When it comes to advanced safety features and protocols, each vehicle is mandated to have a gas door that will keep the internal gas tank secure. Not only does this ensure that the vehicle cannot leak gas from the door, but it prevents criminals from siphoning the gas inside your vehicle. With rising gas prices, there is no doubt that people would take this chance.
However, some reports have surfaced of the gas door not working and many BMW owners have had situations where the gas door does not open. This can be highly frustrating when you need to refill the tank of your vehicle.
How Does The Gas Door Work On A BMW?
No matter which vehicle you drive, modern designs force car manufacturers to make it impossible to open the gas door from the outside. Years back, you might have been able to use a key, with a lock if you need to open the fuel door. However, these locks are not secure and can easily be picked, which has made it important to change the way we do it.
Nowadays, almost all vehicles will have a lock on the outside that cannot be opened and you will need to use the pull handle located on the inside of the vehicle. The pull handle is often located underneath the seat on the driver’s side of the vehicle. When you pour gas, you will need to pull this handle to open the door. However, it is not as reliable as you might think.
Why The BMW Gas Door Often Fails?
There are a few reasons for the gas door not to open properly and you will need to make sure that you can deal with this issue. To help you make sure that it does not happen to you, I have identified some of the main reasons for the gas door to fail. Here are some of the possible reasons that your gas door handle could be stuck:
1. Corroded Power Wires
As you can expect, there is some form of mechanism that links the pull handle to the lock. Once you pull the handle, you will find that the door springs open. Unfortunately, the wires, which lead to the pull handle can be corroded after some time. This means that the handle does not send the signals to the lock, which makes it hard or impossible to open.
2. Faulty Actuator
The faulty actuator is another major cause of the wires not working fully. While this is something you cannot always control, you will need to have it checked out. The actuator does not simply fail and will be due to negligence on the part of the driver. Ideally, you would want to make sure that the actuator is in perfect working order, which is done by regular maintenance.
3. Debris Stuck
You might not think that debris can get in there, but have you ever seen what happens when sand and water combine? The fine sand particles and water can still enter through some of the crevices in the door, which makes it hard to keep the area clean. Once the sand gets through and it mixes with the water, you could have some mud stuck in the fuel area.
4. The locking Mechanism Is Damaged
Inside the fuel door, you have an automatic locking mechanism, which springs into place when you close the door. Unfortunately, this locking mechanism is not impervious to damage and when someone slams the door closed, it can often damage the internal mechanism severely. Once the mechanism is bent, you can have a hard time trying to fix it and this will often lock it in place.
Additionally, you might see that the locking mechanism is not working, which is done by closing the door. You should not have to force the door to close, which could mean that some of the internal components are either damaged or bent.
If your BMW fuel door has a locking mechanism problem, check the below video!
5. Electrical Issues
Since many of these doors now work by electrical means, you could be dealing with an internal electrical issue. Yes, I have already mentioned the fact that the wiring could be damaged. However, you could also be dealing with things like electronics shutting down.
You might see that the electronics shut down when your battery is about to die. You must focus on the battery of your vehicle and make sure that it is in working condition. Try not to ignore any possible issues.
How To Open The Gas Door When It Does Not Work?
As I mentioned, there is more than one way to skin a cat and you can often use the manual method for opening the gas door. This involves pulling a lever, which is located near the driver’s side of the car. Here is a simple guide on how you can go about opening the door when the electronic method does not work:
- Locate The Pull Handle: You will need to look down near the driver’s side of the vehicle to find a unique and green pull handle. The handle might even have the symbols of the fuel pump located on it.
- Pull The Handle: The next step would be for you to pull the handle, which should manually open the gas door.
- Check For Damages: Now that you have it open, you could check the lock mechanism to see if any obstructions prevent it from opening. If there are, the lock would also not close when you close the gas door.
- Take Your Car To The Dealership: Once you have checked the lock and you see there are no damages, you can close it back up. Once you close it, try to open it electronically. If the problem continues to persist, you should take your vehicle to the dealership.
Most fuel door issues are often due to the user and you will rarely see these as being part of a fault from the manufacturer. It is best that you consider some of the areas you have been driving through and what you can do about the possible issue. The manufacturer should be able to determine the root cause of the possible issue.
Is The BMW Gas Door Not Opening Problem Common?
Having owned a few BMW vehicles during my time, I have rarely come across the fuel door not opening correctly. Unfortunately, the problem is due to the driver or when someone has tampered with the vehicle. Keep in mind that due to the electronic nature of many vehicles, it could also be some internal electronic problem.
In my experience with BMW vehicles, I have only seen this happen once, but have read about it from many people. Generally, the mechanic at the dealership would do a thorough inspection of the vehicle, which would give you a clue about the origin of the problem.
To put it simply, you should never have to rely on the emergency handle unless it is necessary. Make sure you have a mechanic check out the vehicle, as you could be dealing with a different issue that is far more severe.