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Is It Bad to Drive Without a Gas Cap?

Is It Bad to Drive Without a Gas Cap?

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If you drive a late model car, chances are, your gas cap is connected to your car by a little rubber tether. That’s so if you happen to forget to replace it after you fill up, an indicator on your dashboard will let you know. (Or if your car doesn’t have the indicator light, at least you won’t lose your gas cap.)

But what if your car doesn’t have any of this technology and you drive down the road with the gas cap off without ever realizing your error? Losing your gas cap is a minor annoyance, sure. You paid for that gas and you want it to stay where it belongs — in the gas tank. Sealing off the fuel tank with the gas cap helps your fuel system maintain proper pressure, which in turn helps your car operate smoothly. These are the primary purposes it serves.

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So can driving without one cause damage to your car? Probably not, but it can cause some minor issues:

The bottom line is the consequences of driving without a gas cap are insignificant and the solution is simple. Gas caps are easy and inexpensive to replace. You can purchase a replacement at a local auto parts store or online retailer, and you can determine which cap you need in your car’s owner’s manual. The parts department for your car dealership can help, too.

Assuming your car has a check engine light, because most cars on the road today do, you’ll likely see it illuminate just a few minutes after you leave the gas station if you drive off without your fuel cap. Some modern cars even have a fuel cap light. If either light stays on after you replace your gas cap, don’t worry. You may need to drive for a while, even 100 miles (160 kilometers) or so, before your car’s computer senses that everything’s OK and the light resets.

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Is It Bad to Drive Without a Gas Cap?

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