Should You Buy a Locking Fuel Cap?
Locking fuel caps have increased greatly in popularity in the last decade. This is because of the increase in fuel costs which has led to an increase in fuel theft. Standard fuel caps do not offer any protection, and even some new cars do not have interior fuel door releases. You have likely seen these, the small button or switch on your driver’s door that releases the fuel door. So, should you spend the money on a locking gas cap?
You Do Not Have a Locking Fuel Door
If your car does have a locking fuel door, then there is little to no need for a locking fuel cap. This is because it would take a dedicated thief to get past the fuel door and if someone is that dedicated, then a locking fuel cap is not likely to stop them. If you do have one, then you do not have to worry as long as you lock your car doors. Since you are most likely going to be doing this anyway in an area where your fuel could get stolen, you do not have to change anything to benefit from these.
You live in an Area With High Theft
If you live in an area with high rates of fuel theft or even just theft in general, then you could likely benefit from a locking gas cap. Even if it never actually prevents someone from stealing your gas, it is worth the small investment for the peace of mind. Plus, if it does prevent just one tank from being stolen then it has likely paid for itself, depending on what you paid for it.
You Need a New Fuel Cap Anyway
If you are replacing your fuel cap anyway, then you are already going to be spending almost as much as you would on a locking gas cap. There are many reasons you may have to replace your gas cap, but the most common is a bad seal. As the cap wears, the seal will start to wear out as well. Once this seal no longer holds you may start getting a random check engine light that is hard to diagnose but is often fixed by simply replacing the fuel cap.
Locking fuel caps are a great way to prevent fuel theft. While there are ways around it, they will prevent most opportunistic thieves, though it may not do anything to stop a dedicated thief. Someone who is willing to drill a hole in your gas tank is not going to be deterred by having to deal with a locking fuel cap.
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