What Does The Check Fuel Cap Honda Civic Mean? [How To Clear The Message]

I am sure you always love to keep enough fuel in your Honda Civic, like me. But when suddenly the “Check fuel cap” message appears on the dashboard, it can make you anxious. If you have enough fuel in the tank, then what went wrong? What does the Honda Civic’s check fuel cap mean?

Calm down, my friend! The problem is not associated with the fuel level. You are receiving this notification because the fuel cap may not be working properly. Then what should you do now?

You can fix the issues with a little bit of inspection. Today, I will explain to you how you can diagnose the “check fuel cap” message on a Honda Civic and also how to clear the text if it does not go off automatically. Make sure to stay tuned until the end.

What does the fuel cap mean Honda Civic?

A fuel cap is a small cap that seals the fuel inlet in your Honda Civic or any other vehicle. Another name for the fuel cap is a gas cap. It is a part of the Evaporative Emission Control System (EVAP) system that ensures the fuel or gas does not leak and get into the atmosphere.

You can find the fuel cap on your Honda Civic when you open the fuel door. The fuel door is located on the rear of your car, on the driver’s side. It is close to the rear door and looks like a small rectangular or square-shaped door. Push it gently, and it will open with a click sound, and inside, you can see the fuel cap.

What does the check fuel cap Honda Civic mean?

“Check the fuel cap” message on your Honda Civic dashboard means there is something wrong with the fuel cap. The most common reasons are a loose fuel cap or a bad fuel cap. You should diagnose it ASAP to fix the problem and get rid of the message.

But how do you diagnose the fuel cap on your Honda Civic? You can do it on your own by inspecting the probable reasons why the problem is happening. Continue scrolling to find out the reasons behind the message and how to fix them.

Why does my Honda Civic say check fuel cap?

Honda Civic say check fuel cap

Your Honda Civic may show a “check fuel cap” message for various reasons. When you get the message on your car’s dashboard, check for the following issues and take the necessary action.

1. The fuel cap is missing

If you forget to use the fuel cap, it will show you the check fuel cap message. Many drivers often stop at gas stations, fill the tank, and start the engine without sealing the fuel inlet. The obvious solution here is to get out of the car and reset the fuel cap.  

2. The fuel cap is loose

Even after using the fuel cap, you may get a message on your Honda Civic dashboard. That is because the fuel cap is not securely fastened. This is one of the most common reasons why Civic owners get the message.

You need to secure the fuel cap to solve this issue. 

  • First, remove the fuel cap and then replace it. 
  • Tighten it until you hear a few clicking sounds. 
  • Then close the fuel door, and the message should be gone from the dashboard.

3. A damaged fuel cap

A damaged fuel cap can also be the reason why you are getting this message. The fuel or gas will leak if the fuel system is damaged in your Honda Civic. Get the fuel cap and inspect it for any damage.

Maybe the cap is broken, or the thread is damaged. It can happen due to applying too much pressure to the cap while tightening. In this case, you should replace the part with a new fuel cap. Then the message should disappear.

4. Dirty fuel cap O ring

Fuel caps include an O ring that ensures the fuel cap is properly sealed. When the O ring is dirty, it can cause a leak, leading to a message. Therefore, check and clean the fuel cap O ring before tightening the fuel cap properly.

5. False message

Although it is rare, the Honda Civic sometimes shows you a false message on the check fuel cap. It happens due to a faulty sensor or wiring. This is not a serious issue, and doing a few things will clear up this message. Later in this article, I will show you how to do that.

Can you drive a Honda Civic with a check fuel cap?

Yes, you can drive a Honda Civic even if you receive the notification, but you should investigate the problem at least once. That’s because ignoring the message completely can lead to serious issues, such as engine damage.

For instance, if the fuel cap is missing, then the fuel will leak, causing catastrophic results. Hence, if you get the notification on your dashboard, pull over the car and inspect the fuel cap for a moment.

Most of the time, reinstalling it will solve the issue. But if you do not find any problems, you can ignore the message for the moment and check it later with a proper inspection or go to a mechanic.

How do you clear a Honda fuel cap check?

How do you clear a Honda fuel cap check

If you diagnose the fuel cap and fix the issue, then the check fuel cap message will be gone. However, sometimes the message can take several hours to a few days to clear, even if everything is alright.

Many drivers go to the gas station and fill the tank, thinking it will clear the message. But low fuel is not one of the causes behind the message. Hence, it won’t be of much help.

What you can do here is shut the engine, open the fuel door, take off the fuel cap, and set it properly. But if the message is not disappearing even after trying everything, you can do it manually. Most mechanics at the service center will not do that for you as they are not allowed to clear EVAP messages [for example, AutoZone].

Hence, you can follow the steps below to solve the issue on a Honda Civic:

 solve the check fuel cap issue on a Honda Civic

Step 1: Unhook the negative terminal of the battery

First, open up the hood and locate the battery. It has two battery terminals, one positive and one negative. The negative terminal is the one on the back side, also marked by the minus (-) sign. Remove the negative terminal using a wrench.

Step 2: Keep it off for 15 minutes

Now, keep it off for a few moments. Waiting around 15 minutes should get the work done, but you can wait longer if you have time.

Step 3: Put back the negative terminal

Now, put the negative terminal back in its place using the wrench. It will reset the dashboard, and now the notification from the Honda Civic dashboard will be cleared if there is nothing wrong with the fuel cap.


1. How long does it take for check fuel cap to reset?

The “Check fuel cap” message takes around 24 to 72 hours to reset on a Honda Civic. Sometimes it may disappear earlier or as soon as you fix the problem. You can follow the manual process if it doesn’t go off automatically.

2. How many times should fuel cap click?

The fuel cap should click at least two to three times to secure it well. Most manufacturers or mechanics will tell you three times is the best, but there is no hard and fast rule.

3. How much does it cost to fix a fuel cap?

The average cost to fix a Honda Civic fuel cap is approximately $60 to $100. The fuel cap costs around $35 to $50, and the labor cost is around $25 to $50. The rate usually varies from location to location.

4. Can a faulty fuel cap cause a check engine light?

Yes, a faulty fuel cap causes the check engine light to appear. This is because a fuel leak caused by a damaged fuel cap can cause engine problems, which can eventually result in the check engine light.

5. How do I know if my fuel cap is broken?

Take off the fuel cap from the fuel inlet and look for any physical damage to know if the fuel cap is broken. Even if you do not see any physical damage, but the cap is not fitting properly, it is still possible that the fuel cap is broken.