Toyota Nation Forum banner

1 - 12 of 12 Posts

·
Registered
2004 Echo RS
Joined
·
29 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Morning everyone - recently my fuel door release pin (on my 04 RS Hatch) is getting stuck in the 'open' position. Basically, after I open the fuel door from the inside of the car, the pin becomes retracts towards the rear bumper and the fuel door releases without any trouble. The problem is when the lever from the inside of the car is put back into its original starting position after I let go of it, the pin does not extend and move back to the 'locked' position.

I removed the rear taillight cover from the inside of the car and I have no clue how to lubricate the release pin. The pin seems to be completely enclosed and I can't get a pair or needle nose pliers on it to pull the pin back to the 'locked position'. Below is a link to a fuel door release for a Matrix - just to give you an idea about what the release pin looks like. Any and all help is much appreciated! Thanks and take care

Matrix Fuel Door Release
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
38 Posts
I'd start with spraying your choice of lubricant and striking the surrounding area with a rubber mallet. The vibration will eventually work it free, and from there you can spray more lubricant on it and push it in with your finger to work the lubricant further back into the recess.

With any luck, this will be all that's needed...I hope. ;-)
 

·
Registered
2004 Echo RS
Joined
·
29 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
I'd start with spraying your choice of lubricant and striking the surrounding area with a rubber mallet. The vibration will eventually work it free, and from there you can spray more lubricant on it and push it in with your finger to work the lubricant further back into the recess.

With any luck, this will be all that's needed...I hope. ;-)
Tried this - when I bring the release pin into the cabin of the car I can see the pin move when I apply pressure to it. There is some sort of spring like behaviour going on. I have pushed down on the pin with a pair of needle nose pliers and put some lubricant into the area where the pin rests. Tried to work in the lubricant and use some needle nose pliers to pull the pin out but I can't really get a good grip on the pin with the pliers because the pin has some rounded edges.

I was thinking about using a hair dryer - hoping that the heat will expand the spring inside and have it pop out? Thoughts on this? Can't use a heat gun b/c everything is covered in plastic.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
38 Posts
Hmmm...well, I somewhat doubt enough heat could be transferred into...(wheels turning)... okay, if we're going the heat route, what about using direct contact with a soldering iron? A few minutes touching the pin should transfer enough heat into the spring... although I'm unsure if that'd give the desired results.

I'm still a fan of setting up vibrations via rubber mallet. Perhaps striking the bent edge / lip of the fuel filler cavity to avoid permanent denting of the thinner body panel.

Of course, if the return spring has broken, it might never again have enough pushing power to push it all the way out.

Another thought... the whole mechanism may be accessible by removing the black rubber "gasket" which surrounds the filler neck and wraps around the body opening (hope that makes sense). Looks like it's one giant rubber piece designed to catch any spillage, and to keep road grime from being thrown up against the cap area.

Short of that, one last resort option is to bend the catch on the filler door out, so it sticks further out towards the stuck-in pin. From there, with luck, pulling the interior fuel door release will still produce the desired result of opening the fuel door...or if unlucky, you can use something to physically pry the door open each time... like a screwdriver or perhaps something plastic to prevent marring the paint.

Absolute worst case scenario... remove the fuel filler door. Problem "solved" (sorta). ;-)
 

·
Registered
2004 Echo RS
Joined
·
29 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
I am reluctant to try the soldering iron on the release pin b/c I believe that it is made of plastic.

The problem with vibrations is that there isn't really enough slack in the cable when I bring it into the cabin. It is tough to find a flat surface for me to try and tap on the release. Plus there is tension on the line and it wants to move back towards the fuel door.

When I pull on the lever the pin retracts even further without any trouble and when I take a pair of needle nose pliers and push on the pin, it rebounds just not to its full extent. It is as though the pin or the spring are stuck on something.

I posted two photos of the whole mechanism (from inside the car) - after playing with it a bit I noticed that there is some slack between the what I call the clear plastic and the grey plastic which is the piece that is directly attached to the line (see pic 1). I can get a screw driver into that circled area in pic 1 but I am reluctant to put some force on it b/c I do not want to break it. There is no real room for a screw driver in the circled area of pic 2. I think that I need to put pressure on it to have the piece release. I was thinking, a heat gun? Hoping that that would possibly expand the spring enough or make the plastic soft enough to separate the two parts? I get the impression that this wasn't designed for any sort of repair but instead a full replacement - which I am trying to avoid.

