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2021 Venza XLE with upgraded seats and infotainment system
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I pressed the 'release' button on the dash, and heard the 'clunk' that indicates something happened, but the 'door' that covers the tank cap wouldn't open. I tried to force it (but not too hard, as I didn't want to break anything), no luck. Finally, I shoved my credit card into the gap, and pressed the button. The card created enough extra pressure on the 'door' to cause it to flip open, so I got around the problem.

Has anyone else had this issue? I'll mention it at my next service, but if there's an easy 'tweak' I'd be glad to hear about it. Maybe I just need to spray some WD40 on the release gizmo inside the flap? I'm in Northern California so not exactly freezing ...
 

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I pressed the 'release' button on the dash, and heard the 'clunk' that indicates something happened, but the 'door' that covers the tank cap wouldn't open. I tried to force it (but not too hard, as I didn't want to break anything), no luck. Finally, I shoved my credit card into the gap, and pressed the button. The card created enough extra pressure on the 'door' to cause it to flip open, so I got around the problem.

Has anyone else had this issue? I'll mention it at my next service, but if there's an easy 'tweak' I'd be glad to hear about it. Maybe I just need to spray some WD40 on the release gizmo inside the flap? I'm in Northern California so not exactly freezing ...
The fuel door spring may be broken. It's an easy DIY fix if it is.
 

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2021 Venza XLE with upgraded seats and infotainment system
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Don't know your temp, but could it be moisture and froze?
I mentioned that I was "in Northern California so not exactly freezing" ... it was around 50F or above at the time, and hasn't been below 40F for weeks.
The fuel door spring may be broken. It's an easy DIY fix if it is.
I looked at it again today; it worked perfectly. The door 'pops out' just fine. There's a black device that provides the latching and releasing function, and I could see that it 'activated' when I pressed the dash button, so ... for now, a mystery. I will note that I don't drive much at the moment, so it may have been a few months since I last filled up!

This did get me reading the manual, though - there is a documented process for dealing with a stuck cap - page 466 describes how you can remove a panel from inside the trunk area to gain access to the 'backside' of the filler area.

Rectangle Automotive design Line Automotive lighting Automotive exterior

Also, page 226 of the manual has this to say:
" The fuel tank of your vehicle has a special structure, which requires a reduction in fuel tank pressure before refueling. After the opener switch has been pressed, it will take several seconds until the vehicle is ready for refueling." and page 227 says
" 1 Press the opener switch to open the fuel filler door.
The fuel filler door will open within about 10 seconds of the switch being pressed. Before refueling is possible, a message will be shown on the multi-information display in the instrument cluster to indicate the progress of the fuel filler door opener."

I don't THINK my situation was related to the above, but it is interesting that it talks about an (up to) 10-second delay before the door will open! Nothing is simple on today's modern vehicles!
 

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Had it happen, Toyota replaced the lock assembly, in the process the tech damaged the fuel door sub assembly after I later learned water was coming in from the fuel door housing and pooling below the spare tire. When the fuel door fix was done I also had them fix the left rear smart door handle which would not unlock when grabbing the handle, in the process the tech damaged the handle so it wouldn't even open the door, so they had to order a new handle which meant another 1-2 week wait for that part (each time!) same dumb ass "tech" did all the "work"! :rolleyes: So the moral of the story is fix it yourself if you can.
 

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Had it happen, Toyota replaced the lock assembly, in the process the tech damaged the fuel door sub assembly after I later learned water was coming in from the fuel door housing and pooling below the spare tire. When the fuel door fix was done I also had them fix the left rear smart door handle which would not unlock when grabbing the handle, in the process the tech damaged the handle so it wouldn't even open the door, so they had to order a new handle which meant another 1-2 week wait for that part (each time!) same dumb ass "tech" did all the "work"! :rolleyes: So the moral of the story is fix it yourself if you can.
is there no way to get a better trained tech to do the work, a different dealer service dept if possible ??
That is so aggravating that we have “dumbasses” wearing ACE certification badges and don’t know how to look at a simple mechanical device and rework/repair/replace w/o fubar-ing something else !! Labor rates such as they are with that level of incompetence is unacceptable today. Time wasters and loss of faith in a dealership that hires such buffoons. Ugh! 🤬
 

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21 Venza Limited
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Back in the 2000s, Stihl came out with a very complex, multi moving part gas and oil cap design. The previous, conventional caps had worked just fine. These new, complex, maddening (when they inevitably break) caps were used for a # of years ; but are now, discontinued and replaced with conventional, centuries proven caps.

