Published 12:00 am Thursday, October 6, 2011

The Center for the Environment at Catawba College will offer a free Gas Cap Check Saturday, Sept. 17, during Kannapolis Kares Day.

The event is a service of the Center’s Campaign for Clean Air, which is designed to educate citizens in the community and region and empower them to take action to address the air quality issues the region faces.
Campaign staff will check gas caps on the vehicles of participants and the general public from 7 a.m. until noon in the parking lot of Cannon Memorial YMCA in Kannapolis. Free replacement caps will be offered to those whose vehicles are found to be leaking emissions.

What happens at a gas cap check?
The gas cap check is free and takes less than five minutes to complete. This is what it involves:
•    You are asked to pull up to the site and “pop” your gas cap door for access.
•    Your gas cap is removed and tested for pressure and is given a grade of pass or fail.
•    If the car passes, then you do not need to replace your gas cap, and you move on.
•    If the car fails, then you will be given a free replacement gas cap which will be placed on your vehicle. If your vehicle’s gas cap is not available on site, the team will mail you one free of charge.
Why should you replace your gas cap if it’s leaking?
The Mecklenburg Air Quality Program offers five good reasons for replacing leaking gas caps.
•    Leaking gas caps contribute to air pollution and waste fuel because of evaporation.
•    The U.S. Car Care Council estimates that 17 percent of vehicle gas caps are either damaged or missing, allowing 147 million gallons of gasoline to vaporize every year.
•    Gas caps can leak regardless of the age of the vehicle. The likelihood is higher if vehicle is more than three years old.
•    Every leaking gas cap allows approximately 200 pounds of evaporative emissions to escape each year. That represents 200 pounds of volatile organic compounds, which contribute to ground-level ozone pollution.
•    Thirty gallons of gasoline can be released annually from a leaking gas cap.
The Center for the Environment at Catawba College was founded in 1996 to provide education and outreach centered on prevalent environmental challenges and to foster community-oriented sustainable solutions that can serve as a model for programs throughout the country. For more information, visit or