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Thread: gas cap door

  1. #1
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    gas cap door

    I am unable to open the gas cap door with the floor button or the trunk release button.I hear it working but it does not pop up Any suggestions?

  2. #2
    Maybe have someone activate it while you hold down the cap lightly to see if you can feel it actually withdrawing, and look in the crack with a flash light to see if the catch is releasing?
    Andrew Macpherson

    Expert Z8 Inspections, with full support for both Z8 sale and purchases.

  3. #3
    On page 142 of the 2002/2003 Owner's manual, there is reference to a manual release as described below:
    "Pull the (green) knob with the fuel pump symbol on the right trim panel of the luggage compartment." The owner's manual has a picture as well.

    Hope that helps in the short term.

    Update: Just reread your post and that you've tried the trunk release knob.

    Keep us posted on the fix.
    My Best,

    Ed

    2002 Z8 Jet Black//Sport Red
    2012 SLS AMG Obsidian Black/Classic Red

  4. #4
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    gas cap door

    Thanks Andy and Ed I have tried all of that.

  5. #5
    Team Z8 jawz's Avatar
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    I had the same problem and ended up taking it to the dealership to fix. I could hear the solenoid working, but the door wouldn't open - even with the emergency release. I pulled that as much as I dared to but felt it would break if I pulled any harder.
    All that happened was the cable that releases the catch simply became disconnected. I don't know how or why, but it simply disconnected. I was expecting the worst - broken cable or something, but once they checked it out, all they had to do was reconnect the cable.
    I hope that helps and it's nothing more than that. You may be able to check it yourself if you're so inclined. If nothing else, maybe confirm it's only disconnected rather than broken.

  6. #6
    Z8 Ate My Homework! Norcal's Avatar
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    So, we think the manual release uses the same cable?

  7. #7
    Team Z8 jawz's Avatar
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    That's the way I take it and here's why: I could hear the actuator trip when the open fuel door button was pushed, but the door didn't open. This makes me think there may be a short cable linking the actuator to the door release, and that is the one that became disconnected.
    Since the emergency cable apparently goes only to the actuator as an overide (in case the actuator or electrical system fails), it still would not trip the door release if the short cable is disconnected.
    As I recall, I could feel the cable give slightly and heard the actuator rotate when I pulled the emergency cable (possibly tripping the actuator), but the door would still not release. If there is a disconnected cable between the actuator and the door release, the result would be the same whether using the button or the emergency cable release - the fuel door wouldn't open.
    This is the only thing that makes sense to me. I haven't seen a schematic but that's my best guess. Any other suggestions?

    My mental picture of this system:
    1) Emergency Cable TO 2)Actuator TO 3) Short cable TO 4) door release.

  8. #8
    Z8 Ate My Homework! Norcal's Avatar
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    Hope this never happens to me on an empty tank!

  9. #9
    Team Z8 jawz's Avatar
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    You're right, Ian. It isn't something you'd like to have to do at some gas station in the boonies while on a trip. The thing that bothered me is I don't know why (how) it could've become disconnected. I had only been driving in the city at the time. If you have to get in there, be prepared to remove all the trunk panels on the right half of your trunk to access the actuator/cable area.

    Maybe Dana and/or Matt can enlighten us on the linkage and best way to handle this should it happen at an inconvenient time. Well, let's face it...any time would be inconvenient.

  10. #10
    I wonder if there is a way to push the bolt back with a credit card, or some similar trick, in case of emergency.
    Andrew Macpherson

    Expert Z8 Inspections, with full support for both Z8 sale and purchases.

  11. #11
    Z8 Ate My Homework! Norcal's Avatar
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    That's what I was thinking... a mini slim-jim. We should all know how to do this.

  12. #12
    This type of a failure is one of those low frequency and high impact event. We've talked about a 10 years in service checklist, and the "assess the cable from the actuator to the gas cap door" may deserve consideration (or put a slim jim device in the trunk)...
    My Best,

    Ed

    2002 Z8 Jet Black//Sport Red
    2012 SLS AMG Obsidian Black/Classic Red

  13. #13
    Sport Button On - DSC Off Lisa's Avatar
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    you would hope it wasn't that easy to open the gas cap in this day of gas stealing - just sayin...

