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How to change the fuel cap?

Imagine arriving at the fuel station, making your prepayment, and, when you go to fill up, the fuel cap doesn’t open. It’s frustrating, isn’t it?

We only remember the fuel door when it becomes an inconvenience. When the cap gets stuck and doesn’t open because of a faulty component or lack of lubrification in the spring.

But, don’t worry! Replacing this (so important) part is easier than it looks!

Read also: Petrol vs. Gasoline: know the differences (there are more than 5)

An orange fuel cap open

What are the problems in the fuel cap?

Before we explain how you can change the fuel cap, first, you must know the most common causes of failures in this part.

The lever of the fuel door is broken

In some car models, the cap is opened from a lever near the driver’s seat. If the lever is pulled repeatedly with force, it can break and separate from the other parts of the set.

In this case, you will need to replace the whole part, including the lever, cables and fuel door.

Damaged cable

It’s not only the lever that can break in this opening system. The cable that connects the lever to the door can also come loose or even split.

If this happens, the lid doesn’t open since there is no connection between the parts. So you will have to replace the whole set.

Faulty spring

In most vehicles, the fuel cap opens with the help of a spring. Over time, this hinge may become stiff, making it difficult to open the door. Lubricating the component may be enough to ensure that the spring functions normally.

However, in other cases, the hinge may actually be damaged. It may come loose and fail to close the door or get stuck and prevent the fuel door from opening. In these cases, the whole part should be replaced.

Blown fuse

In electrically controlled fuel doors, the fuses are responsible for the component that keeps the cap closed. Like any part, this element can also be damaged.

If the fuse blows, you must replace it quickly to ensure the regular operation of the cap.

Damaged wiring

You must also pay attention to the wiring in the electric opening doors. A damaged wire can prevent the fuel door from working, as electricity cannot reach the part.

Therefore, you should ensure that the wiring is repaired as soon as possible.

Person loosing the screw on the fuel cap

If you have any of these problems, consult your vehicle handbook. Some cars have an alternative manual system to open the fuel door, and the guide will show the location of this button.

Read also: 10 Myths about cars: Part 1

Guidelines to change the fuel cap

As we saw earlier, the door is essential to protect the fuel entry of your car, so you should replace it soon when it’s damaged.

If the fuel cap it’s not electric, replacing it is a simple and quick process. In most cases, you will only need two tools.

As an example, we explain how to change the fuel cap of a Volvo XC60. For this repair, you will only need a screwdriver and a torque wrench.

Follow the instructions for replacing the fuel door below:

  1. Open the fuel cap and the interior protection, if applicable. If you don’t have energy in the car, you can open the door by pulling the manual lever in the boot or near the driver’s pedals.
  2. Then, using the torque wrench, lose the left side screw on the cover.
  3. Press the screwdriver under the fuel door like a lever to release the springs.
  4. When you hear the springs release, carefully pull off the cover and fuel shield.
  5. Put the new part into the same slots, and apply a little force to fix the cap to the springs.
  6. Fit the inner cover and tighten the left side bolt with the torque wrench.
  7. Close the fuel door and test that it opens and closes properly.

You can also follow the step-by-step video tutorial below.

If you have any doubts when replacing the fuel cap, we recommend you visit a registered garage.

If you’re looking for a fuel door for your car, you can find more than 10,000 on our website for more than 60 brands.