When the warning message “check fuel fill inlet” appears on the dashboard of your truck or car, it can be confusing. What does the message “check the fuel fill inlet” mean?
The “check fuel fill inlet” message indicates that an evaporative emissions (EVAP) leak is present near or at the fuel tank fill inlet. Check for leaks in the inlet pipe and ensure that the gas tank is properly closed.
Read on to know more about what “check fuel fill inlet” means, including the causes and solutions to this problem.
Check Fuel Fill Inlet Message
When your dashboard displays “check fuel fill inlet,” it means there is an EVAP leak or evaporative emissions near the fuel tank fill inlet. This also indicates that you should check to see if the gas tank has been properly closed.
The three common vehicles that may display this warning are as follows:
- Ford Escape,
- Ford Fusion, and
- Ford F150.
The “check fuel fill inlet” Ford warnings should be taken seriously since they indicate that there are problems with your fuel cap, evaporation system, or a leak someplace.
Fuel Fill Inlet Cap – What Is It?
The fuel fill inlet connects to the fuel tank, but the fuel caps conceal it. These fuel fill inlets are made of metal or plastic. Therefore, fuel caps are an important component of the vehicle’s evaporative emissions system since they prevent fuel and vapor leaks.
Meaning of “Check Fuel Inlet” on the Ford Fusion
The check fuel fill inlet Ford Fusion message indicates that the fuel fill inlet may not have closed properly or that the gas cap or fuel fill inlet is faulty.
Reduced gas mileage, fuel leaks, and other EVAP system issues may result from damage to the fuel inlet or incorrect placement of the fuel cap.
Make sure to check the fuel fill inlet and if the fuel tank is closed properly. When you start driving your car for a mile or so, the engine light should turn off if the fuel fill inlet has been properly sealed.
Meaning of “Check Fuel Inlet” on the Ford Escape
When you have a loose fuel cap, the Ford Escape warns you to check the fuel fill inlet. The warning normally shows on your dashboard when an evaporative leak happens at the fuel filler inlet or on the filler inlet itself. When the warning displays on your Ford Fusion, the phrase means the same thing.
Make sure to check the fuel fill inlet if you threaded it properly. Always double-check that the inlet and gas tank is properly sealed. Also, remove any noticeable dirt or debris from the fuel fill opening.
Meaning of “Check Fuel Inlet” on the F150
The cause for the F150’s check fuel fill inlet warning is the same for the Ford Escape and Ford Fusion. This warning shows when the fuel fill inlet is not properly closed or when debris or foreign items become lodged in the inlet’s opening, preventing it from entirely closing.
Clean the fuel inlet opening and reinstall the cap, making sure it’s done correctly and no dirt or debris is preventing the flap from fully closing.
The Common Causes of “Check Fuel Fill Inlet” Warning
Some of the causes for the “check fuel inlet” warning are as follows:
- An improperly closed fuel tank;
- Dirt or debris stuck at the opening;
- A missing fuel cap;
- Vacuum pressure leak;
- An evaporative emissions system (EVAP) leak;
- Fuel cap that is tightly screwed;
- Fuel fill inlet is covered by a loose fuel cap; and
- Fuel fill inlet is covered by a broken gas cap.
Fixes for the “Check Fuel Fill Inlet” Warning
The following are solutions you can try to fix the “check fuel fill inlet” warning:
- Make sure to close the fuel tank properly;
- Ensure to replace a missing cap;
- Clean the fuel fill inlet’s opening;
- To prevent leaks, screw the fuel cap just tight enough; and
- Broken gas caps must be replaced.
How Do You Know If Your Fuel Filler Cap Is Damaged or Broken?
Besides the “Check Fuel Fill Inlet” warning, below are other signs that your fuel filler cap is broken or faulty:
1. Turned on “Check Engine Light”
Once you’ve resolved the problem, the gas light will turn on and off. After you’ve prevented further evaporative emissions, the light might not turn off right away. But don’t worry, it’ll switch off as you drive.
2. Gas Odor That Doesn’t Go Away
Your fuel cap is broken if you smell gas (inside your vehicle) that doesn’t go away. The leaking gas or fuel vapors are caused by an improperly closed gas tank.
Although the odor may dissipate with the air, gas may accumulate and combust, especially if your vehicle is enclosed. You should open your windows to allow gas to escape quickly.
3. Physical Examination
You can check if there are cracks, breaks, or damages by physically examining the gas cap. If you notice any damages or cracks, you need to replace the gas cap immediately. More significant problems could arise if you ignore small issues.
4. Loose Cap
If the cap is loose and doesn’t screw properly, it means that it’s damaged. So even without visually examining the cap, it sure needs a replacement. Replace the cap and double-check if you have closed it properly.
This rarely happens, but if a new cap doesn’t fit properly, you have to replace it too. It’s not the perfect fit for your car.
“Check Fuel Fill Inlet” in Capless Vehicles
What should you do if your capless fuel inlet breaks? If your vehicle has a capless fuel fill inlet, you can take it to your local car dealer to get it replaced. You might be able to fix the broken part, but it will break again later on. So, it’s best to replace it and enjoy a smooth ride.
What Happens If the Fuel Cap Seal Is Damaged or Broken?
Fuel vapors leak into the filler neck when the gas or fuel cap seal is cracked or damaged. Because of the built-in flaps, some car experts claim that driving without your gas cap will not deliver harmful fumes inside your vehicle.
Additionally, external contaminants and debris will not be able to enter the fuel tank because of the cap.
