Fuel Filler Cap - A Cautionary Tale!

This tip comes courtesy of David Griffiths who was unfortunate enough to have to cope with the problem described.

He had had a very nice re-spray and was re-building the car. He got to the point when he wanted to put fuel in and run the engine. That's when disaster struck: although the key turned in the fuel flap lock, nothing happened. Try as he might, Dave could not get the catch to release, so without the fuel top-up his car was going nowhere.

He ended up getting a locksmith to drill the lock and managed to force the flap open, damaging his nice new paint job in the process. With the flap open he could see the problem. The connecting parts between the lock cylinder and the tongue of the catch had disintegrated with metal fatigue, so no amount of key turning was ever going to operate the catch. Now he has trashed his hard-to-replace lock cylinder mechanism and the catch hasĀ  trashed itself.

The fundamental lesson in all this is that if you are going to lay up your car for more than a short time, leave the fuel flap open, because if you can't refuel it, your car is a very large paper-weight. For safety, make a temporary stopper for the fuel filler pipe to prevent escape of fuel vapour. It's probably a good idea to keep the filler cap catch mechanism lubricated, though don't put oil in the lock. Use graphite powder. It doesn't attract and hold dirt.

You have no rights to post comments