If you’ve lost the gas cap for your lawn mower, have searched “can I use my lawn mower without a gas cap” and realized it’s not a good idea, what options do you have? Obviously buying a replacement is the most logical thing to do. But what if you really need to mow your lawn right now and have no time to run to the store. In that case, creating your own temporary lawn mower gas cap is your best option.
A temporary gas cap can be made out of a whole manner of things you may have lying around the house, including aluminum foil, plastic cap, part of a plastic bag and cork. It may also be possible to borrow the gas cap from other power tools you own.
Things You Could Use to Create a Temporary Lawn Mower Gas Cap
The key word here is “temporary”. None of these ideas are supposed to replace your gas cap. They are temporary solutions that will allow you to mow if you’re in a bind, but a replacement cap should be sourced as soon as possible.
That said, here are a few ideas for things you could use.
It’s very likely you have some of this in the kitchen. Grab a roll, tear off a small piece that is big enough to cover the opening to your gas tank, and then secure it in place with a rubber band.
Have a look in the kitchen and see if you have any plastic bottles or other containers that have a cap big enough to cover the opening to your mower’s gas tank. You could also have a look in your shed or garage. Sometimes the cap for a gas can will actually be the perfect fit.
If you find one, you’ll need to use a rubber band or some duct tape to secure it into place.
This is similar to the foil. If you don’t have any of that, you can take a plastic bag, cut a piece off, cover the tank opening and fix it into place with a rubber band. Not ideal, but it’ll seal the opening for the time being.
A lot of corks (like those from wine bottles) are unlikely to be thick enough to cover the opening to your gas tank. But if you have a cork that’s bigger than that, it might just do the job.
Caps from Other Gas Powered Tools
Do you have any other gas-powered tools sitting in your shed or garage? Maybe a hedge trimmer, weed wacker, scarifier…Whatever tools you have, check the gas caps on them. It’s possible that you might get lucky and one of them might fit (or at least cover) your lawn mower gas tank.
Don’t Use a Rag
If you’ve been doing some research online, it’s possible that you will have come across suggestions to stuff a rag or some cloth into the gas tank opening to block it up.
I personally wouldn’t recommend doing this. The problem I see is that cloth or rag can soak through with gas and may start to drip onto the deck and your grass.
So if you want to avoid a lawn mower on fire and dead patches of grass on your lawn, stick to the other suggestions above, or better still, go buy a replacement now.
Using a Temporary Lawn Mower Gas Cap: Final Thoughts
Before you run off to go and create your temporary lawn mower gas cap, here are a few final thoughts about doing this:
- Only Use a Temporary Gas Cap if You Have to – If you do create your own gas cap, no matter how well-crafted you think it is, there’s always going to be a risk to using your mower like this. So only mow your grass with a temporary cap if it’s absolutely necessary. If there’s any possibility of delaying your mowing session until you can buy a replacement gas cap, please do. That’s the best way to ensure your safety.
- Make Sure It’s “Just This One Time” – If you create a temporary gas cap and use your mower with it fitted and everything goes well, don’t fall into the trap of thinking it can serve as a replacement. A temporary cap can help you when you’re in a real bind and must get the lawn mowed (maybe you’re going away for summer vacation tomorrow and the store is closed today). But make sure you order a replacement and have it fitted by the next time you mow.
- Go Slow and Steady – A temporary lawn mower gas cap is not going to seal the gas tank as well as the proper cap will. So take a little extra care when mowing, going slower than normal to minimize the chances of the gas moving around in the tank and up towards the opening.
- Don’t Mow with a Full Tank – The fuller your tank, the more chance there is of you spilling gas with a temporary cap fitted. So if your tank is full right now, I’d recommend you remove some of the gas before you start.
Above all, be safe and sensible if you decide to mow with a temporary gas cap in place.