“Check Fuel Cap” is one of the most common warning messages that the Acura TL will produce. This message obviously wants you to check the fuel cap to make sure that it is on and secured. It will often show up even though the fuel cap appears to be on and secured.
The check fuel cap indicator means that the ECM has detected a pressure leak in your TL’s fuel tank. Far and away the most common reason for this problem is that the fuel cap itself is missing, not tightened enough, or damaged in some way.
If this has happened to your Acura, make sure you put the cap back on someplace safe. There is no immediate danger, and therefore no reason to pull off the road someplace dangerous to do this.
Check Fuel Cap Symptoms: Acura TL
Your TL will still run and drive just fine. The only thing you may notice is the slight smell of fuel (particularly if your tank is full). If you do smell fuel, that confirms that the check fuel cap message is accurate. If it was snugged down, replacing the fuel cap would be the most likely fix. They are very affordable (usually around twenty bucks).
“Check Fuel Cap” Causes
Most of the causes related to the check fuel cap message are going to actually be issues with the fuel cap itself.
Gas Cap Issues
- Missing Fuel Cap– This often happens after a fill up. With no fuel cap on the message will populate right away. Replacing the fuel cap will clear the message.
- Loose Fuel Cap– When tightening a fuel cap, it needs to be tightened until there is a satisfying click. If that click is no longer being felt, it is time to replace it.
- Bad Fuel Cap– There is a rubber seal in the gas cap that snugs against the fuel inlet. If this gasket has gone bad the fuel vapor will be able to escape through the cracks and the “Check Fuel Cap” light/warning message will appear.
Your fuel tank is part of your TL’s larger Evaporative Emissions Control (EVAP) System. There is a certain amount of pressure in the tank. This pressure is secured by the fuel cap.
Your Acura’s computer will throw the “Check Fuel Cap” warning when it detects that the pressure has changed enough that it’s likely that there is a gas cap leak. Otherwise, it would have thrown an EVAP related trouble code (most likely P0457).
“Check Fuel Cap” Fix
Check to make sure that the fuel cap is tightened. If it was loose, you’ll need to snug it. It may not immediately turn off the fuel cap warning. Drive your TL for a couple days.
If it still does not clear you should inspect the gas cap for any damage. Take a good look at the O-ring. If it is missing or damaged, replace the cap.
If the gas cap is OK and the message is not going away there is likely a leak in the EVAP system.
How to Check the Fuel Cap
- Open the TL’s fuel door.
- Twist the fuel cap to the left until it disengages from the fuel fill nozzle.
- Put the cap back on. Make sure the threads are lined up correctly and twist to the right until there is a click.
Is it Safe to Drive With a Gas Cap?
It is safe to drive with the gas cap light on. In fact, it’s a lot safer than pulling over to the side of the road. Your TL has a built in flapper valve that will keep the fuel in the tank even if the cap is entirely missing.
Conclusion: Acura TL “Check Fuel Cap”
Gas caps can and do go bad. They are not made to last the entire life of the vehicle (although some often do).
The check fuel cap warning is almost always caused by a bad or loose gas cap. It sometimes can indicate an EVAP leak. If there is anything that you could add to help the next person reading this article, please leave a comment below. Good luck!