Check fuel fill inlet — causes and fixes
The symbols on your dashboard warn you about many critical and negligible things. Something like the check fuel inlet message sounds negligible but indicates a pretty important issue that needs to be dealt with immediately.
The ‘check fuel fill inlet‘ message pops up when the gas tank is either empty or very low. It also appears when there is a poor gas flow between the gas tank and the fuel pump. Generally, any fuel-related issue your vehicle has will display your ‘check fuel fill inlet’ message.
This article will explain the probable causes of the issues that cause the ‘check fuel fill inlet’ message to appear and also tell you what to do in such a scenario. We also present to you the dangers of leaving the message unattended.
What is the check fuel fill inlet?
The ‘check fuel fill inlet’ is a warning message showing a problem with the gas compartment and system that is not allowing the vehicle to operate as it should. The fuel fill inlet is the part you use to put gasoline into your car, and it consists of a tank and a gas cap.
In recent vehicles, the warning usually appears in a message on the screen, with the corresponding icon lighting up on the dashboard. Most cars have the icon light up with a yellow hue. The icon varies with the car brand and is usually located near the fuel gauge.
What causes the ‘check fuel fill inlet’ message to appear?
There are many different reasons why this message might appear on your dashboard. However, before you think of the worst possible scenario, you must consider checking your gas cap first.
Most of the time, the message props up on the dashboard simply because the gas cap needs to be adequately secured after a refuel. So, check if your gas cap is secured before drawing inferences for other possible causes. You are good to go if you secure your gas cap properly and the message goes off.
On the other hand, if, after securing the gas cap properly, you still have the message, your vehicle might be having one of the following issues:
A dirty fuel tank opening
The fuel tank opening is an easily neglected part of a vehicle. Most drivers do not realize that the opening of the fuel tank needs regular cleaning.
Fuel tank openings are made from plastic or metallic materials, which build up dirt over time from continuous use. Since the opening links to the fuel tank, it holds significant importance.
Leaving dirt to accumulate on the gas tank opening over time is not suitable for the vehicle as dirt in fuel is a risky venture. Dirty gas can reduce engine performance and cause starting and idling issues. In the long run, it can cause complete engine failure.
The dirt build-up process is relatively slow on the fuel fill inlet but is worth keeping tabs on. The ‘check fuel fill inlet’ warning helps you with this issue of a dirty tank opening as it comes on when the dirt is up to the level where it gets noticed. A routine clean-up of the tank opening will save you a lot in costs from the repairs you would get to do when your gas gets contaminated.
A dirty fuel cap
Asides from gas getting contaminated by a dirty fuel tank opening, the fuel cap can also contaminate fuel. When the fuel cap is dirty, the ‘check fuel fill inlet’ warning will glow, alerting you to the need to clean it.
Pay attention to cleaning your fuel fill inlet after the ‘check fuel fill inlet’ warning has come up. That may be all the solution it needs, and doing so will spare you the stress and costs of repairs, which may sometimes cost you a lot.
An Evaporative Emission Control System (EVAP) leak
The Evaporative Emission Control System (EVAP) prevents gasoline vapors from evaporating from the fuel system and fuel tank into the atmosphere at all times. They are essential to a vehicle as they save gas and keep you safe from certain emissions.
An evaporative emission system leak is somewhat safe to drive with, but it is important to note that prolonged driving with the leakage will lead to a complete failure of the EVAP system. The chemicals your vehicle emits when the EVAP is not functioning are a health and environmental hazard.
The check fuel fill sign will light up on the dashboard if any component of the EVAP is broken or malfunctioning. Despite the somewhat high cost of repair, it is crucial that you repair a broken or leaking EVAP as soon as possible.
A loose or damaged fuel cap
A loose or damaged fuel cap will not seal the pressure of your gas tank properly. The ‘check fuel fill inlet’ warning light will stay on until you rectify the issue.
Therefore, when sealing your fuel cap, ensure that you hear the clicking sound while twisting to ensure it is closed right. If it clicks but breaks loose repeatedly, you will have to get a car mechanic to look at the locking mechanism for faults.
If the fuel cap is damaged, you should get a new one immediately. They are inexpensive and easy to replace.
Before you conclude your fuel cap is damaged, have someone else seal it for you in case you seal it too tightly. Tightly sealing the gas cap will also give you the ‘check fuel fill inlet’ warning message.
When you are far from the nearest store where you can get a new fuel cap, you can use a fuel filler with a rag as a short-term cover. Furthermore, you must change your fuel caps after about 50,000 miles without damage, as most fuel caps expire.
A vacuum pressure leak
The vacuum pressure in your car’s engine generates suction, which gives the pump and motor sufficient fuel. It also aids in drawing air into the engine. Without this air, the combustion engine would not be able to work in the first place.
When there is a pressure leak in any part of your vehicle’s fuel system, you will get the ‘check fuel fill inlet’ alert on your dashboard. Failure to attend to this problem on time can damage your engine as the leakage can contribute to the making of an explosive mixture. The mixture damages the vacuum system and the environment around the leak.
How do I deal with the ‘check fuel fill inlet’ warning message?
If your car displays the ‘check fuel fill inlet’ warning message, do not panic. You can drive your vehicle to your destination without a mishap. Still, it would help if you found a remedy for the warning message as soon as possible to prevent the situation from escalating to something disastrous.
When you see the warning message, it is best to know why it is on first. Pull over to the side and check your fuel fill inlet. The first check that should enter your mind is if you sealed the gas tank properly.
If the fuel cap refuses to seal the tank despite your efforts or is loose, you should check the nearest automobile store for a replacement as the cap is damaged. Ensure you get the replacement as soon as possible to avoid losing too much gas.
How can I avoid getting the ‘check fuel fill inlet’ warning?
The first significant step you can make is to include fuel fill inlet and fuel cap cleaning in your schedule. Doing this will also save you the stress and cost of fixing problems caused by fuel contamination.
Also, remember to check your gas cap, especially after going 50,000 miles on your vehicle, to ensure you get a replacement on time. In case of any damage before this time, you can check your vehicle’s warranty package to see if it also covers the fuel fill inlet.
What can happen if I ignore the ‘check fuel fill inlet’ warning?
Ignoring the ‘check fuel fill inlet’ warning for a long time can cause bigger problems, which evolve into bigger ones.
For instance, ignoring the warning when it was a simple gas cap issue can make it escalate to an EVAP problem or a fuel contamination issue. Subsequently, the engine will be affected, and you might have a complete engine failure.
You should pay attention to the ‘check fuel fill inlet’ warning as simple as it may appear. It often involves a problem with the gas cap, EVAP system, or vacuum pressure. Endeavor to check the issue and have your mechanic repair the problem as soon as possible.
How serious is the check fuel fill inlet?
The ‘check fuel fill inlet’ warning is serious and should be treated accordingly. Though you can still drive with it at the onset, you must find the actual problem and deal with it before it escalates to something worse.
How much does it cost to replace a fuel fill inlet?
The cost of replacing a fuel fill inlet varies with your vehicle’s brand. Depending on the model, it may be as low as $300 or close to $700.
How do you clean a fuel fill inlet?
You can clean a fuel fill inlet by using cleaning agents on the cap and canned air on the other parts. It is best to use compressed air, ensuring no dirt from the cap or the tank opening drops into the tank itself.
Is ‘check fuel fill inlet’ dangerous?
When the ‘check fuel fill inlet’ is left unattended, it becomes dangerous as it affects the engine. It would be best if you dealt with a ‘check fuel fill inlet’ warning as quickly as possible.