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I have a red lightning bolt light that came on two days ago. I was running the air and it started blowing hot once the light came on. I pulled into a parking lot, turned the car off and waited 5-10 minutes. Cranked the car back up, no red lightning bolt. Didn't try the air. Drove to O'Reilly to get tested. No luck due to Covid. Independent mechanic checked and no code was given, but warning light was on. Mechanic took off gas cap and waited a few minutes and put it back on. Red lightning bolt warning went out. I was advised to purchase a new gas cap. Is this correct? If not please help!!!

Answers from the Automotive Experts

Jessica Howe, Automotive Expert & Coach at


Thank you for writing in. It is impossible to verify the issue without having the vehicle and the gas cap in person to test. The red lightening bolt is a signal that there is an issue with the electronic throttle control system. An issue with the gas cap would effect the fuel system, which the throttle is a part of, but it have typically given other warning codes as well. Wait until the warning light is back and have the vehicle scanned again. Gas caps are relatively inexpensive if you wanted to go ahead and install a new one. You will have to wait until the lighting bolt comes back in order to have it scanned for diagnostic codes. If you install a new cap and the light does not come back, then you know it was the issue. Only further testing will tell. 

Good luck!

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