As you drive your Ford F-150, the ‘check engine’ suddenly turns on. It was traced to a message saying: Check fuel inlet – Ford F150. What to do? Is it still safe to drive?
If the check engine light of your Ford F-150 suddenly turns on, it means there’s an issue in your engine. A diagnostic code will show where the problem could have originated. If the code traces it back to the ‘check fuel fill inlet’ message, the pressurized seal between the fuel tank and the gas cap has a problem. It could be that the fuel inlet valve is leaking.
This ‘check fuel fill inlet’ is a warning that indicates a problem with the fuel cap, which is the cover of the fuel inlet. The fuel cap is an integral part of the vehicle’s evaporative emissions system (EVAP). It is supposed to completely seal the fuel inside the tank so that harmful fumes and other pollutants won’t leak out and pollute the environment.
Read on to learn more about the check fuel fill inlet of a Ford F-150, what triggers this warning light, and what you can do if you get this warning message.
Check Fuel Fill Inlet – Ford F-150
Check the Diagnostic Code
If your Ford F-150’s check engine light suddenly turns on, your engine is having an issue. The diagnostic code will reveal the origin of the problem. If the code traces the issue back to a message saying ‘check fuel fill inlet’ message, there’s a problem with the seal between the fuel tank and the gas cap. Perhaps, there’s a leak coming from the fuel inlet valve.
Fuel Cap Covers the Fuel Fill Inlet
The fuel cap is the part that covers the fuel fill inlet. It is an essential part of the evaporative emissions systems (EVAP) of your Ford F-150. This cap is supposed to prevent hazardous fumes and other pollutants from escaping the atmosphere.
Fuel Inlet Comes with an Inlet Pipe
Typically, the fuel inlet comes with an inlet pipe. This pipe guides the fuel from a fuel filler port to the fuel tank. A breather tube also guides the air filled with fuel vapor in the fuel tank to the end portion of the inlet pipe, which reduces the pressure inside the pipe.
Is Fuel Cap Important?
When you get the message’ check fuel fill inlet,’ this is warning you that there’s an issue with the fuel cap covering the fuel fill inlet. The fuel cap can be made of plastic or metal. It covers the fuel fill inlet, leading to the fuel tank.
Critical Part of a Car’s EVAP System
This fuel cap is a critical part of your car’s EVAP system. If it is broken or is not correctly attached to the fuel fill inlet, it may cause fuel leaks, reduce your mileage, and lead to more serious problems with the vehicle’s EVAP system.
Fuel Cap’s Function in the EVAP System
The fuel cap fulfills several important functions in the EVAP system of your Ford F-150:
1. Creates a Vacuum Pressure Seal in the System
When it is securely affixed to the fuel fill inlet, it creates a vacuum pressure seal in the system. This full sealing creates pressurized fuel that flows unhampered through the vehicle’s fuel system.
2. Hazardous Fumes Cannot Escape
If the fuel cap seals the fuel fill inlet properly, hazardous fumes and other pollutants are fully sealed inside the fuel tank. So, the fuel cap prevents hazardous fumes and dangerous pollutants from leaking out and polluting the environment.
3. Maintains the Fuel Components’ Quality
The fuel cap also prevents the fuel components inside the fuel tank from losing their properties when it is properly affixed to the fuel fill inlet. It does so by preventing outside contaminants from entering the fuel tank.
Do I Stop Driving with Check Fuel Fill Inlet?
You Can Keep on Driving
The ‘check fuel fill inlet’ warning does not prohibit you from driving Ford F-150. You can go on driving with this warning light on. It is much safer than pulling over on the shoulder of the road. There’s a built-in flapper valve in your Ford F-150. This flapper valve completely secures the fuel in the tank even if there’s no fuel cap attached.
Other Cause of Check Fuel Fill Inlet Message
You should know that the check fuel fill inlet message will also show up if there are foreign objects or other debris stuck in the opening of the fuel inlet. Perhaps these foreign objects are keeping the cap from fully closing.
This warning message is one of the usual communications that the engine control module (ECM) of the Ford F-150 will generate. What it requires you to do is for you to check the fuel cap. Be aware that this message may show up even if the fuel cap seems to be fully affixed to the fuel fill inlet.
Normal to Smell Fuel After Getting a Full Tank
When your Ford F-150 gives you this message, it will still run and drive just as it used to. But there’s one thing that you will notice: you will smell fuel slightly, especially if you’ve just had a full tank. If the cap is broken, it is cheap to replace. The average cost of a fuel cap is just about $20.
