Are lawnmower gas caps universal? The posed question is essential because several things can happen to the cap of your gas tank while mowing. They are detachable, so they could get lost or lose their fitness and shape over time. If the caps aren’t fitted to the gas tanks’ opening properly, the littlest shakes or vibrations could cause them to fall off and get lost in the uncut grass.
To answer this question, gas caps are not universal. Having said this, they are known to be interchangeable in some cases. The gas cap of the tank of a mower allows proper flow of air. As a result, it’s imperative to get one that fits properly.
Lawnmower Gas Cap Types
A gas cap has three primary functions. Some of these functions are pretty obvious. It is an essential component as it prevents gas leaks, keeps grass and dirt out, and allows proper airflow in the tank. The first two are self-evident, but the latter may come as a surprise to some. As the gas leaves the tank, you must replace it with air. This process is called venting. A good gas cap allows proper air circulation in the mower tank.
A bad gas cap or one that is blocked could lead to an engine stall. There are two significant types of mower gas caps. They are; the winged cap and the threaded cap. Your mower gas cap must be ventilated, regardless of the type.
Winged Gas Cap
Winged gas caps are used for several stationary engines and some lawnmowers. However, they are not as commonly used as the threaded gas caps. They are metal and have two wing-like structures on the inner end. They’re typically fitted to metal gas tanks. While these caps are not universal, it’s not unusual for one from one engine to suit another.
Threaded Gas Caps
Threaded gas caps are becoming increasingly popular, particularly on lawnmowers and farm machinery. They are plastic. Like the winged gas cap, they aren’t universal, but you might find one that is a fit for two different mower models from time to time. Getting the appropriate gas cap fit is essential, as a leaky one can cause fuel spillage. Fuel spillage is a fire hazard, but in addition to this, it’s also harmful to the environment.
Gas caps on their own don’t wholly stop fuel spillage. They’re usually fitted with a rubber seal to allow a snug-fitting with the neck of the gas tank.
Importance Of Gas Caps
Gas caps prevent spillages, keep dirt out and allow proper ventilation in the tank. They are specially designed to allow airflow in gas tanks. If your gas cap gets lost, you may find a temporary one that fits the tank perfectly. However, if it isn’t explicitly made for that purpose, you would find that some problems would arise after a while.
You would notice that your engine becomes difficult to start, and if it eventually starts, it would go off on its own after a few minutes. The replacement cap isn’t vented, so the air isn’t exchanged in the gas tank. You could take your quick fix a step further by poking a hole in the temporary cap that you’ve fixed. That would solve the venting problem, leading to fuel spillage.
It can be frustrating for your lawnmower to keep going off while you’re working, so if this is a problem you’re facing, you should check your gas cap and make sure it’s the right fit for your machine.
Symptoms of a Bad Gas Cap
Several tell-tale signs indicate that your gas cap is bad and needs changing. If you observe any of these with your machine, you should check your gas cap and replace it if needed.
- The lawnmower starts and goes off
- The lawnmower goes off after working for a while and doesn’t restart
- Lawnmower takes a while to start
- Engine surging
Can You Use a Lawnmower Without A Gas Cap?
Yes, it is possible to use your lawnmower without a gas cap. However, it’s not recommended to do so. Your lawnmower would work as usual without a gas cap, but several risks are posed. Gas spillage is one of those risks.
You might think that fuel won’t spill out of your tank as long as you don’t move too fast, hit any object along the way, or mow on a hill. However, when your gas cap isn’t in its place, the vibrations from the engine can cause fuel to leak out of the tank, even on smooth flat grounds. This is especially true when the fuel tank is almost full or full.
Using your lawnmower without a gas cap might pose several dangers and risks. Some of these include:
- Water table pollution
- Air pollution
- Wildlife and pets endangerment
- Killing the lawn over time
- Risk of fire or explosion
Generally, using a lawnmower without a gas cap is a terrible idea and should be avoided.
Where Do I Get a Replacement Gas Cap?
You can always buy online from businesses that sell. You can also walk into any lawnmower spare parts store to purchase one.
How Do I Know What Gas Cap to Use?
Check for your lawnmower’s make and model number. This is usually found in the manual. You can then search for the gas cap that works best for the particular make and model using a search engine.