Posted by Zoe Geoffrion , on Mar, 2018
You are on a road trip, and you stop to get gas. When you screw your gas cap back in, it keeps turning, letting you know that it is not sealing the way it is supposed to seal. Should you replace the gas cap, or are you okay to drive without one? As with most of your car parts, ineffective gas caps can cause problems that, while minor compared to other things that can go wrong with a car, are still worth protecting against with a new cap.
The primary purpose of your vehicle’s gas cap is to prevent gasoline fumes from being released into the environment. The hydrocarbons present in gasoline vapor are destructive to the earth’s atmosphere. This is the reason your car’s check engine light is rigged to light up when the gas cap is ineffective. To pass your state’s emissions tests, you will need a gas cap that helps keep those harmful gases corralled in the tank.
Not only are vapors that escape from your gas tank dangerous for the earth, but they could also be dangerous to you. Gas caps keep these highly flammable fumes from escaping and trailing after your car. While it is unlikely that the fumes will spontaneously ignite, a passerby lighting a cigarette could pose a threat. In the presence of volatile gases, one spark could mean the difference between safety and disaster.
Keeping gasoline fumes in your tank is not the only purpose that your fuel cap serves. It can also keep unwanted intruders out. A gas cap is another layer of protection between your fuel tank and the dust that can collect in the bottom and cause serious problems over time. If you invest in locking gas caps, they can also be a deterrent for would-be thieves who are looking to score some free fuel from a trusting person. While a locking cap may not deter a highly motivated thief, it could be the only thing that shifts the decision from stealing from your car to stealing from the car with the non-locking cap parked beside yours.
The gas cap might not be the most important feature on your vehicle, and if you need to drive from the gas station to the parts store without one, there is not much danger in doing so. To reduce emissions, maintain safety and protect your car and yourself from trouble, however, make sure you always have a reliable, effective gas cap. For more information, visit the website.