How to Restore the Spring of a Fuel Door Cover
The fuel door cover is often one of the last components in the automobile to fail, but age, constant use, environmental conditions, and a variety of other factors can make the cover break down earlier than expected. And while fuel door cover problems are varied, often the most common complaint is that of the cover losing its spring mechanism . In this guide, we will show you step by step how to restore the spring in your car's fuel door cover.
Difficulty level: Easy
- Ratchet with an 88mm socket
- Flathead screwdrivers
- Dremel tool with plastic cut-off wheel
- Small washer
- Needle nose pliers
- Side cutters
- One large paperclip
Step 1: Unbolt the filler neck from the fuel door. Most models nowadays have a trim ring around the filler neck which you can snap off to reveal the neck's mounting bolts. In older models, the bolts are already exposed as is.
Step 2: Unlatch the door cover assembly. This is probably the most difficult part of the process: the door assembly usually snaps into the opening in the fender in four places, of which two are located at the rear of the vehicle. To access these areas, reach underneath the fender and pry the fasteners loose. Use the two screwdrivers to maneuver around the tight spaces and push the two tabs loose. Once these fasteners pop out, work the remaining pair on the other side.
Step 3: Detach the door assembly from the fender. The fuel door cover is likely to be tightly mounted in place, so slowly wriggle the assembly until it is off the fender and the filler neck.
Step 4: Locate and check the hinge pin. It is a fairly large piece of coiled wire at the door cover pivot arm. If the door cover no longer springs open, chances are that it is caused by the hinge pin moving out of position. The hinge pin and the door cover pivot are designed to be aligned with each other, so if the hinge pin worked its way upwards it will become disconnected with the pivot, causing the door to swing freely.
Step 5: Using the Dremel tool, cut the bottom hinge boss in half. This will allow you to install the washer and a retainer pin, which in turn will prevent the hinge pin from moving out of position once again.
Step 6: Mark the area where you will make the hole for the retainer and it has been drilled, cut off a length of the paper clip and bent it into a “Z” shape. This will serve as the retainer pin.
Step 7: Realign the hinge pin the pivot arm, attach the washer and secure it with the retainer pin.
Step 8: Reattach the fuel door cover into the fender and filler neck.
Tip: Cover the tips of the screwdriver with electrical tape. This will protect the paint on the rear fender from scratches caused by the screwdriver hitting the fender surface.