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Car Trouble: Check GasCap Message

EncEnc Briarthorn AllianceFloridaRegistered User regular
edited April 2012 in Help / Advice Forum
I have a 2007 Dodge Caliber with 50k+ miles on it. This morning the "Gascap" message popped up, which according to the internet means that there is an emissions leak in my fuel system somewhere, either from the cap not sealing or something somewhere else. From what I have seen online, this is an incredibly common problem for post-2006 dodges. Nowhere online seems to answer a few big questions I have though:

1) Is having an emissions leak or slightly loose gascap notably dangerous? What is actually happening here and should I stop using my car?

2) How much should I look to pay for the repair? From what I've seen online, all of the parts are fairly cheap (Gascaps are about $20, the emissions checking dohickey is about $15), how much should I expect labor to be at a local mechanic? Is this doable by a layman?

3) A ton of places have said that this is a sort of problem that doesn't fix even with new parts, and keeps popping up. Does anyone have experience with this trouble?

Any insights would be greatly appreciated!

Enc on


  • bowenbowen beso el culo shitlord in residenceRegistered User regular
    edited April 2012
    1) Probably not. You'll likely not pass inspection in your state if you need to renew.

    2) Probably about $80-100 if you're lucky.

    3) it could literally be anything. You could have a crack in the cap, or a gasket, or somewhere along the line.

    You may have started the car when the gas cap was loose. Are you noticing higher fuel consumption? Filling up more frequently? If no I'd wait. I had a similar issue and it turns out I just had put my gas cap on too loosely and the check engine light warned me. And then it kept warning me for a month and mysteriously went away. So long as you're not dripping gas or fluids of any kind on the ground it's probably not a big worry.

    If you've got money to burn it doesn't hurt to bring it in.

    bowen on
    Warning: I am a programmer/sysop. Do not take my word as law in any other fields, it is not professional advice.
  • EncEnc Briarthorn Alliance FloridaRegistered User regular
    Thanks Bowen, I'll keep an eye on it. Maybe if its still showing up this time next week, or if my fuel is going away super quick, I'll take it in and shell out the cash.

  • illigillig Registered User regular
    You should replace your gas cap 1st. It's the cheapest thing to do and could well fix your issue.

  • EncEnc Briarthorn Alliance FloridaRegistered User regular
    That's a wallmart sort of part, right? Something I could just pick up on my way home?

  • illigillig Registered User regular
    I would get one specifically for your car from a dealer- although i would shop at an online discount dealer rather than at a B&M one...

  • MidshipmanMidshipman Registered User regular
    Before you even replace anything, make sure you have tightened your gas cap properly and reset your error code (Some cars let you reset it natively, others require am OBD2 code reader to reset). Then wait and see if the warning comes back. Having an emissions leak (not a leak leak) is not a dangerous or urgent condition. The gas cap on my car is a little wonky in that it has a tendancy to click before it's actually fully tightened. Before I figured out that quirk and started tightening it properly after filling up, I was getting that error code regularly.

  • amateurhouramateurhour One day I'll be professionalhour The woods somewhere in TennesseeRegistered User regular
    Also do some google searching for those codes to see if you can reset them from your dash without using a reader.

    For instance, when I get my oil changed, I have to turn on my truck (battery only) and press the gas in three times and hold it on the third to reset my oil change notification. I have to do similar things to reset a few codes.

    For that matter, my check engine light is f'ed and comes on sometimes when nothing is wrong, typically this happens when emissions are near because the universe hates me, and while the check engine light doesn't automatically fail me on the test, I'll usually disconnect my battery for a few minutes and then reconnect it to clear the dash and reset the light.

    My point is that there's a lot of things you can do without that code reader, although since you actually have an issue on your vehicle, a check up wouldn't hurt. Any Autozone or Pep Boys should be able to let you use their reader to check your codes for free, unless they've started charging for that in the last year or so since I used them.

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