  14. #14
    Z8 Ate My Homework! Norcal's Avatar
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    Sure, stealing gas from a beautiful Z8 would draw no attention!

  15. #15
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    jawz was correct. the cable fell off because part of the plastic hold down broke. It was re attached with 3 zip ties now the force is transmitted down the cable as it should and the cap opens. I had to take off the tire and fender liner to get to it. Sorry I did not take pic. It should have been a non locking door by design. thanks for your help

  16. #16
    Z8 Novice Carpe Ziem's Avatar
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    Ha! Just happened to me. Worst case scenario. Running on fumes. Now I'm stuck at a gas station and can't get gas. Thanks for the thread guys. At least I know my only recourse is a tow truck because I'm not going to pull apart the Z at a gas station. Wish me luck!
    61744 Red///Red

  17. #17
    Team Z8 jawz's Avatar
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    Sorry to hear about that, Carpe. How did this turn out for you? Tow & fix at home?; Tow & fix at shop? Any pics of repair?

  18. #18
    Z8 Novice Carpe Ziem's Avatar
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    I thought about Tow to fix at home, but wasn't sure that I had enough gas to get from there to a station . Also felt better having BMW pull the trunk apart, so I towed to Calgary BMW. They fixed it the next day. No broken parts, just a stretched cable. Still $400 in labour (ouch ). No repair pics. Just a pic of 61744 on a flatbed (don't worry Tony, no scratches! ).
     
    61744 Red///Red

  19. #19
    Z8 Madness
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    She is such a beauty.
    62050 - Z8

  20. #20
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    It is one year since the last post on this issue. But add me to the list. I have exactly the same issue. Button activates the release but the gas cap will not open. Luckily I still have a half a tank of gas so I am heading over to BMW today to reattach the cable. I am lucky in having the problem detected before I was low on fuel. I had no problem last time I filled up. But I was having the car detailed by a high end detailer who also cleaned the engine compartment and was going to clean around the gas filler. He could not get the gas cap to open. I could have ended up with the same problem as reported here - having to have your car towed away from a gas station. Whew. Can't believe my luck on that timing.

    Jay in Southeast Florida
    Z8 #436
    License Plate: MYBMW Z8
    Eisenmann Mufflers
    Dinan Performance Software

  21. #21
    Z8 Novice Carpe Ziem's Avatar
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    Good save Jay! Never fun to see your Z strapped down to a flat bed!
    61744 Red///Red

  22. #22
    Team Z8 jawz's Avatar
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    It makes me wonder what causes this to happen. It never seems to be related to any activity or disruption of anything in that area of the car, i.e. maintenance, accident, etc. I guess the planets align just right when you last used the button to gas up and the cable came loose. Then it is only noticed the next time you need it to gas up. That's horrific because you're out of gas by then.
    Has anyone ever found a drawing of the cable/linkage construction or found an easy way to access the area to re-connect the cable... short of emptying the trunk and disassembling the right side trunk area?

  23. #23
    Z8Mania
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    It may make sense to never go below 1/4 full.... Ever since the 2003 east coast black out I make sure to have ~100 miles of range in any car because you never know if they wont be pumping and 100 miles gets me home almost all the time. Though with how I drive the Z8, 100 miles = 1/2 tank!

  24. #24
    Team Z8 jawz's Avatar
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    That's a really good idea Mania. A couple of months ago I was lucky enough to spend 2 hours at an off the wall station in the desert because they ran out of fuel in their pumps. They had to shut down their pumps until a fuel truck arrived. Thanks goodness it was on it's way by the time I got there. Unfortunately, I didn't want to chance going to the next nearest station about 25 miles away. Fortunately...I wasn't in the Z8. Whew!

  25. #25
    Z8Mania
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    No kidding! The blackout left my car detailer stranded at my house for a day. He lived far away and he always insisted that he could fill up his car whenever he wanted to. He had like 15 miles of range left in his car so he was stuck until they got the power back on. It wasn't fun! I always kept to 1/4 of a tank but now I try to go to 100 miles.

