OBD-II 442 in 1998 Ford Escort

My service Engine Soon indicator came on in my 1998 Ford Escort. Auto Zone said it was 442. This happened about 3 week ago at which time Auto Zone
said to replace the gas cap. Lately the car has had momentary losses of power, like its skipping. I don't know if the 442 is related to the skipping, there were no other error codes.
A couple of things...
Auto Zone did not have a Ford gas cap so I purchased a OEM replacement cap, could this be a problem? Do I need a Ford gas cap?
I looked at the plumbing going to the canister, lot of rusty looking tubes. I could find no leaks, I looked for stains on the plumbing but this may not be a effective troubleshooting procedure.
Any ideas on isolating the failure would be great appreciated? Thanks John
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On Fri, 24 Aug 2007 22:09:47 -0400, "John Perry"

From: http://tinyurl.com/cency
"A code P0442 most likely means one or more of the following has happened:
A loose or improperly affixed gas cap A non-conforming gas cap (i.e. not factory/original brand) A small leak/hole in a fuel vapor hose/tube Other small leak in EVAP system Faulty vent o-ring seal"
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I did not get a Ford cap. AutoZone sold me one they said would function. Maybe I should get a ford cap before I send the car in for repair.
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It's highly unlikely that the faulty gas cap is responsible for the momentary lapses of power. If the code 0442 doesn't return, then you've solved that problem, even with the non-Ford cap.
If you haven't changed spark plugs, plug wires, fuel filter or any of the other normal maintenance items in the last several years or 30,000+ miles, I would try that as a first measure.
Bob
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