Another option that I was thinking of is removing the spring on the hinge side of the fuel door and just prying it open w/ a credit card or something when needed. I just don't know if the door will stay closed as I drive down the road.
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
29 Posts
Might as well piggyback on this post - I am also having a problem with the fuel door, but I'm not sure exactly what it is. The lever is extremely stiff, it's getting worse over time and at some point I'm pretty sure it's going to get stuck. Would it be the lever itself, or the cable... and is there something easy to check first? Also if it comes to it, is there a way I can open the fuel door without the release lever in a pinch?
 

·
Registered
2004 Echo RS
Joined
·
29 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
Might as well piggyback on this post - I am also having a problem with the fuel door, but I'm not sure exactly what it is. The lever is extremely stiff, it's getting worse over time and at some point I'm pretty sure it's going to get stuck. Would it be the lever itself, or the cable... and is there something easy to check first? Also if it comes to it, is there a way I can open the fuel door without the release lever in a pinch?
Do you get your car sprayed for rust? I would try to check the lever first - unscrew it from the floor board and oil it up. The cable runs through the inside of the car and is covered - so I doubt it would be the cable. Are you driving a sedan or hatch? Is it an Echo or Yaris? My 04 hatch doesn't have a manual fuel door release - apparently that was mandated at one point though
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
38 Posts
These might not help, but just in case...

Cables rust over time due to moisture in the air. There's not a single air-cooled VW owner who doesn't carry a spare accelerator cable in their vehicle for this very reason...and they also run inside, not exposed to the elements.

...and...

I've had multiple vehicles with fuel door issues. All of them were eventually remedied by physically bending the latch on the fuel door further away from the pin which holds it in. This allowed for various "hacks" at opening the fuel door, from pushing the opposite side of the fuel door in towards the body (thus swinging the other side out), to using the key to pry (gently / easily) the fuel door open.

I'm having a hard time grasping the exact nature of dabrows' problem (not your fault... I'm an experiential learner, not a text learner) so until I tear mine apart to get a better sense of things, well, I may be useless.
;-)
 

·
Registered
2004 Echo RS
Joined
·
29 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
These might not help, but just in case...

Cables rust over time due to moisture in the air. There's not a single air-cooled VW owner who doesn't carry a spare accelerator cable in their vehicle for this very reason...and they also run inside, not exposed to the elements.

...and...

I've had multiple vehicles with fuel door issues. All of them were eventually remedied by physically bending the latch on the fuel door further away from the pin which holds it in. This allowed for various "hacks" at opening the fuel door, from pushing the opposite side of the fuel door in towards the body (thus swinging the other side out), to using the key to pry (gently / easily) the fuel door open.

I'm having a hard time grasping the exact nature of dabrows' problem (not your fault... I'm an experiential learner, not a text learner) so until I tear mine apart to get a better sense of things, well, I may be useless.
;-)
I don’t know if bending will work because of how little the pin is exposed.

I will try to figure out how to upload a video to help
 

·
Registered
2004 Echo RS
Joined
·
29 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
Here is an update for this thread - I was able to get my hands on a heat gun. I pulled the release into the car and used the heat gun on it. This moved the pin out enough for me to grab it with a pair of pliers and pull it out the rest of the way. So I am officially back to square one - being cognizant of pulling on the lever. That said, once the pin was back out I was moving it freely without any problems. This made me try and check the lever @ the foot of the driver seat. The lever or the line is stiff so I sprayed what I could with WD - unfortunately it didn't really solve the problem. The lever is still stiff. As of right now, my plan is to try and remove the spring on the hinge side of the door and use a credit card or something to pry it open when needed. If the door remains closed as I am driving around town - removing the spring will be my final solution. Aside from that my other options are either to remove the door or create some sort of magnet type device that i would have to glue on the fuel door and cap. I will update this once I have a more permanent solution.
 

·
Registered
2004 Echo RS
Joined
·
29 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
Final update - I removed the spring on the hinge side of the door and it is staying closed without any trouble. This is what I will go with instead of replacing the whole line. Door looks closed/locked and all I need to do to open it is to push the hinge side and pry a bit with a points card of some kind. Not worth the headache of replacing the whole line.
 
1 - 12 of 12 Posts
Top