But harmful fumes and pollutants may find their way into the environment when your gas tank isn’t properly covered with a gas cap.
Until you have replaced the gas cap, the dashboard gas cap light will be on. What’s more, you may experience stalling, erratic idle, and decreased mileage.
How to Check the Fuel Fill Inlet on a Car
1. Examine the Car’s Fuel Fill Inlet Visually
Examine the fuel fill inlet. If it’s too dark, inspect the interior and exterior of the fuel fill inlet with a flashlight. Look for any tears, cracks, or other damages. Even a minor tear might lead to serious cracks in the future.
2. Examine the Fuel Cap and Seal Visually
Examine the fuel cap and the seal between the filling tube and the gas cap afterward. There should be no cracks in the seal, and it should be unbroken. The fuel cap must also be in perfect condition and securely fastened.
3. Replace Any Damaged or Broken Parts
You have to replace any damaged/broken parts quickly after your visual inspection. You may seek the assistance of a car mechanic. Only use brand new replacements so that the fuel fill inlet will last longer.
4. Inspect the Dashboard Display
The dashboard won’t display any warnings if you’ve replaced the damaged parts correctly. But if a warning still appears on your dash, follow the steps again and make sure to inspect all areas connected to your fuel inlet.
Performing the steps would prevent significant damages to your fuel fill inlet and ensure early detection of any cracks. Your system would work efficiently and smoothly if you perform the steps twice a week or once a month.
When there’s an evaporative emission (EVAP) leak nearby or at the fuel tank fill inlet, the “check fuel fill inlet” usually shows. This warning is also an indication that there’s a fuel cap issue.
The vehicles capable of giving you this warning are as follows:
- Ford Escape,
- Ford Fusion, and
- Ford F150.
Tips for Dealing with the “Check Fuel Fill Inlet” Message
1. As Soon as the Message Appears, Check Your Vehicle
Stop your vehicle on a side road and check your fuel fill inlet immediately after the “check fuel fill inlet” message appears on your dashboard. An improperly covered fuel tank can leak evaporative emissions, so don’t disregard the warning.
2. Replace Damaged and Broken Caps Right Away
A broken or damaged cap or flap must be replaced immediately. Even though the absence of the cap fuel seal may not damage your engine, there may be issues with the surrounding parts. Being careful would prevent accidents from happening.
3. The “Fuel Fill Inlet” and the “Capless Fuel System” Are the Same Thing
These phrases mean the same thing. So, when you hear a car mechanic talking about the fuel fill inlet, he is also talking about the capless fuel system. The system still applies caps and/or flaps to prevent fuel leaks, although it’s termed “capless.”
So the “check fuel fill inlet” warning on capless and non-capless both refer to the same fuel leak issue.
4. The Message “Check Fuel Fill Inlet” Should Disappear Afterward
The message and gas light should disappear after you’ve resolved the issue. However, it may not reset right away. Before the light and “check fuel fill inlet” message turns off, you may have to drive a few miles.
5. When in Doubt, Read the Owner’s Manual
If you don’t know what to do, you may want to read the owner’s manual. And if you’re not familiar with fuel fill inlets, one option is to take your car to the automotive center for servicing.
But it would be best to learn the basics from your manual since you are driving. Take the time to read it.
6. Regularly Clean the Fuel Fill Inlet
To prevent debris build-up, it would be best if you scrubbed the fuel fill inlet regularly. Debris can hinder the flaps from closing properly, resulting in fuel leaks. If you don’t have the confidence or skills to do it yourself, you can always take your vehicle to a reliable mechanic or car shop.
7. Check to See If Your Vehicle’s Fuel Fill Inlet Repair Is Covered Under Warranty
Vehicle warranties normally cover the entire vehicle, including the fuel fill inlet. However, certain extended warranties may cover it. You may inquire about this exact car part with the car dealer. It’s advisable to pay close attention to your warranty‘s fine print.
8. It’s Necessary to Pressurize the Fuel Tank
For the gas to flow smoothly as well as the sensors and fuel system to function efficiently, the fuel tank needs to be pressurized. You can ensure it’s pressurized by placing the fuel cap correctly.
The engine system of the car may work properly for a while, but the vehicle’s sensors are sensitive and detect the problem right away. Your car’s dashboard may show a defective evaporation system due to the sensors.
Maintaining Efficient Fuel Fill Inlets: Dos and Don’ts
- Immediate action should be taken in response to a “check fuel fill inlet” warning.
- Keep track of your car’s maintenance schedule.
- Every time you refuel, inspect the fuel fill inlet.
- Before handling any part of the fuel fill inlet, read your owner’s manual.
- To avoid damage to your inlets, make sure you’re using the right fuel.
- Don’t allow debris to accumulate in the fuel fill inlets.
- Inspect and fix capless fuel inlets for minor cracks.
- Replace damaged flaps fuel inlets only after identifying the cause.
- Deal with warnings like “check fuel fill inlet.”
- If you have no experience with vehicle repairs, don’t do it yourself.
Conclusion – Meaning of Check Fuel Fill Inlet Message
The message “check fuel fill inlet” indicates that an evaporative emissions (EVAP) leak is detected near or at the fuel tank fill inlet.
When this message shows on your dashboard, check to see that the gas tank is correctly closed and there are no leaks in the inlet pipe.
The warning on your dash and the gas light should switch off once you’ve fixed the problem. Your vehicle may not reset instantly, and the warning may still remain, but don’t worry; the light and warning will finally turn off after a few miles.