One of the more disconcerting things that can happen in your car is the Check Engine warning light. And while the Check Engine light should never be taken lightly, often the problem is remarkably simple: a gas cap that won’t click or tighten.
How this system works:
Your gas cap is a very simple screw top lid. Unlike, say, a mason jar, the cap to your gas tank has the threads, rather than the tank itself. The purpose of the gas cap is to keep the gas in your vehicle secure. Without a gas cap, the gas can slosh out of the tank, or evaporate, and it is more prone to freak accidents that could cause fires, explosions, or internal damage to your vehicle.
Common reasons for this to happen:
There are four reasons why a gas cap won’t click or tighten:
Damaged gas cap: A damaged gas cap is far and away the most common culprit for a gas cap that won’t click or tighten. Gas caps with damaged threading won’t be able to lock tightly into the gas tank. Sometimes you can see a crack or break in the gas cap, but often the damage is not visible. Certain makes and models have notoriously finicky gas caps, and some have even resulted in recalls.
Damaged gas tank threading: The gas cap is part of a two-piece equation. There’s the gas cap, with the outward threading, and the top of the gas tank, with the track for the threading. If this track for the threading becomes damaged, the threading has nowhere to lock into, and the gas cap won’t click or tighten.
Dirty cap or tank: Everyone has accidentally tried to screw on the lid to a jar when something was caught in the threading. It simply won’t work. A gas cap is no different; if there’s debris in the threading of the gas cap, or in the track of the tank, the cap won’t screw on correctly.
Broken spring load: Many gas caps are spring loaded. These gas caps rely on a spring that holds the cap in place when it is locked in. If this spring breaks or is damaged in any way, there will be no pressure holding the cap in place.
What to expect:
A top-rated mobile mechanic will come to your home or office to determine the cause of the gas cap that isn’t clicking or tightening, and will then provide a detailed inspection report that includes the scope and cost of the necessary repairs.
How it's done:
A mechanic will assess your gas cap and gas tank and should easily be able to determine the cause of the problem. After figuring out why the cap won’t click or tighten, the mechanic will clean, repair, or replace the component that is not working. A malfunctioning gas cap is one of the simplest repairs in the automotive industry.
How important is this service?
A gas cap isn’t the most vital part of your vehicle, but it is something that should be in working condition. A properly working gas cap is a safety measure, and keeps debris from getting into your gas tank. A gas cap that won’t properly tighten will often trigger the Check Engine warning light. If you don’t get the gas cap replaced, the light will stay on, and you won’t be alerted if another, more severe issue arises.