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I was driving my car on the freeway, and the check engine, traction control, cruise and brake lights all came on and started blinking at the same time. Cruise control was off at the time. I drove home with no problems. I got the code P0442, and checked the gas cap and the interior brown ring seems to have broken. I tried to make an appointment at the dealership but the earliest appointment is in 2.5 weeks. I am going to buy an OEM gas cap myself and see if that can fix it instead. How do I remove the clip from the tether/lanyard on the fuel door? It doesn't look like it's a screw, and I don't want to cut the tether. Any ideas?
A P0442 fault indicates a leak in the evaporative emissions system, or EVAP system for short. You are already on the correct path by checking the gas cap first. This is the most common reason for this fault, though it is not the only one. If you see damage to the seal on the gas cap, replacing it is a good first step. When you purchase your new gas cap, open it and see if it includes a clip at the end of the tether. If it includes the clip, then you just use a small body panel tool to remove the entire clip from the fuel door. If it does not include the clip, and just has a rubber ring at the end, then you need to carefully remove the old one from the clip in the fuel door, then reinstall the new one by sliding the rubber ring around the clip. If replacing the fuel cap doesn't solve the problem, then you should contact a professional technician, such as one available through YourMechanic, to thoroughly diagnose the Check Engine Light for you.
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