So, your car has a problem.

Check engine – probably gas cap .


What does this mean?

Given the description of the problem and the vehicle mileage, it is probably emissions system related. Specifically, there is a 50% chance it is a loose or leaking gas cap. The engine computer ensures fuel vapors do not escape the fuel system, causing environmental damage. By government regulation, if the car thinks fuel vapors are leaking the check light must come on. Most of the time it’s because of a loose gas cap. It’s hard to be 100% sure without an onsite inspection. If the vehicle runs smoothly, it is unlikely to be a more serious issue. We’ve listed quotes for a diagnosis. Once a mechanic arrives they will diagnose the vehicle. Then we will send you a quote to repair the issue, and you can decide whether or not to move forward. If you choose not to move forward with the repair, you’ll only be charged for the diagnosis.

How urgent?


On a scale of 1 to 10, we rate this to have an urgency of 5. Some repairs have very low urgency, and we give those a 1. With these repairs, you can wait for as long as you would like, because it will not ever result in harm to you or your vehicle. These are usually cosmetic damages.

We consider a 5 to be something that will eventually need to be done, but you can likely get away with holding off for a while if other things are more pressing. However, if a repair is close to a 10 (or at a 10), this means you should NOT be driving the vehicle, and should get this repaired as soon as possible.

What happens if I wait?


We’d recommend buying a new gas cap for $6 to see if it fixes the issue (Amazon, Walmart, or your local auto parts store will have it). It may not fix the issue, but it is worth the risk for $6. Once installed, it takes approximately 40 miles of driving for the computer to reset after installing the new gas cap. If that doesn’t work, you might consider getting the problem diagnosed by one of our mechanics soon (even if you don’t get it fixed). While unlikely, the problem could be more serious than the evaporative emission system.

How complicated is this repair?

This is how we score our difficulty.

  1. This job has no tools required, and can be completed by just about anyone.
  2. This requires a relatively handy person, but little experience working on cars exclusively.
  3. This warrants an average person who’s done a fair amount of car repair. Think the weekend mechanic who’s done a brake job or two!
  4. At this difficulty, the average mechanic could do the job, but you wouldn't want to do it yourself without a fair amount of experience.
  5. This job is very specialized, requiring very expensive tools only a specialty shop has and a high level of expertise.
We rank this repair to be a
3

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