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by jmosk View Post
    It is one year since the last post on this issue. But add me to the list. I have exactly the same issue. Button activates the release but the gas cap will not open. Luckily I still have a half a tank of gas so I am heading over to BMW today to reattach the cable. I am lucky in having the problem detected before I was low on fuel. I had no problem last time I filled up. But I was having the car detailed by a high end detailer who also cleaned the engine compartment and was going to clean around the gas filler. He could not get the gas cap to open. I could have ended up with the same problem as reported here - having to have your car towed away from a gas station. Whew. Can't believe my luck on that timing.

    As others indicated, it was in fact that plastic connector between the gas cap door and the connector cable that broke. But because the car is put together like an origami puzzle, the only way to get to it to replace the connector is to remove the wheel and the panel housing in the wheel well. The part was less than $5. The labor was $400. At least I was lucky enough that I didn't have to add the cost of towing to the repair bill.

    Jay in Southeast Florida
    Z8 #436
    License Plate: MYBMW Z8
    Eisenmann Mufflers
    Dinan Performance Software

  27. #27
    Team Z8 tomfakes's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Z8Mania View Post
    I always kept to 1/4 of a tank but now I try to go to 100 miles.
    One thing people forget is that, if the power is out, it is likely that the traffic lights are out, and traffic is more stop/start through intersections. Unless you live outside of town, you'll use more gas to get to an open road, so its good to have more gas than you think you need for 100 miles.

  28. #28
    Z8Mania
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    That is a very good point Tom. The good news is with the Z8 I am 99% of the time I am not more than 30 miles away from home. But you never know thats for sure!

  29. #29
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    I got bit by this little gotcha today while on fumes and at the gas pump. Fun stuff.
    I managed to make it home and was contemplating the flat bed up to Peter Pan when I decided to drop the inner fender and have a go at it. At the very least, I could pop the cap, fill up, and drive there myself.

    Here are a couple of pics of the mechanism. The culprit is the the small standoff clip shown right next to the red cable end. It obviously cracks from age effects, thermal cycling, and repeated loading. Once broken, the cable has nothing to pull against.
    Kind of ridiculous IMO that we could be stranded by such a silly design that incorporates redundant actuation points but puts a *really* cheap part serially downstream of everything else. I can see my reliability engineers shaking their collective heads

    In any case, I didn't have the part so I epoxied the cable into the remaining section of the clip. Once I get down to half a tank, I'll go see Matt at PP and either order the part or have them fix it (Sounds like the former given the ~$400 price mentioned by others.). Maybe I'll have the guys at work machine one out of aluminum and upgrade
       
    -Jimmy C

  30. #30
    Z8Mania
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    Thank you Jimmy. That's great information. You're right of course, this should be more robust.

  31. #31
    Hopefully this is something that the Club will address, it should be easy to make a better part to keep these things adjoined.
    Andrew Macpherson

    Expert Z8 Inspections, with full support for both Z8 sale and purchases.

  32. #32
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    Better gas cap latch

    Quote Originally Posted by macfly View Post
    Hopefully this is something that the Club will address, it should be easy to make a better part to keep these things adjoined.
    Yes it is only a flimsy piece of plastic holding things together. And I am in the hot Florida sun (when the Z8 is not in the garage) and it was only a matter of time until it would fail. I was lucky that I didn't not have to add insult to injury and have to have the car flatbed just to have 25 cents worth of plastic replaced for $400. The problem with the better solution, for those of us who are not handy, its back to the dealer for another $400 installation of a part. But then again, many of us installed that bar between our structs before we had them flying through our hoods.

    Jay in Southeast Florida
    Z8 #436
    License Plate: MYBMW Z8
    Eisenmann Mufflers
    Dinan Performance Software

  33. #33
    Does anyone have the part number please for the white plastic gas cap door connector? My gas filler for just stopped working, same exact thing as others have experienced, and I am not sure my remaining fuel will allow me to reach the nearest BMW dealer. I was able to reach my garage in the country however. Far better to order the part and install it in the car's current location than trying to make it to BMW.

    Thank you in advance.

  34. #34
    Z8 Madness Z-acht's Avatar
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    Hi

    If you look to the diagram I think you mean part #23



    Par number of the Bowden cable is 51 25 8 242 674
    Ton
    1 of the 71 original Dutch sold cars (jetblack/red)

  35. #35

  36. #36
    Sport Button On canuckjc's Avatar
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    I can confirm that is the correct part number. I have an extra part in hand.
     
