How to Replace a Fuel Cap

by Julia Thomas

Replacing a faulty or missing fuel cap can both save you money and help you protect the environment. In fact, according to Mecklenburg County, North Carolina’s Land Use and Environmental Services Agency, if your car leaks all year, it is likely to lose about 30 gallons of gas during that time. What is more, during the same year, your leaky fuel cap would put 200 pounds of evaporative emissions into the air. Safety and performance are also at stake. Always replace a leaky fuel cap immediately by selecting and installing the right one.

Finding the Right Fuel Cap


Find the identifying information for your vehicle. Know the make, model, and submodel. For instance, one vehicle you might need a gas cap for is a Ford make, Taurus model, SE submodel.


Take your information to your local parts store. Ask for information on fuel caps.


Ask whether the part is an Original Equipment Manufacturer part, called an OEM part, or an aftermarket part. OEM parts are identical to dealer parts, although they may be in different packaging. Aftermarket parts may be different, but are usually just as good or better. Avoid generic fuel caps.


Choose among the options you are given of proper caps. Locking caps may be available as possible selections. Ask at the parts store about disposal of the old cap if it was damaged and not lost.

Installing the Fuel Cap


Notice whether your gas cap has a cap retention ring to keep it from falling off. If it does, look at the way it is connected to the car.


Slip the tip of the needle nose pliers under the edge of the base of the cap retention ring that is held under the lip of the opening to the gas tank, if you have a fuel cap that has such a ring. Pop the retention ring off. Snap the retention ring of the new gas cap on. Twist it around so that the part of the plastic that connects the gas cap to the car is located on the left of the opening.


Twist the cap in a clockwise motion into the opening to put it in place. Turn it until it clicks three times.

Items you will need

About the Author

Julia Thomas started her professional writing career in 1991 writing poetry for "Potpourri" magazine. Thomas studied secondary English education and creative writing at Wichita State University, where she earned honors. Thomas has written short stories and started a novel since 2002, and has done Internet writing since 2006.

Photo Credits

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