How to Check a Fuel Cap

by Todd Bowerman
Car fuel filler cap image by Christopher Dodge from

While many late model cars have fuel caps that are attached to the fuel cap door, motorists sometimes still forget to replace the fuel cap after filling their cars with gasoline. If you forget to put your fuel cap back on your vehicle, or if you do not tighten it correctly, your car's “Check Engine” light could come on. In some car models, your car could run poorly or even fail to start. Checking your fuel cap takes only a few seconds after each fill-up.

Step 1

Open the fuel door on your vehicle. Some cars require you to push a button by the seat or in the glove box, while others allow you to open it manually.

Step 2

Grab the fuel cap and turn it to the left to remove it from the tank.

Step 3

Replace the fuel cap, making sure that the threads on the cap and tank line up correctly and the cap is not skewed to the left or right.

Step 4

Tighten the cap until you hear several clicks, indicating that the cap is correctly secured.

Close the fuel door.


  • If your “Check Engine” light is on and you think it may be caused by your fuel cap, it should go away with a few days of driving once the cap is secured. If it doesn’t, you may need to take your vehicle in to be serviced.

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