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The check engine light comes on, it might be the fuel cap not sealing tight. on 2005 Pontiac Bonneville

I was told that rust where the gas cap screws on will cause a sensor to trip and turn the check engine light on. Will sanding the rust help by making better contacy?

could be several issues but if there is a seal issue with cap that needs to addressed 1st
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You can try cleaning off the rust and replacing the cap. But be very careful not to allow any debris to fall into tank when cleaning the rust.