created by john Cunningham in Diagnostic,Electrical,Electrical,Fuel,Locks & Latches,Maintenance,Troubleshooting

Cars sometimes hit girlfriend with troubles that just can’t be ignored. A jammed gas flap has happened to me much more than once, yet then ns drive classic cars, therefore you expect these species of challenges.

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Gas flaps have actually a mystery emergency release manage fitted in the trunk behind the cover. Pulling the release opens up the gas flap.

In this post, I’ll display you exactly how to locate and operate her emergency gas flap. I’ll explain the different types of systems and list their usual faults.


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Common Gas Flap Problems

Here we’ll look at at every of the equipment in a little more detail. Together the gas flap locking and releasing types vary so as well will the usual faults. If your automobile is much less than twenty years old, you’ll likely have actually an electrical motorized gas flap, it’s the most common type and the one we’ll look in ~ first.

Motorised Gas Flap common Problems

You already know the your automobile is run by various manage modules. You have actually probably heard of the ECM (Engine regulate Module) aka PCM, that manages the engine. The gas flap doesn’t have actually a specialized controller, instead, the will most likely be regulated by the body regulate module or the central electronic module or perhaps a main locking control module.


A locking gas flap is integrated into the locking system. Unlocking the car likewise unlocks the gas flap. If your passenger doors space unlocking without issue then your gas flap must too. If however, her passenger doors aren’t opening, the difficulty may lie v the main locking module and also not the gas flap itself.

Troubleshooting your difficulty should begin by collection as much info around the fault itself. For example, go this difficulty coincide with changing a level wheel, fitting any kind of accessories or bad weather events, etc?

Or did any type of other functions of the automobile fail in ~ the same time? part cars may lock the rear doors, trunk, and gas flap elevation of the prior doors. That kind of error would point to a module issue and not your gas flap.

This is the form of detective occupational that will help isolate the problem.

Common concerns include:

Flap lock bindingFaulty flap lock motorFaulty flap lock engine wiringFaulty regulate module

A binding flap lock is really common. If for example, resourceful thief do the efforts to force the flap open, the locking pin may bend and also fail to retract fully when unlocked.

Retracting the lock by hand remove the pin and straightening will resolve this issue. To test because that faulty flap lock motor, check for strength at the gas flap once you unlock the car, monitor these basic steps.

What you’ll need for this test:

A test light, or Voltmeter

Gain accessibility to the gas flap motor.Lock the stems latch (car no lock v latch open).

A analysis of 12v or a irradiate tells girlfriend the engine is acquiring power, and if it’s no binding, her motor has actually failed.


If you found no strength at the wiring, check out on. Test because that faulty flap lock wiring – If girlfriend don’t have any voltage, you may have actually a wiring or a module fault. Walk ahead and also check power and also ground independently.

Air operated Gas Flap

The air-operated main locking system including gas flap was typical during the ’80s and also 90’s cars. That operates by having an waiting pump normally in the stems or under the rear seat pump air v plastic pipes to the diaphragm actuator.


Pumping air come the activators unlocked the flap and also reversing the motor to create vacuum locked the flap. One activator through its own pipework was fitted come door locks, trunk, and gas flap lock. If your door locks aren’t locking/unlocking as normal, diagnose that problem before looking in ~ the gas flap lock.


Common difficulties with this kind of device include:

Binding flap lockDamaged air it is provided pipeDry rotted rubber air supply fittingFaulty actuator diaphragm

A binding flap lock is common. If for example, resourceful thief make the efforts to pressure the flap open, the locking pin may bend and fails come retract totally when unlocked. Retracting the lock by hand removed the pin and straightening will solve this issue.


Checking air it is provided pipes is easy, this device is basic to troubleshoot. If all other doors space locking and also unlocking climate it’s most most likely an problem with the air it is provided or the actuator.

Locate the flap assembly and check the pipework is in place.Lock the tribe latch (allows friend activate the central locking)Remove the pipe and check for air and also vacuum together you lock and also unlock the car.

No air suggests a damaged pipeline or connector additional up the line towards the pump. If, on the various other hand, you have actually air, the diaphragm actuator has failed, replacing will solve the problem.

The diaphragm actuator is a basic air-tight cylinder the moves a metal bar arm. You have the right to test it by blow air right into the port and also watching the rod lever move, applying a vacuum must retract it.

If it doesn’t work, you discovered your problem.

Cable operated Gas Flap

The cable-operated gas flap is the most basic of all to trouble solve. Typical problems include:

Binding flap lockBroken braided cableDetached braided cable

The troubles with this system really don’t need much explanation. Examine the following:

Cable linked at flap release control (drivers compartment).Cable linked at the flap lock assembly (trunk).Check if cable is broken.

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Related Questions

Pry open a gas tank door? Prying open up the gas tank door is no required. Instead use the emergency gas door release handle hidden in the trunk, behind the gas door assembly.