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Stretching your dollar: Free gas cap checks and replacement

Time is running out to score this freebie.

WATERVILLE, Ohio — Time is running out to get your gas cap tested, and you are going to want to make it out before your chances run dry.

It plays a major role in helping with fuel efficiency and protecting the environment. 

Maybe you've heard about this gas cap testing program, but weren't sure about how to get involved.

Here's how you can join in on this free offer.

Across Lucas, Wood, and Monroe Counties, free gas cap checks are being held to help you.

One passing driver named Don explained that he stopped by hoping it would save him from having to spend big bucks at the mechanic. 

"My check engine light's been coming on and sometimes it's the gas cap that causes it," he said. 

This common problem wastes gas and money.

It adds to our area's pollution problem during the hot summer months, which is why these tests are done now.

Ben Bonnough was out cleaning up the river today, which he does on a regular basis to clear the water of lead fishing lures and heart shaped objects like rocks or garbage that he's cleaning up anyway. He calls it his passion, so for him, this is a win-win.

"I love the environment, I love the river, and I love you guys for coming down to check my gas cap," Bonnough said.

All you have to do is show up and if there's a problem, the City of Toledo Division of Environmental Services and TMACOG will give you a new gas cap or a voucher to get yours replaced.

But if you can't make it out, there are other things you can do to help.

"Try to use less energy basically. If you have to put clothes out on a line instead of running a dryer or turn off something you're not using in the home to conserve energy as best as you can. This is one of the many things we do to try to help save energy and help the environment," Marc VonDeylen, Transportation Technician for TMACOG, said.

Your gas cap could be leaking fumes regardless of the age of your car. But the odds go up if it's more than 3 years old.

For every leaking gas cap, 199 pounds of pollution goes into our air each year.

For you, it can come at the cost of two full tanks of gas..

When you tack on the cost of a new gas cap which is provided here for free, it adds up to around $100 leaking out of your wallet.

Gordon Watts of Toledo is a retiree and was happy to bring out his human and furry companions along with being able to put his time to good use today. 

"Well, if it's leaking, maybe that's why my check engine light might be on. That's what I'm here to find out. If not, it's something else. It'll probably cost me more money to get it fixed," he said.

This week is the last chance this year to take advantage of TMACOG's offer.

Wednesday they'll be at the Shell station at 5473 Monroe Street in Toledo.

Thursday, at the Circle K on Airport Highway in Holland.

Both events will be held from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.

More information can be found here