    -Jimmy C

  37. #37
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    Oh, no: BUFFY HAS FALLEN VICTIM TO THIS CONTAGION! Can anyone tell me what fun it is (or how complicated) to remove the inner fender cover (plastic, I assume)? Is it held in with, you know, threaded screws or those @#$$! plastic rivets? I don't mind spending a day tinkering under a Z8, providing that I can effect a fix, but I don't want to ruin the inner panel by ripping it off a few flimsy rivets. (Why, yes, yes I DO own a Z4!)

  38. #38
    Sport Button On canuckjc's Avatar
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    Hey Satch,

    It's not that bad at all. 1 to 10? Maybe 4. No more than an hour or two in and out (actual wrenching time). Bolts hold it together. Once you get it apart, you'll see which offending piece of plastic is to blame. In my case, it was the standoff clip. Hardest part was making sure to reassemble with the flap of the inner fender tucked into the correct spots. Make sure to start all bolts loose first before going on to final tightening.
    -Jimmy C

  39. #39
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    Thanks, Jimmy! I'm scheduled to show up with the car at an Oregon Chapter do at the end of August... I think I may have to go up a day early in order to do a bit o' wrenching! I know I said I was devoting the rest of my automotive life to the car and feeding of the Z8, but replacing a fuel-cap cable?! Absurd.

  40. #40
    Sport Button On - DSC Off Z8DinanS2's Avatar
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    Is there no simple work around to create a truly backup system? For decades Ferraris have just had a nice simple thin metal cable with a loop on it that is separate from the electric release. Too bad they weren't designed with Le Mans style fillers that need no actuation other than simple hand operation.

  41. #41
    Sport Button On - DSC Off Dogsbreath's Avatar
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    It is easy to remove the plastic liner. Not all the bolts are the same so you may want to take note of which goes where. Its also easy to misplace the metal reinforcing clips that are on some parts of the liner so watch for those

  42. #42
    Had my cable replaced (preventive maintenance) along with the Gas Cap as the umbilical cord had broken. $476 for parts and labor. Should be good for another 13 years and 96,000 miles.
    Skip Hammerman

    2002 BMW Z8 - Meisterschaft GT, PP installed, CDV delete
    2013 BMW X3
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  43. #43
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    Cable replacement: Success, at least in part.

    The good news: Following the advice of my fellow Forumites, I procured the $8.50 cable in advance and removed the fender liner without undue difficulty. However, it soon became apparent that replacing the entire cable assembly would involve considerably more effort; what about just replacing the retention clip (sure enough, it had fractured, as predicted)? The retention clip from the new cable slipped off the end, but could not be thus "threaded" onto the end of the old one; the cable housing was too close to being too large. So I lubed the side of the cable housing and gently pressed the clip into place... success! Then it was a simple matter to snap the clip into its hole after prying the old one out with diagonal cutters. We also twisted a figure-eight out of stainless safety wire around the clip and the cable; I don't know it this will help, but it makes me feel better.

    If I ever have access to this area again, I believe I will pull out the trunk-lining panel and engineer this thing properly. First, I will thread the mounting hole—it should be about 8 millimeters—or use a Nutsert. Then I will install a proper metal cable-holding clamp. If I can't find one at a bicycle shop, I will make one myself. I am a big believer in overkill...

    Hmm: a 6-mm Nutsert might just work in an 8-mm hole. That would let me reduce the scale of the clamp. I will start with two pieces of 1/8" aluminum stock, clamping them together and drilling a 3/6" (or whatever) hole through the clamped-together plane; now I have two pieces with a round groove in each. Putting them together again, I will drill a 6-mm hole through both pieces on one side of the groove; this is for the mounting screw. On the other end, I will drill a pilot hole through both pieces, then thread one side, then bore the remaining pilot hole to hold a screw the size of the threaded hole.

    And I will use aluminum fasteners, of course, to minimize corrosion, as I believe the original mounting hole is in the aluminum chassis, yes?

