The Fuel Fill Inlet: What does it mean and how can you fix it?

There are many indicators on your dashboard that will let you know when there is something wrong. So, what does the “Check Fuel Fill Inlet” message mean? Do you need to take this alert seriously or is it simply a scare tactic?

This guide will help you understand the warning messages and what to do. To help you better understand your car, we also explain how the fuel inlet works. We discuss repair costs, and we let you know whether you can continue driving your vehicle.

Índice de Contenido
  1. What Does the “Check Fuel Fill Inlet” Message Mean?
  2. What does Fuel Fill Inlet mean?
  3. There are reasons to check fuel fill inlet warning
    1. 1. Flawed Fuel Cap
    2. 2. Unsecured Fuel Cap
    3. 3. Overtightened Fuel Cap
    4. 4. Dirt Contamination
    5. 6. Evaporative Emission Control System (EVAP) Leak
  4. How to fix “Check Fuel Fill Inlet” on Ford
  5. How much does it cost to repair the Fuel Fill Inlet message
  6. FAQs regarding the Check Fuel Fill Inlet message
    1. Are I able to drive with a check fuel fill inlet message?
    2. New cars don't have a cap on gas.
    3. Is it possible to put a cap on an inlet for a gas tank that is not capped?
    4. What is the best way to reset my check fuel inlet message

What Does the “Check Fuel Fill Inlet” Message Mean?

The dashboard warning message indicating “Check Fuel Fill Inlet” means that something is wrong with the evaporative emissions control system (EVAP) that is causing a leak. This could simply be a leaky gas cap, or contamination.

Evaporative Emission Control Systems (EVAP) stops gas vapors escaping from fuel tanks. This system has been mandatory on gasoline-powered vehicles ever since the 1970s. It is made up of many components which work in unison.

What does Fuel Fill Inlet mean?

This is the place where fuel enters the tank. This is covered with a cap. 

This inlet can be determined with most cars by the gas cap as well as the tube that leads into the tank. Without this inlet, you wouldn’t be able to get fuel into the tank so it could run. 

There are reasons to check fuel fill inlet warning

1. Flawed Fuel Cap

You will likely see the Check Engine Light flash if the fuel cap is not properly reattached to the tank. It can also cause the “Check Fuel Fill Inlet” message on the dashboard. Because of the modern sensors on today’s cars, you can expect to see some warning if the cap is missing.

Thankfully, fuel shouldn’t spill out as a result of the missing cap. Still, the system is meant to be closed and it’s not with the cap open. To fix the problem, all you need to do is put the cap back on and viola, it’s repaired. 

2. Unsecured Fuel Cap

Maybe you put the fuel cap on, but it didn’t click all the way. You could receive one of these messages on your dashboard. 

With the cap off slightly, the pressure in the system won’t be right. Before you pull away from the gas station, ensure that the cap clicks in place so you know it’s properly tightened. 

There’s also the chance that the cap is loose because of damage. If you can’t get it to click, you might need to replace it with a new one. Damage to the gas cap must be addressed immediately. With the low price of a new cap, there’s no reason to procrastinate with the fix. 

3. Overtightened Fuel Cap

To counteract the loose fuel cap, you might go ahead and overtighten it, but this isn’t a good idea either. To ensure proper sealing, the cap has silicone material fitted and rubber gaskets.

These parts may fail if you force it too tight. If the sealing function is damaged, vapors can escape and cause the warning lamp to turn on. To repair it, you’ll still need a new gas cap. 

4. Dirt Contamination

Even if you are diligent about cleaning your car and keeping it in good condition, there’s probably one area you neglect. You fill up your gas tank through the fuel filler neck. It’s a spot that seems to collect dirt quite easily but never seems to get cleaned out. 

It can cause leakage and other problems if the inlet or fuel neck becomes clogged. You may also notice the Check Fuel Fill Inlet warning if you see more buildup. Beyond that, dirt that’s allowed to sit on the components can eventually lead to breakdown or corrosion of the parts. Make sure to clean up the areas with a paper towel when washing your car. 

