Gas prices are on a steep rise and you should be concerned about locking up your gas tank. If you had faced similar conditions in the 1970s you might have bitter memories about sales of gas-tank locks increasing due to a rise in theft. Though these locks did not cost much the gas of course did.
This is the same condition today. Saving the gas which comes at $4 is the major concern. To avert circumstances of gas theft police departments in every locality have brought out advisories to help you safeguard your car’s fuel.
But you should take note of certain facts before you spend about $15 on a useless plastic lock and key.
Is a locking gas cap really needed?
If there is a fuel door present on your car it would be quite a restriction. A criminal on serious business might just pick a way out to snoop the door open with a screwdriver. But gas theft requires a great opportunity and most of the times a small obstacle can actually pose as huge setback for the thief.
SUV and truck owners are mostly chief targets and they should know why they are been frequently targeted. The tanks in their vehicle are of larger capacity and the height of the tank is much above the ground which makes it easier to be handles. But sedan owners should not be negligent of their gas tanks as they can also be victims. This is because some thieves use pumps powered by battery.
Are you all set to handle some inconvenience?
Though the necessity to carry the key around and access it every time you are fueling your car can be a problem. You will have to decide whether you will provide a key to everyone who drives or not to lock the car every time you leave vehicle. Again it might be a pain to find a perfect place to keep the key. You can insert it in a keychain which is already crowded with a bunch of keys or find some other place. If you are keeping the key with yourself it might be a source of irritation to handle it safely when you are out in the rain or cold.
What else can you do?
There is a set of precautions usually followed which may assist you to guard your gas in a much better way than any locking cap. You should park your car in a well-lit area and position it in such a way that anyone who tries to tamper with the lock will be noticed by passers-by. You could also simply avoid filling up the tank upto the brim to minimize your loss in case gas theft takes place.
What if you misplace the key?
To unlock your car you will require a pair of big channel-lock pliers. There are some jaws on this tool which can be opened for upto 3 to 4 inches. People who are into repairing refer to these as water pump pliers. You will have to position the jaws encircling the outer rim of the locking cap and apply pressure on the plastic simultaneously along with moving the pliers’ handles in a counterclockwise direction. This should work fine on caps which are built of plastic. In case there is a chrome-plated metal cap you can attempt at a similar technique. This might eventually destroy the cap during the process. Plastic caps may also be destroyed under such circumstances.
These tips will help you prevent gas theft from the gas tank of your car and also handle situations that arise while you are trying to prevent any theft.