Repairing and Replacing Your Fuel Door Spring
You’re low on gas so you head off to your local gas station to fill up your car, lean down to pull your fuel door lever only to discover upon exiting your vehicle that the fuel door did not open. As frustrating as this might be, I have a do it yourself solution that will have your fuel door good as new.
First things first
You went to the gas station for gas and now you can’t get it, but don’t stress yourself out and remain calm. Take a pencil or any object in your car that will help to hold up your fuel door lever and place it underneath. Now take your keys and insert them into the crack on the fuel door, slowly prying it open carefully so as not to damage your keys. Once you have it open you can refuel it and shut it again by removing the object keeping your lever up. It will need repaired but you need to keep it closed to protect your fuel tank.
The next step
Now that you have returned back home after assessing the situation you will need to repeat the above steps to gain access to the door. Once you have it open you will see a plastic housing on the door hinge that fits above the spring in the door. Pry this piece of plastic out using a Phillips head screwdriver and put it in your pocket so your local auto parts store can assist you with a replacement. Once you have received the replacement spring and housing you will need to place it back into the hinge. If you think you may have difficulty most auto parts stores will help you install the spring and housing free of charge. Also if you have difficulty purchasing a replacement spring until a later date, you can use a simple rubber band. Cut the rubber band in half and tie one end of the rubber band to the outside hinge and the other to the inside hinge. This is only a temporary fix, but should last a while until you can get a spring replacement.
Prevention and maintenance
Springs, just like hinges, can develop rust over time and lose their tension as well as become damaged. In order to prevent your fuel door spring from being damaged again you should spray the hinge and the spring with WD-40. It is a very inexpensive product and can be used on all areas of your car as well as around the house. During the winter time you should periodically open it to insure that no ice accumulation has occurred as this could prevent future operation and also cause damage to the hinges themselves as well as the spring which would require a full door replacement.