Capless fuel systems are great. No more gas cap to worry about. However, there is one important thing you should know if your vehicle has this feature.
Filling up your vehicle with a capless fuel system is easier. There is no gas cap to deal with. You simply open up the fuel door and insert the pump nozzle. It is a foolproof system and many manufacturers now have such systems. If your current vehicle does not have this feature, your next one most likely will. There is no downside to the system and we have tested hundreds of cars with this feature. However, if you run out of gas, you will need to know one important bit of information.
Inside your capless fuel system is a spring-loaded closure that seals up your tank when you remove the fuel pump nozzle. That’s how the gas stays safely inside your vehicle. That spring-loaded mini-cap has an O-ring type of seal that prevents fuel and vapors from escaping. If you run out of fuel, and you use a portable fuel can to add some gas back, you can damage the capless fuel system.
The corrugated flexible fuel spot on your portable plastic gas container can cause problems inside the fuel filler area. Manufacturers like Honda and Ford include a special funnel that you will need to first insert into the fuel filler area before you add emergency fuel. If you fail to use the special tool, you may end up with a check engine light and require a trip to your dealer for a repair of the system.
The new 2019 Honda Passport puts the capless fuel funnel in plain view in its nifty under-floor cargo area.
Not all models are this easy. In some, the special tool is hidden behind a random panel. If you have a capless fuel system on your vehicle check your manual for the location of the special tool. We suggest using an online manual and simply using the “Control-F” search function to bring you to the keyword “Capless Fuel.” Or look in your printed manual under “Tools” or “Refueling.” Locate the capless fuel filler tool and check that yours is where it is supposed to be. Show the other folks who use your car where it is so they know.
Running out of fuel is never good for a vehicle. With capless fuel systems, it can a bit more of a problem if you accidentally insert the wrong type of gas can nozzle. Be prepared.