The complex caps fail frequently and have a moderately short lifespan.

Being a Honda/Toyota owner and that way for many decades, Honda is driving me more and more to the Toyota side. If Toyota only had an acceptable truck to me, I’d have one. I wish I’d never sold my 2005 Tundra extended cab.

Honda: solid lifters, DI only, timing belt, associated water pump and tensioner, frequent rear diff fluid changes, capless gas filler, start/stop/ special , more expensive battery, VCM with a poor history, oil filter over a suspension member, transmission concerns for the 6-sp and an involved trans fluid change on the 9-sp, all of which are a bit of a pain to do. All this adds up to a lot of expensive maintenance especially if you don’t do it yourself.

Toyota (in my case Gen 2 Venza): hyd lifters, chain, electric water pump (accessible), no diff fluid, cap for fuel, conventional, easily accessed battery, no VCM, easy, simple oil change, 15 minute every 50-60K trans fluid complete change (only 3 qts for complete d&f) - as easy to change as the RL’s transfer case, time proven, trouble-free drivetrain, 120K service is 4 sparkplugs (facing the front).

Since I do all of my own work, lying on my garage floor, the differences are rather stark to me. If I had to pay for my work, It’d be even more stark!
 

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Back in the 2000s, Stihl came out with a very complex, multi moving part gas and oil cap design. The previous, conventional caps had worked just fine. These new, complex, maddening (when they inevitably break) caps were used for a # of years ; but are now, discontinued and replaced with conventional, centuries proven caps.

The complex caps fail frequently and have a moderately short lifespan.

Being a Honda/Toyota owner and that way for many decades, Honda is driving me more and more to the Toyota side. If Toyota only had an acceptable truck to me, I’d have one. I wish I’d never sold my 2005 Tundra extended cab.

Honda: solid lifters, DI only, timing belt, associated water pump and tensioner, frequent rear diff fluid changes, capless gas filler, start/stop/ special , more expensive battery, VCM with a poor history, oil filter over a suspension member, transmission concerns for the 6-sp and an involved trans fluid change on the 9-sp, all of which are a bit of a pain to do. All this adds up to a lot of expensive maintenance especially if you don’t do it yourself.

Toyota (in my case Gen 2 Venza): hyd lifters, chain, electric water pump (accessible), no diff fluid, cap for fuel, conventional, easily accessed battery, no VCM, easy, simple oil change, 15 minute every 50-60K trans fluid complete change (only 3 qts for complete d&f) - as easy to change as the RL’s transfer case, time proven, trouble-free drivetrain, 120K service is 4 sparkplugs (facing the front).

Since I do all of my own work, lying on my garage floor, the differences are rather stark to me. If I had to pay for my work, It’d be even more stark!
On a side note when you mentioned Stihl, it reminded me of the gas cans for my chainsaw that had the “new & improved EPA regulated safety cap that doesn’t leak” what a farce that was, a major PITA to operate and use. I started looking for older gas cans that predated these onerous regs with simple to use no sweat operation that didn’t have you cursing like a salty sailor. Too many damn regulations by bureaucrats complicating and making simple things waay too expensive unnecessarily!!
rant over. 🙄
 

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2021 Venza XLE with upgraded seats and infotainment system
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Had it happen, Toyota replaced the lock assembly, in the process the tech damaged the fuel door sub assembly after I later learned water was coming in from the fuel door housing and pooling below the spare tire. When the fuel door fix was done I also had them fix the left rear smart door handle which would not unlock when grabbing the handle, in the process the tech damaged the handle so it wouldn't even open the door, so they had to order a new handle which meant another 1-2 week wait for that part (each time!) same dumb ass "tech" did all the "work"! :rolleyes: So the moral of the story is fix it yourself if you can.
That's truly disheartening! I don't expect much from the dealership mechanics but at least don't make things worse!

I do recall reading somewhere in this forum about how the fuel tank is very complicated. The context was, I believe, that you should not try to 'overfill' the tank (repeatedly pulling the gas nozzle lever after it cuts off to 'top off'). The reason being, if you inadvertently 'over-fill' the tank, you will contaminate some components that deal with the 'evaporation recovery' system. Apparently there's a whole mechanism in there to capture evaporation in the tank (near the filler 'neck') and drain it back into the tank. These measures are driven by the goal of higher gas mileage / less pollution, and it's scary how complicated some of these systems are - and how they make maintenance and repair that much more difficult.

