Gas Cap Testing and Replacement

The summer-long program to help motorists identify and replace leaky gas caps showed a slight increase in the number of problem gas caps this year. In 431 vacuum tests of gas cap seals, 60 failed for a failure rate of nearly 14 percent. The rate in 2017 was 9 percent, in 2016, 11.7 percent, and in 2015, 11 percent.

“It could be just chance that we found more leaky caps this year,” said Marc VonDeylen TMACOG transportation technician and staff for the Air Quality Committee, “but I hope people are more aware that a bad gas cap can cause air pollution and people are taking steps to avoid adding to pollution with their own vehicle. Individual actions can make a difference.”

The purpose of the Gas Cap Testing and Replacement Program is to reduce evaporative emissions from light-duty, gasoline-powered vehicles. This year, at 26 local testing events the program helped to prevent approximately 11,940 pounds of pollution from entering the atmosphere by replacing the 60 missing or faulty gas caps. The program also shares information about air pollution and the contribution that vehicles make to the problem.

There is not any one make or model of vehicle that is more likely to have a leaky gas cap but vehicle age is a clear factor. Most people in Lucas and Wood counties are driving cars that are seven to 10 years old. Those cars usually test well. However, there is an excellent chance that a car built before 1995 is leaking gas. A leaky or missing cap can cost two tanks of gas every year and contributes to formation of unhealthy ground level ozone.

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