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My check engine light is on. Could this be a bad gas cap?

Answers from the Automotive Experts

Breanne Boyle, Contributing Editor at Yes it definitely could, but I wouldn't assume this is the issue. I would take it to an ASE certified shop or dealership and have them scan the computer for a trouble code to see what the issue is. It could be something really simple, or it could be a major issue. If you let it go undiagnosed, you could be driving a car with a potential safety issue.

Colleen McGee, Driving Instructor at Americas Driving School Yes it could be that, or the gas cap might not be on tight enough. if adjusting the gas cap doesn't solve the problem, you may just need the light sensor reset by your mechanic. Good luck Colleen

Georgia Brown, Director of Education at National Independent Automobile Dealers Association (NIADA) Yes, it can be your gas cap. Make sure you have it screwed on tightly. As my son found out with his Chevy Cobalt, it might just be a short in the light! Georgia Brown

Kerri Papajohn, Marketing Director at USA Sealants, Inc. Yes, but a loose gas cap is much more common. Stop by an Advance Auto or AutoZone and find out the diagnostic trouble code (DTC) that has triggered the check engine light to come on. Finding out the DTC is a free service offered by these auto parts chains. If the check engine light starts flashing, DO NOT drive the car more than necessary to get safely off the road and have it towed to a repair shop. A flashing check engine light means that damage will occur to the emission system if you continue driving.

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