ATV gas caps can need to be replaced for a variety of reasons. Perhaps you were enjoying the thrill of the ride and you noticed that your gas cap was loose, or maybe you were screwing your gas cap back on and noticed that it did not hold as tightly as it once did. These, among other reasons, could be cause for replacement.
Not all ATV gas caps are universal. Finding an ATV gas cap that will fit your brand will begin by selecting either a fitted or universal gas cap model- both options can work as long as they are selected correctly. Ensure that the model you choose includes appropriate threading, venting (via holes or a capped vent hose), and other mechanisms like an on/off switch, fuel gauge, and locking options.
If you are familiar with ATVs, then you might know all of the ins and outs that come with these vehicles. But, if you are new to the game (or the parent of a 16-year-old who is looking for the right part), then you might need to review the basics. Continue reading to learn how to find the most appropriate ATV gas cap for your brand.
What to Know When Purchasing an ATV Gas Cap?
To start with the basics, know that there are both fitted and universal gas cap options. This means that there will be replacement parts that are specifically designed for your brand, and there are also universal ATV gas caps that can fit almost any ATV. You will need to consider a variety of factors including brand recommendations, sizing, and any frequently occurring issues you have with your gas cap to select the right model.
Some ATV brands will come with specific recommendations to only use the gas cap model that is uniquely designed for their vehicle. This can be for a few reasons. First, a fitted gas cap that has been designed to fit your specific model will, undoubtedly, fit the part. This can eliminate frustration from trying other models.
The best prices for ATV gas caps that I could find are here: ATV Gas Caps on Amazon.
Secondly, brand recommendations are usually recommended for safety reasons. Due to manufacturer guarantees and the safety standards required of ATVs, most companies will suggest the gas cap that they have designed as it will fit the safety standards that they have actually tested. Since most companies do not test universal brands (as they will want you to purchase theirs), they may not make a recommendation to use this.
However, this does not mean that a universal ATV gas cap will not fit your device. It simply means that you might need to test out a universal cap to find the right one. Fortunately, there are many affordable options for universal gas caps, so these should not cost you too much to test out and they will likely fit just fine.
Here’s a quick video showing you a gas cap that will fit Polaris ATVs and UTVs. The gas cap is ‘universal’ but only for Polaris.
The sizing for ATV gas caps is generally the same- hence the ability to create a universal gas cap that can fit all brands. However, some ATVs have alternative gas tank options and even use a differently shaped cap. The reasons behind this could be due to safety or branding, but this does not necessarily mean that this brand’s gas tank/cap is more secure than any other model.
The sizing will generally be standard on most ATVs. However, you will want to check the thread measurements of your ATV to ensure that it will fit with your gas cap.
Since the thread of the tank and the cap are what ensures the interlocking component that keeps the cap on, this is obviously very important.
To verify the sizing, you can review your owner’s manual, check for the specifications of your ATV model online, or you can attempt to measure this yourself (though this option is likely not going to be as precise). You can also find buffers and seals that can help to lock your cap in tight or review a DIY tutorial on making your gas cap fit more securely, but these options are a little riskier.
Frequently Occurring Issues
Before you opt to replace your gas cap on your ATV, you should think about if there are any commonly recurring issues that you are having with your current one. For example, many people complain about the vent hose popping off of the gas cap.
This can cause you to have to replace this part without replacing the cap, learn how to prevent the vent hose from popping off, or opt for a different type of gas cap.
If your gas cap is often jarring from side to side, you will want to look for a replacement that has a seal or one that fits the threads better. Otherwise, you may have to do another DIY project to ensure that your gas cap fits more snugly onto the tank.
Whatever your issue is, it is good to do some research so that you know how to prevent this from happening with your new one. This might lead you to purchase a fitted option or choose a universal gas cap. Either way, you can hopefully avoid future headaches by doing a bit of research from the start.
What are the Best Safety Features in an ATV Gas Cap?