Reading that stuff from the manual that I quoted above ... they are clearly 'doing something' (complicated) when you press that fuel door release button, if it can take up-to 10 seconds to release! Scary.

In your case, did it fail completely (wouldn't open under any circumstances)? Not a nice experience when you are trying to fill up in the middle of nowhere!
 

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2019 Avalon Limited, Advanced Safety Package, BlackVue DR-750 Dash Cam, Ceramic Pro Coating, XPel
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The small latch in the center of this picture (black piece) is usually the offending part on Toyota gas doors. I have to bend mine out to put more pressure on the door when I push the release, then it pops open enough to get the door open. This happens a couple of times a year.
Motor vehicle Automotive lighting Vehicle door Wood Bumper
 

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2021 Toyota Venza XLE
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I had this happened a few weeks to me. It did open after a few button clicks. when I observed the fuel door it seemed some water got in and froze around the black pin like thing on the door. Small amount. Maybe I will say something when I bring it in march.
 

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I mentioned that I was "in Northern California so not exactly freezing" ... it was around 50F or above at the time, and hasn't been below 40F for weeks.

I looked at it again today; it worked perfectly. The door 'pops out' just fine. There's a black device that provides the latching and releasing function, and I could see that it 'activated' when I pressed the dash button, so ... for now, a mystery. I will note that I don't drive much at the moment, so it may have been a few months since I last filled up!

This did get me reading the manual, though - there is a documented process for dealing with a stuck cap - page 466 describes how you can remove a panel from inside the trunk area to gain access to the 'backside' of the filler area.

View attachment 410451
Also, page 226 of the manual has this to say:
" The fuel tank of your vehicle has a special structure, which requires a reduction in fuel tank pressure before refueling. After the opener switch has been pressed, it will take several seconds until the vehicle is ready for refueling." and page 227 says
" 1 Press the opener switch to open the fuel filler door.
The fuel filler door will open within about 10 seconds of the switch being pressed. Before refueling is possible, a message will be shown on the multi-information display in the instrument cluster to indicate the progress of the fuel filler door opener."

I don't THINK my situation was related to the above, but it is interesting that it talks about an (up to) 10-second delay before the door will open! Nothing is simple on today's modern vehicles!
We had a saying in the dealer shops, "If you want to keep something a secret, put it in the owner's manual!" Now that you've found this, we'll have to kill you!
 

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The small latch in the center of this picture (black piece) is usually the offending part on Toyota gas doors. I have to bend mine out to put more pressure on the door when I push the release, then it pops open enough to get the door open. This happens a couple of times a year. View attachment 410524
I have a 2022 XLE Venza and the entire assembly is plastic, which includes the hinge and filler hole, except for the lid door itself which is metal. It use to be all metal on my other Toyota vehicles. The picture you are showing of your gas lid hinge looks like it is metal. I wonder it Toyota changed something going from the 2021 to 2022. Many complaints that I have seen posted seem to be about 2021's.
 

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Correct, it is metal on my 2019, plastic probably wouldn't bend, but then that might actually be the solution, if it were engineered correctly to provide consistent pressure over many years.

I have a 2022 XLE Venza and the entire assembly is plastic, which includes the hinge and filler hole, except for the lid door itself which is metal. It use to be all metal on my other Toyota vehicles. The picture you are showing of your gas lid hinge looks like it is metal. I wonder it Toyota changed something going from the 2021 to 2022. Many complaints that I have seen posted seem to be about 2021's.
 

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2021 Venza XLE with upgraded seats and infotainment system
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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
The small latch in the center of this picture (black piece) is usually the offending part on Toyota gas doors. I have to bend mine out to put more pressure on the door when I push the release, then it pops open enough to get the door open. This happens a couple of times a year. View attachment 410524
It's great that you posted such a detailed picture, but ... this is a post in the Venza area, and it would be helpful to note your picture is not taken on a Venza; presumably an Avalon, based on your profile info.

Here's a couple of shots from my VENZA:

Helmet Tire Hood Product Automotive tire


Hood Automotive tire Automotive lighting Automotive design Fender


There's no visible 'spring' anywhere. My best guess is, the spring mechanism is somewhere inside the latch recess to the right of the gas cap.
 

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Well it looks like Toyota has "fixed" the gas door not popping open problem, with the entirely newly engineered version on the Venza shown above. It almost looks like there would have to be some outward pressure on the door, probably at the hinge itself in order to have it pop open when it was released at the right side. Good luck with that mechanism!
 
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