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Troubleshooting the ‘Check Fuel Fill Inlet’ Warning

  • Car Care Tips
  • Sara Sam
  • 6 minutes

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Why is it on…? This could be the first thought that might cross your mind, no matter what the warning on the car’s digital dashboard. The check fuel fill inlet warning light is no different. There is panic anxiety, but do not worry; we got you covered. Here is everything you need to know about the fuel fill inlet, the reasons for the warning light, and how to maintain it.  

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What Is a Fuel Fill Inlet? 

As the name suggests, the fuel fill inlet is the opening where you fill the fuel. While most models have a traditional fuel cap, some recent models come with a capless gas tank.  

While the name might be new to at least a few, the location of the fuel fill inlet might be familiar to most of us. In other words, the fuel fill inlet is located on the exterior, usually behind the fuel door, consequently leading to a fuel tank. It comes with features such as an inner flap or check valve to prevent the escape of fuel vapors. 

Therefore, the health of the fuel fill inlet is certainly crucial to maintaining the efficiency of the car’s fuel system. 

Why Should You Fill a Fuel Fill Inlet Properly? 

Filling a fuel fill inlet correctly is important because it makes sure the fuel cap seals well and keeps the inlet safe. For instance, when the fuel cap is tight, it creates a vacuum-pressure seal crucial for the evaporative emissions (EVAP) system.  

In other words, this seal makes it possible for fuel that is under pressure to run smoothly through the system. Therefore, it prevents leaks and bad gas mileage. In addition, it also keeps dangerous fumes and pollutants inside the tank. Therefore, securing the fuel cap after filling the gas keeps the car running well and helps protect the environment by keeping emissions down. 

Check Fuel Fill Inlet

Why Is My Check Fuel Fill Inlet Warning Light On? 

There can be several reasons for the check fuel fill inlet warning light to turn on. Here are some common causes of fuel inlet issues. 

Missing Fuel Cap 

The most common reason for the check fuel fill inlet warning to appear is an open inlet. You might have just forgotten to close the cap. Pull over your car and close the cap immediately, and you are good to go without the warning appearing again. 

Loose and Tight Fuel Cap 

Since the pressure in the tank is dependent on the cap, you must close and tighten it right. However, even after some tries, the fuel tank cap might be damaged if you cannot. In that case, it is better to replace the cap immediately.  

So, how tight is too tight? Since the cap is made of silicone and rubber gasket, tightening it too much can result in its breakage and, as a result, can tamper with the seal and vapor escape.  


The neck of the fuel fill inlet is an area that can easily collect dirt and dust. The inlet can be contaminated and clogged if you don’t regularly clean it. As a result, there can be issues with the sealing and corrosion of the parts, consequently turning the check fuel fill inlet sign on.  

Leakage in the EVAP System 

You can suspect leakage in the Evaporative Emission Control System if your dashboard shows the check fuel inlet warning and check engine light. In such cases, use a code scanner, and if you see the trouble codes P0455 or P0456, it is certainly an EVAP leak. You must fix it right away; otherwise, there are chances you will fail your emissions test.  

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Damaged Fuel Tank Pressure Sensor 

You can expect a faulty FTP sensor if there is trouble correctly measuring the fuel system’s gas pressure. In addition, you might also face issues like stalling, low acceleration, or even trouble starting your car.  

What Are the Signs of a Faulty Fuel Fill Inlet? 

There are several signs you can always look out for in a failing fuel fill inlet.

  • Recurring fuel smell from the hood of the car. 
  • The gas cap doesn’t tighten with one click. 
  • Check engine light is on due to a leak in the system. 

How to Fix the Check Fuel Fill Inlet Message

Even though you can drive with the check fuel fill inlet warning on, certainly for some distance, you must address the issue immediately. Here is how to troubleshoot the check fuel fill inlet warning on your dashboard. 

Check the fuel cap 

Inspect the cap for any visible cracks or breaks. If not, ensure that the fuel cap is properly sealed.  

Clean the fuel fill inlet 

Use a clean cloth to wipe the area around the inlet, which is prone to dirt and dust.  

Check the fuel cap seal 

Check for any breakages or leaks on the seal. If you find any, replace the cap immediately. 

Use an OBD II scanner for diagnosis 

For issues like EVAP leakage, we should check for other underlying issues. It is better to use a diagnostic tool for understanding the real issue. 

Clean the inlet regularly 

For example, consider cleaning with a cleaning agent and compressed air. 

However, if the check fuel fill inlet warning persists, it is better to consult a professional mechanic. 

How Much Does It Cost to Fix the Fuel Fill Inlet? 

The cost to repair a fuel fill intake depends on the damage and the car’s model. A plastic fuel fill inlet for a small automobile costs a few hundred dollars to fix, while a metal inlet for a larger car costs about $1,000. However, it can cost a lot if the whole fuel system requires a replacement.  

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Frequently Asked Questions? 

What does checking your fuel fill inlet mean? 

The warning light indicating to check your fuel fill inlet indicates a trouble with the fuel fill inlet cap or the seal, leading to pressure imbalance in the fuel tank.  

Is checking the fuel fill inlet serious? 

Fuel vapor leaks or issues with the EVAP system are never a good sign. Therefore, it is important to fix it immediately.  

Can I drive with the check fuel fill inlet message on? 

Yes, you can drive with the check fuel fill inlet message on. However, prolonging the diagnosis and repair is not advised as it can worsen the problem.  

Why does my Ford Fusion say to check the fuel fill inlet? 

Though most cars show the warning if there is an issue with the fuel fill inlet, “check fuel fill inlet” is specific to Ford cars like the Ford Fusion or Ford F-150.  


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