When gasoline prices rise, so do the sales of locking gas caps. When drivers start worrying that the unscrupulous may come around in the dead of night, looking to siphon precious gas out of their tanks, they turn to gas caps that can prevent such theft. Locking gas caps are exactly what their name implies: gas caps that can be secured with a key, unlike those that just screw into the opening to the tank. Caps with locks come in two kinds: those that are secured and unlocked with a key, and those that have catches that must be unlocked so that the main cap can come off.
The kind of caps that lock when put in place and release with a key are the older models. Although they are effective, the disadvantage is that if the key is lost or misplaced, the cap cannot be removed. The driver will have to call a locksmith, who can make a key from the lock.
The other type must be both locked and unlocked with a key. If the key is not available to lock the cap, then it works like an ordinary one. Most come with two keys, but the cap that must be fastened with a key better prevents accidents from happening.
Locking gas caps also prevent vandals or angry teenagers from putting something like sugar or bleach in a gas tank in order to ruin it. People whose gas tank doors lock automatically may not need to worry about purchasing a locking cap for their vehicles, but drivers who have standard gas tank doors may want to consider it.
Gas caps with locks are available in most auto parts stores, in discount stores, and online. They are sold by make and model, so a cap that fits one vehicle may not fit another, even if it is by the same car maker. Drivers should always look for the cap that is specified for their car. Locking gas caps are usually relatively inexpensive, but the price depends on the manufacturer and car's make.