  44. #44
    I went to fill the gas tank yesterday to prepare for the upcoming trip to Monterey. You guessed it, instead of filling the tank I'm posting a reply today stating I too have now been hit by this broken clip problem. I hope Matt and Kenny at Peter Pan BMW can help me before the drive to meet up with the other Z8ers.
    My Best,

    Ed

    2002 Z8 Jet Black//Sport Red
    2012 SLS AMG Obsidian Black/Classic Red

  45. #45
    Z8 Ate My Homework! Norcal's Avatar
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    Bummer. You'll get it fixed by Monterey!

  46. #46
    Sport Button On - DSC Off Z8DinanS2's Avatar
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    I wonder how many Z8s have had this problem notwithstanding the typically low usage these cars get.

  47. #47
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    I feel your pain. I am currently driving Nancy Drew (you know, the blue roadster) across the country, and for fear of being stranded while I wait for an eight-dollar cable (it comes complete with the stupid clip that breaks), I am using a strip of blue masking tape; I installed it at the first gas stop to hold the flap mostly closed, but not latched. (I don't know why this program flipped the image below.) Of course, at the second gas stop I absent-mindedly closed and latched the flap! But since then I have been more attentive. Closer to home, of course, it's a non-issue.

    I recommend something like this for long-distance travel, but I am also working on:

    1. A proper clamp to replace the stupik nylon clip, and

    2. A tiny Slim Jim. I have to figure out how to get it past the anti-Slim Jim feature by coming in from the side of the latch and then down. When I create one that actually works, I will share. You might experiment with this yourself with an old credit card or some other thin, flexible plastic.
     

  48. #48
    Sport Button On - DSC Off Z8DinanS2's Avatar
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    Tape and chewing gum

    Quote Originally Posted by Satch View Post
    I feel your pain. I am currently driving Nancy Drew (you know, the blue roadster) across the country, and for fear of being stranded while I wait for an eight-dollar cable (it comes complete with the stupid clip that breaks), I am using a strip of blue masking tape; I installed it at the first gas stop to hold the flap mostly closed, but not latched. (I don't know why this program flipped the image below.) Of course, at the second gas stop I absent-mindedly closed and latched the flap! But since then I have been more attentive. Closer to home, of course, it's a non-issue.

    I recommend something like this for long-distance travel, but I am also working on:

    1. A proper clamp to replace the stupik nylon clip, and

    2. A tiny Slim Jim. I have to figure out how to get it past the anti-Slim Jim feature by coming in from the side of the latch and then down. When I create one that actually works, I will share. You might experiment with this yourself with an old credit card or some other thin, flexible plastic.
    Wow! You would think BMW would have created a fix for this known problem. To have to showcase the Z8 like that on a cross country drive....with the car appearing to be held together with tape....speaks volumes of BMW's care for its integrity and reputation IMO. I'm starting to fully understand why the Creator of this forum sold his Z8

  49. #49
    Locally in the SF Bay Area Z8 support remains strong with former Z8 owner canuckjc offering to help me recreate his repairs described above and with Peter Pan BMW contacting me today for an appointment on Tuesday morning. I'll drop the car off tomorrow with Peter Pan and catch up with canuckjc over beers after Monterey. Apparently there are five other Z8s at Peter Pan this week waiting for the arrival of their owners for the upcoming Monterey Car week.
    My Best,

    Ed

    2002 Z8 Jet Black//Sport Red
    2012 SLS AMG Obsidian Black/Classic Red

  50. #50
    Team Z8 tomfakes's Avatar
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    Mine arrived at Peter Pan today and Matt and his crew are fixing some things before next week.

  51. #51
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    EUREKA! THE GAS-FLAP SOLUTION!

    Okay, listen up! On my five-day run across This Great Land Of Hours, I had time to think about the clever Slim Jim I was going to carve out of thin plastic. But when I finally got home with Nancy Drew, I took a thin, flexible plastic spatula that I use for delicate trim removal and idly slipped it under the flap... AND IT RELEASED THE CATCH! Presto! Amazon calls it a Kuhn Rikon 27575 Icing Spatula, 7-Inch, Red

    I think you could use any thin, flexible plasic, really...
    I use

    Kuhn Rikon 27575 Icing Spatula, 7-Inch, RedKuhn Rikon 27575 Icing Spatula, 7-Inch, Red