6. Evaporative Emission Control System (EVAP) Leak

If there’s a leak in the EVAP system, you may see both the Check Engine Light and the Check Fuel Fill Inlet message. To determine what’s going on, you want to use your code scanner for better insight. The trouble codes P0455 & P0456 indicate a leak in your EVAP. 

These leaks could be due to a broken or contaminated gas cap as mentioned previously. Still, you don’t want to overlook the chances of a broken EVAP system component. In general, an EVAP leak isn’t going to lead to major trouble with the car, but you should still take it seriously. The car is releasing harmful gases into the atmosphere. You can fail an emission test until it's fixed. 

An EVAP smoke machine is the best method to locate an EVAP leak.

RELATED : What is an EVAP leak? (& Is it Safe to Drive with?)

How to fix “Check Fuel Fill Inlet” on Ford

While you can find the “Check Fuel Fill Inlet” message on some different car brands, the most common car model you will find it on is Ford vehicles. There is also a reason why you will find it on these models, and that’s because of the capless gas tank that these car models often use.

These cars do not have the normal gas cap, which you need to remove in order to refill fuel. Instead, the flap valve seals your gas tank. Unfortunately, if this flap valve gets dirty or worn, it won’t seal properly, and you will see the check fuel fill inlet message on your dashboard.

Some of these models have been affected are:

  • Ford F150
  • Ford Edge
  • Ford Fusion
  • Ford Escape
  • Ford Explorer
  • Ford Mustang

Although you may see this message on many Ford models, these are the most popular.

If you have a Ford vehicle with a capless gas tank and see the “Check fuel fill inlet” message on your dashboard, you need to clean and lubricate the gas tank flap.

Take a look at the gas tank flap, and use a screwdriver to press it. Be careful so that you don’t drop it into the gas tank. You can clean and lubricate the sealings by removing any debris. Close the flap several times. This will often improve the seal of the flap, which may help to resolve the problem.

How much does it cost to repair the Fuel Fill Inlet message

Repairing the Check Fuel Fill Inlet message can cost anywhere from $5-$1000+. It’s difficult to estimate what you are up against because a complete diagnosis is needed first.

Obviously, if there’s a problem with the gas cap, this will be your least expensive repair. Even if the cap is simply dirty, you are looking at a fix that’s essentially free.

However, it is possible to spend quite a bit of money diagnosing and fixing a vacuum leak. This is especially true if you require the assistance of a qualified mechanic. For this reason, we encourage you to do your research ahead of time to determine what’s causing the problem. If it’s something you feel confident repairing on your own, you might as well save the labor cost. 

FAQs regarding the Check Fuel Fill Inlet message

Are I able to drive with a check fuel fill inlet message?

Most of the problems that cause this message to come on aren’t severe. For this reason, you don’t have to stop driving immediately. You should have all faults checked and fixed promptly to make sure the vehicle continues working as intended. 

What’s more alarming is what could happen while these messages remain on the dashboard. If another component were to fail while the Check Engine Light was on, you wouldn’t know what’s happening. Something major could happen and you would keep driving, which isn’t wise. We recommend that you resolve the problem and remove the warning lights from your dash so that you are informed.

New cars don't have a cap on gas.

A capless fuel system allows you to refuel your vehicle faster and more efficiently. It is stored in sealed tanks with a valve which opens only after the pump's nozzle has been inserted. This prevents gas fumes vaporization, which could pollute the atmosphere. Unfortunately, sometimes these inlets can fail.

Is it possible to put a cap on an inlet for a gas tank that is not capped?

This will depend on which car you have, but aftermarket gas caps can be made to fit your capless gas tank. Although you can make your own, it will require basic skills. It is easier to purchase one made specifically for your vehicle.

What is the best way to reset my check fuel inlet message

An OBD2 scanner is the best way to reset fuel check messages. Connect the OBD2 scanner to your computer and delete the error code memories. But if you didn’t fix the problem that caused the message in the first place, the warning light will return sooner or later. The car may be able to restart itself depending on its model. But it might take awhile.

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