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The problem has nothing to do with the gas cap. There are a thousand reasons why the light could be on. Have a repair shop scan the computer for trouble codes and they can recommend what needs to be repaired.
It could be as simple as a loose fitting gas cap.
Turn the key on and off 3 times, on the 3rd time leaving it on. Depending on your system, if you have a digital odometer, an error code will be displayed. If that doesnt happen, the engine light will start flashing. Start writing down how many times it flashes per interval. It may flash 3, then stop, then flash 4, then stop, and finally flashy just two times. This means it is number 342. Get online and look up error codes for your vehicle and match it up.
The most common reason for an engine light to come on is a bad oxygen sensor. There can be many reasons for the light to come on. Most auto stores will plug in an engine analyzer and read the engine codes for free. At that time, they can also turn off the light. The stores motivation for reading your codes is to sell you the parts to fix it. A bad oxygen sensor will allow the car to run normally , only your gas mileage may suffer. Anyway let the car tell you what is wrong with it.
I have the same car but don't have that problem with this one however, I did with the 99 I traded for this one. I figured out that if the wheels were not left straight, any degree of angle facing either direction, would freeze something in the steering column and not allow it to start. Had it towed twice before the tech said he had the same problem in the past. Never happened after that. The prob I had with the 2004 Taurus, bought a cheap battery from wal-mart and it ran everything but my car, tech said it's probably the reason the alternator had failed. Check your brand of battery. My battery light stayed on for two months, started fine, switched the battery from the wal-mart one, light went off instantly.
The gas guage is a seprate problem, the gas fill hose may have a sharp ben in the hose or kink, the gas pump hase a shut off valve that shuts off the pump if gas does not flow freely ie:blockage or full tank, I would visualy inspect the filler hose from the gas cap to the tank for again sharp bends or kinks, if the filler hose is in anyway restricked the pump may asume the tank is full.
the gas guage: is usualy a simple flot on a rod in the tank (like a toilet tank has) instead of opening or closing a valve it operates a "potentiometer" veriable position sensor (kind of like a dimmer switch).
if the float gets stuck the guage will stay in that position, the guage gets the signal via the wire harnes, so check the electric circit.
A trick I used on one of my jeeps (I removed the guages ) I filled the tank, reset the trip odometer to zero, put a jeerycan and a couple gallons of gas in the jeep, then drove normaly a week or so till I ran out of gas. wrote down the mileage on the trip odometer. gerrycan gas got me to the gas station.
divided the mileage by half. I fill up the tank all the way the reset the trip odometer to zero, when I reach the half mileage of the tank I fill up again and repeat
I found that my check engine light comes on when I fail to turn the gas cap two clicks. It has something to do with the air . After I paid $50 for one of those diagnostics, I always make sure when it comes on to check if my husband failed to click the gas cap, correct the problem and the check engine light goes out before I have to gas up the next time and will stay off as long as I am the sole driver.