Related articles

How Long Does a Distributor O Ring Last?
The distributor is part of the ignition system in your vehicle and its purpose is to route high voltage from the ignition coil to the spark plug. The spark plug then...
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...
How Much Does a Mechanic Make in Vermont?
Automotive technician jobs in Vermont have an average mechanic salary of $37k, with some mechanics earning a salary of $53k.