Your Toyota Corolla’s fuel door or gas flap includes a release mechanism or an actuator, which allows you to open it from inside your car. To open the fuel door, you only need to pull up the release or opener, which is a lever found on the lower left side of the driver’s seat. But what do you do when the fuel door is stuck and won’t open, even if you pull its release lever?
A Toyota Corolla fuel door that’s not opening means there’s something wrong with its release mechanism. To open it, access the back portion of your fuel tank from the trunk, find the release cable, and take it out. Once open, you can inspect what caused your fuel door to get stuck then fix it.
To refuel your car, you need to know whether you can open the fuel door if it gets stuck and won’t open automatically using its release lever. So read on to learn how fuel doors work and how to open them from the back side. You’ll also learn about why this happens, including why your fuel door won’t close.
Toyota Corolla Fuel Door Not Opening/Closing
Your Toyota Corolla’s fuel door is a small square-shaped door found on the side of your car. Inside this door is the gas cap, and unscrewing it gives you access to the fuel tank when you need to refuel your vehicle.
The fuel door or gas flap is often an overlooked part of the car until issues arise and it becomes an inconvenience. A stuck fuel door can be pretty frustrating, especially if you’re already at the gas station.
Additionally, the fuel door has an aesthetic purpose, making your car look nicer than it would with an exposed gas tank. But more importantly, it protects the gas cap and the fuel tank. Without the fuel door, other people could poach the fuel in your car when you’re parked outside.
As such, when your fuel door starts malfunctioning, it’s wiser to repair it than to take it off permanently. So knowing how the fuel door’s release mechanism works would help a lot.
Behind your car’s fuel door is a cable system that runs all the way to the side of the driver’s seat. This release mechanism allows you to open the door from inside your vehicle. If one of the components of this release cable system fails, your fuel door may not open or close.
Why Your Fuel Door Won’t Open
There are several possible reasons why your fuel door refuses to pop open when you pull on its release lever. These are:
The copyright owner of this article is Knowmyauto.com and was first published on May 25, 2021..
Toyota Corolla Fuel Door Release
Toyota Corollas have a release for their fuel door, and this release is a lever on the inside of the car, specifically on the left side of the floor of the driver’s seat. Pulling this release lever will open your fuel door. But if the release lever is broken or loose, pulling on it won’t open it.
Toyota Corolla Fuel Door Exterior Area
Your fuel door may also become stuck if your car suffers external damage, impacting its opening mechanism. Even a tiny dent on the side of the fuel door is enough to keep it from opening if the hinge has been squashed or misaligned.
Toyota Corolla Fuel Door Spring
Your fuel door relies on its hinge or spring for opening and closing. So when the hinge is damaged or stuck, or when its pin and interior bushings get too stiff or too loose, it could keep the fuel door from popping open.
Sometimes, the spring or hinge only needs cleaning and lubrication to function correctly. But in other cases, the spring can also become loose or become physically damaged, so you’d have to replace it.
Toyota Corolla Fuel Door Release Cable
A damaged release cable can cause your fuel door system to get stuck. That’s because electricity can’t reach your Toyota Corolla’s fuel door. If that’s the case, you’ll need to repair your wiring so you can use your release lever again to pop your fuel door open.
Why Your Fuel Door Won’t Close
If your fuel door doesn’t close or shut tight, it could be because of any of the following:
Broken or Damaged Fuel Door Latch
Fuel doors have a latch that holds them in place where they close. If this latch becomes broken, damaged, or loose, nothing will secure your fuel door in place, and it’ll remain in an open position.
Loose Fuel Door Cable
Your fuel door is connected to a taut cable that runs along your vehicle’s side paneling and functions as a release. This cable is responsible for popping your fuel door open when you pull the release lever. It also tightens when you close the fuel door. When this supposedly taut cable becomes loose, it fails to tighten and lock, leaving your fuel door open.
Broken or Damaged Fuel Door Hinge
Your fuel door has a hinge that allows it to swing open and swing close. If this hinge becomes bent, broken, damaged, or misaligned, or if its pin and bushings get too stiff or loose, it won’t be able to close tight if it’s already in the open position. It’ll also get stuck and won’t open if it’s already closed.
Toyota Corolla How To Open Fuel Door
There are two ways to open your Toyota Corolla’s fuel door if it gets stuck for whatever reason.
Pry It Open With a Credit Card
You can use a credit card or any broad and flat object as a lever and insert it into the side of your fuel door opposite its hinge. Pry your fuel door open with the card while someone else holds up the release lever inside the car. If you’re alone, you can wedge an object between the lever to keep it up.
With this method, however, you have to be careful about the object you use and how you pry the door open if you don’t want scratches and chipped paint on your car.
Open Your Trunk & Access It Through the Back
Another way to open your stuck fuel door is by opening the trunk of your car and accessing the back of your fuel tank. You’ll see your Toyota Corolla’s fuel door release cable running to the back of the fuel door. Look for the release pin, turn it counter-clockwise, slide it out, and remove it. Removing the pin and the release cable will loosen the latch to your fuel door and pop it open.
You can leave the fuel door open and put the release cable back on, sliding the release pin in and securing it by turning it clockwise. While you’re at it, you can try spraying a lubricant on the pin or latch of your fuel door and see if it works. Close the fuel door and check if it would automatically open using the release lever by the driver’s seat.
If you’ve found that the reason why your fuel door won’t open or close is because of a broken or damaged spring or hinge, you can replace it. You can buy the necessary part from an auto parts retailer and install it yourself.
If you think that the reason for your fuel door not opening is a cable issue, it might be best to take it to a professional mechanic.
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KnowMyAuto is the sole owner of this article was published on May 25, 2021 and last updated on .