Again, what does a check fuel fill inlet on a Ford F 150 mean? When your F-150’s “check engine light” is on and the diagnostic code says you have to “check fuel fill inlet,” there’s an issue with the pressurized seal between the gas cap and tank. Also, check for a leak in the fuel fill inlet valve.
Causes of ‘Check Fuel Fill Inlet’ Messages
There are several reasons why you will get the ‘check fuel fill inlet’ message in your Ford F-150. Most of them are issues related to the gas or fuel cap:
1. Loose Fuel Cap
Ensure that you have fully tightened the gas cap. If it is not, you will get this warning message. Tighten this cap enough until you hear a click. If you don’t hear this click when you tighten the cap, it is already broken. Replace it.
2. Broken Fuel Cap
A good gas cap has a rubber seal that snugs tightly against the fuel inlet. Over time, this rubber seal hardens and loses its flexibility. It will develop cracks and other deformities. When that happens, fuel vapor from the fuel inside the tank will escape through the cracks in the rubber seal. So, you will get this ‘check fuel fill inlet’ message.
3. Gas Cap Is Missing
The ECM of your Ford F-150 will also send you this message if there’s no fuel cap in the fuel fill inlet. This can happen after you’ve gone to the gas station to fill her up. Perhaps the service attendant forgot to put the cap back. Replacing the fuel cap will erase this message.
4. EVAP Leak
The EVAP system of your Ford F-150 includes its fuel tank. It should have a certain amount of gas pressure inside. That pressure is maintained by the fuel cap – if it fully seals the container. However, if the ECM of your Ford F-150 detects a pressure change inside the fuel tank, it will throw off the ‘check fuel fill inlet’ message. It will assume that there’s a gas leak from the tank.
5. Other Causes
Aside from the above reasons, the ECM of the Ford F-150 will generate this ‘check fuel fill inlet’ because of the following conditions:
- The gas cap is closed too tightly
- There are debris and contaminants in the fuel
How to Fix ‘Check Fuel Fill Inlet’
If you get this ‘check fuel fill inlet’ message from the ECM of your Ford F-150, clearing it is pretty straightforward. Here is the process:
1. Inspect the Fuel Cap
Make sure that it is adequately but not overly tightened. If it was loose, tighten it some more. At the outset, this may not erase the message right away. You may need to drive your Ford F-150 for several days to do the trick.
2. Check the Gas Cap If It Has Any Damage
If the message does not clear after several days, check the gas cap to see if it has any damage. Inspect its O-ring or the rubber seal. If this seal is damaged, you should replace the entire gas cap.
3. Check the EVAP System
If you have replaced the fuel cap and the message persists, it might be an issue with the EVAP system. There could be a leak in the system. To make sure it is, bring your Ford F-150 to the dealer and have it checked by their professional car tech.
How to Check the Fuel Cap
Here’s a way to properly check the condition of the fuel cap:
- Open the fuel door of your Ford F-150.
- Twist the gas cap to the left until it is disengaged from the fuel nozzle.
- Clean the fuel inlet opening. You should remove all the debris and contaminants accumulated in the opening. They will prevent the flap from properly closing. Make sure that the opening is clean before re-attaching the gas cap.
- Put the fuel cap back on. You should line up its threads correctly and then twist the cap to the right until you hear a click.
How Much Does It Cost to Fix a Fuel Fill Inlet?
On average, fixing the ‘check fuel fill inlet’ warning message does not cost much. Unless the fuel cap or part of the fuel fill inlet is broken. There will be some labor costs depending on the amount of work required to fix the problem.
If the fuel filler neck is broken, the cost could range from $200 to $300. But if the car tech needs to drop the tank and replace other parts, the cost could reach $700.
Conclusion: Check Fuel Fill Inlet
When the check engine light of your Ford F-150 suddenly lights up, your engine is having an issue. A diagnostic code will indicate the origin of the problem.
If the code traces it back to a message that says ‘check fuel inlet,’ there is a problem with the pressurized seal between the gas cap and the fuel tank. It could mean there’s a leak in the fuel inlet valve.
The fuel cap plays a vital role in the EVAP system of your Ford F-150. If it is loose, broken, or completely missing, the ECM of your truck will generate this warning’ check fuel fill inlet’ warning message.