• Jul 6th 2008 at 6:12PM
  • 15
Last year, Ford introduced a new capless direct filling system on the Explorer and has since started spreading it to other models including the new Lincoln MKS, the Ford Flex and the Escape. The system has a number of advantages including the convenience of not having to mess around with the cap. The most important function of the capless system is a reduction in evaporative emissions during fueling. Unfortunately with gas prices on the rise, so are thefts of fuel. More and more drivers are coming out to their vehicles in the morning to that some thieving punk has siphoned the gas out of the tank. As a result sales of locking caps are on the rise at parts stores around the country. Too bad these items won't work for the Ford capless system. Hopefully, Ford will see fit to start applying locking doors to more its vehicles to go with the direct fill system.

Update: Ford's Alan Hall has informed me that that a locking cap is available for the direct fill system from Ford dealers. The locking cap will of course negate the convenience factor of not messing with a cap. The tank also has other measures to deter theft making it comparable to a standard setup with a lockless capped system. It does not however, affect the improved sealing that reduces evaporative emissions maintaining the most important functional aspect of the system.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 15 Comments
      • 7 Months Ago
      Wow, Autoblog Green. Way to print some ridiculous opinion-based article with no factual basis. Someday real automotive journalism might actually make it's way onto this site.

      Today's conjecture brought to you by the Toyota Prius. Because if you don't drive a hybrid, we'll steal your gas, and your soul.
      • 7 Months Ago
      Apparently, you have no real idea of how a car's fueling system works.

      Perhaps the title of your comment should have been: "Have you snuffed some gas, lately?"
      horvathp
      • 7 Months Ago
      Its very difficult to siphone gas from a new vehicle since most now have a check valve in the neck of the fuel filler to prevent gas from running out in case of a roll over. I hope the writer actual tried and determined it was possible before dissing Ford for coming out with a better idea -
        • 7 Months Ago
        @horvathp
        I have no evidence that any such thefts have occured from new Fords. But since I was putting gas in a Flex with this system yesterday, and we've had so many reports of fuel thefts lately (including one of my colleagues at work a couple of weeks ago) I thought it was worth bringing up.
        • 7 Months Ago
        @horvathp
        Seriously, Sam, Did you read any verifiable reports of gas being siphoned off of a Ford with this new capless system or is this just conjecture? If you have reports, could you site a source or two?
      • 7 Months Ago
      The recess is to low in the body of the car, You get someone to put in a handful of mud in there you will be at the pump cleaning it out for a while, And I don't want my engine light coming on because my flap doesn't close properly.
      • 7 Months Ago
      I guess you numbnutz out there did not look in options on any vehicle with easyfill. There is an optional locking plug for anyone that wants a locking feature. This has been there from the start but Sam Abuelsamid just figures he should diss ford. He does not check his facts too well.
      • 7 Months Ago
      Siphoning out the gas filler is so last century. Now they just drill holes in the gas tank and drain it out.

      Another advantage to electric cars.
      • 7 Months Ago
      How is this any different in terms of someone unscrewing a gas cap??? If they want the gas, they'll take it! The extra 4 seconds to unscrew the gas cap is not going to make someone choose a Toyota over a Ford. I cannot believe that you would write this, Sam! I've heard of slow news days, but this takes the cake.

      Besides, Autoblog already wrote about the real way to steal gas. http://www.autoblog.com/2008/03/12/gas-thieves-moving-beyond-the-hose-grabbing-a-drill/

      You need to remove this article ASAP.
      • 7 Months Ago
      Locking gas caps are generally useless today.

      1. many cars have a filler door that latches and releases with a lever in the cab (and it looks like the capless systems use this type of system)... if you can pop open the filler door with a crowbar you can do the same to a locking cap

      2. all cars built in the last 20 or so years have a check valve in the filler neck to prevent leaking in a rollover, and prevent siphoning by not allowing a hose to go past the filler neck into the tank (these are called anti-siphon tanks)

      3. it's often easier for desperate thieves to punch a hole in the tank or to hook up a siphoning rig directly to the fuel line going to the engine

      4. the only way to 100% prevent fuel theft is to drive an electric car, or not drive/have a car at all

      5. see all points above: they show that capless systems do not in any way increase the chances of fuel theft, and show that a locking cap is only useful to keep vandals from putting things INTO your gas tank (sugar, tampons, etc.) if you don't have a latching filler door
      • 7 Months Ago
      A better title for the story would be, "Have You Siphoned a Ford, Lately?"

      Ford's ALWAYS had a problem with doing really goofy things for no reason.
      • 7 Months Ago
      i swear i thought ford capless system also prevents theft

      http://media.ford.com/newsroom/feature_display.cfm?release=23652

      The capless fuel system provides a much better seal than a cap, as it isn't opened until the fuel pump nozzle is inserted. When capless fueling is completed, the nozzle is removed and the system seals shut automatically.

      unless you managed to emulate a gas nozzle lol
        • 7 Months Ago
        It doesn't have any special "fuel filler recognition", any tubular object of similar size will open that capless filler. Yes, a slender siphon tube would do nicely.

        A lock of some sort is still needed.
      • 7 Months Ago
      http://autos.canada.com/news/story.html?id=0008a615-1e00-43b2-bccc-24ee6cc38558&p=2

      ouch nevermind

      EasyFuel "is not a theft deterrent," says Brian Aitken, supervising engineer of Ford's North American Fuel Systems. A savvy thief could devise a bypass. For those kinds of neighbourhoods, a locking cap is available - which would defeat the ease of EasyFuel. But most North Americans don't require locking caps.
      • 7 Months Ago
      I guess Ford keeps its money in a bank with no locks. Talk about clueless.
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