A few key features to look for in a fitted or universal gas cap for your ATV include the appropriately sized thread, vent hose or holes, seal, and optional on/off switch, fuel gauge, and locking mechanisms. Each of these adds a unique component of safety to your ATV experience. Consider this:
Appropriately Sized Thread
It is common for gas caps to become loose and not fit as well with the threads. Appropriately sized gas caps will thread with the tank to interlock seamlessly. This will ensure that your cap does not fly off, and you do not consequently lose fuel.
Your other option here would be to watch a DIY tutorial that may show you how to meld the threads of the tank and the cap back together to fit more tightly, to expand the tank so that the threads push out more and fit better, or to look for some type of synthetic material to fill in the gaps.
Though these solutions can work, it is best to simply purchase an appropriately sized cap.
Vent Hose or Holes
Your ATV gas cap will either have a vent hose or vent hole options. There are pros and cons to each. The vent functions to allow air to permeate the empty space in the tank as fuel levels decrease. This can prevent damage to an emptying tank.
Vent hose options are common and will come with the (recommended) option for a cap to prevent spilling- especially in the case of flips and turns where the ATV will not be entirely upright. Unfortunately, these frequently pop off of the cap causing frustration to users.
Here’s a quick vent tube replacement video.
To prevent your vent hose from popping off your ATV gas cap, you can cut ¼ inch off of the base, stretch it out (with pliers), and place it over the new base about ¼ inch up. This will act like a rubber band that securely fastens the hose onto the cap.
The other option is vented gas cap holes. Instead of having a small hose sticking up from your gas cap, the cap itself will actually serve as the ventilation system. This can decrease the frustration of having to replace (or repair) your vent hose system. Keep in mind, though, that these can become clogged and cause you to have to repair or replace them with a new cap.
Either way, the ventilation feature is necessary, but you do have these two options.
Seal/Tapered Seal Surface
Safe ATV gas caps will have a cap seal or a tapered seal surface that increases the tightness of the cap, thus decreasing the chance of gas leaks. Even if you notice a slight bit of jarring between your cap and the tank, you may find that some fuel can still escape these small crevices.
This creates a staunch safety hazard as even the tiniest bit of fuel that leaks can cause damage to your skin, clothing, ATV, etc. especially if it were to catch on fire. Much less, you do not want to lose small amounts of fuel every time you ride as this can be costly and create a less efficient riding experience. For racers, this matters even more.
An on/off switch works to ensure that your gas cap has been securely fastened. Though this is not the same as a locking mechanism, it is an alternative option that you can look for to ensure the safety of your ATV experience.
Be mindful, though, that just because you switch your gas cap “on” after you fill up does not mean that it will necessarily remain this way after your ride. A jarring bump can jolt your vehicle and cause a loose on/off switch to change positions causing you to potentially lose your cap and the fuel inside.
A fuel gauge on your gas cap acts the same as a fuel gauge on any other vehicle- it simply warns you when your vehicle is reaching empty levels of gas. This can be super helpful to have on hand with your cap as you can be sure that the tank is full without even having to turn on your ATV. Though not necessary, this feature can add an additional layer of safety to your vehicle, so it is worth checking out.
Here’s an example Gas Cap With A Built In Fuel Gauge (link to Amazon).
A locking mechanism on your gas cap can be helpful for two main reasons: to prevent fuel theft, and, more importantly, to ensure that the gas cap is secure. Though preventing fuel theft may be a concern that the locking mechanism can prevent, ensuring that the gas cap is secure is a much more commonly worrisome aspect.
Here’s a quality Locking ATV Gas Cap on Amazon. These are a little more expensive, but if you have problems with people stealing gas, it’s worth it.
Gas caps that lock will generally have an extra set of keys that you will want to attach to the main pair of keys you use to turn on your ATV. Or, you can choose to place them in a secure bag or attachment that you bring along with you. Either way, knowing that your cap is locked will ensure confidence that it will not unscrew and cause you to lose fuel.