OPENING A "STUCK" PRIUS GAS CAP DOOR - Toyota Prius Forum : Prius Online Toyota Forums
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post #1 of 3 (permalink) Old 10-27-2002, 09:01 AM Thread Starter
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If you should ever pull the lever to open the Prius gas cap door to fill the tank and it does not pop open, there is an easy solution to getting the door open. A second person is not needed to hold the lever while you "tease" the door open. Simply pull the driver's seat belt down from the door pillar and hook it over the gas door lever at the base of the seat. Pull on the seat belt allowing the excess length to retract. The seat belt will then hold the lever up. Any number of objects can be used to gently pry the door open (credit cards, paper clip, the pocket clip from a BIC pen, etc.).

Note that the hinges of the gas door have a lot of friction to movement due to the tight fit of the hinge around the wire pins and paint runs in the hinge joint. Use a light oil to lubricate the hinge and "exercise" the joint to keep it moving freely. This will minimize the amount of spring force required to pop the door open in the first place.
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post #2 of 3 (permalink) Old 10-27-2002, 09:52 AM
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A preventative squirt or two of WD-40 is all that's needed.

Then you won't ever need that seat-belt suggestion. Though I must admit, that's pretty creative.

When my gas door stuck, having someone hold the lever (you'll find lots of volunteers willing to see a hybrid up close) then pushing on the door popped it open. I didn't need to stick anything inside to pry it loose. Later I discovered the hinges had simply dried out from the winter's generous doses of sand & salt. So your suggestion of using a bit of oil is right on.
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post #3 of 3 (permalink) Old 10-31-2002, 10:41 PM
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I had the same problem with my 2001 Prius, and appear to still have the same problem. The spring they use for holding allowing the gas tank lid to open is underpowered. Every time I fill up I take a couple seconds and bend it out a little bit. John suggests installing a small spring. I'm sill looking for the right thing. So here is one tiny little thing they still haven't fixed.
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