Why won’t the VW fuel door open?

In this article, we will be addressing the “VW fuel door won’t open” problem. The fuel flap, not the opening problem, is real and can be extremely frustrating because if the fuel flap is stuck, you won’t be able to fill the fuel in the vehicle. In this article, we will explain a way to open the fuel flap of your VW if it’s stuck.

The fuel flap in VW works on a similar latch and striker concept, which is used in different vehicle systems such as the bonnet, trunk and doors. The fuel flap not opening an issue in a VW can arise for three reasons.

Why won’t the VW fuel door open?

The reasons why the fuel door doesn’t open are as follows:-

  • Broken fuel door release
  • Exterior damage near the door
  • Damaged fuel door hinge


Broken fuel door release

The VW has a release for the fuel door. Thus, for opening the fuel door, you need to pull the fuel flap lever, which is next to the driver’s seat. Therefore, the fuel flap opens once you lift the fuel release lever. However, if the release is broken, you won’t open the fuel flap.

Exterior damage near the door

Sometimes, due to a dent around the fuel flap, the locking mechanism of the fuel flap gets damaged. Therefore, due to this, the latch won’t work efficiently as it should work. Hence in such a situation, the fuel flap won’t open.

Damaged fuel door hinge

Like every other door on the vehicle, the fuel door also relies on the hinge responsible for its opening and closing. Thus, if the fuel door hinge gets stuck, or the pin or the bushings gets loose or stiff, the fuel door might not open.

Troubleshooting method for opening the fuel door on a VW

If the fuel door isn’t opening on your VW, the best alternative will replace the fuel door actuator. The replacement of the fuel door actuator will solve the problems concerned with the fuel door of your VW. Below are the steps for replacing the fuel door on your VW.

  • For replacing the fuel tank flap actuator, you will need some basic tools such as a screwdriver, ratchet and socket, plastic clip remover, etc. To arrange these tools. 
  • Once you arrange the tools, open the trunk of the VW by pulling the trunk release lever present inside the vehicle.
  • Once the trunk is open, check the side where the fuel flap is present. Generally, the fuel flap is on the co-driver side. Once you figure out the fuel flap, you need to pull the protective covering out on that wall.
  • The protective covering is held with the help of plastic pins, which can be easily removed by using a clip remover tool. Just pull the cloth out once the clips are removed from the protective cloth.
  • Once the protective cloth is removed, you will see the fuel door actuator. Now reach the fuel door actuator with your hand and pull the rod present to open it.
  • The fuel door actuator will be fitted on the vehicle with the help of two screws, and you need to remove these two screws with the help of a screwdriver. Moreover, a power cable will be attached to the fuel door actuator. You need to remove this cable from the fuel door actuator.
  • Once the cable and screws are removed, you need to pull the actuator out from the housing. Once the old actuator is out of the housing, place the new actuator in its place and tighten the screws and attach the cable to it.
  • The actuator is now installed, and you only need to test it now for operation.


In this article, we have explained the “VW fuel door won’t open”. To address the issue, we have explained a troubleshooting method. Moreover, we have also explained the various causes behind the faulty fuel flap in the VW.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs): VW fuel door won’t open 

What is a fuel door actuator?

The fuel door on some vehicles has a fuel door actuator or release. The fuel door actuator is responsible for opening and closing the fuel door. Thus in layman’s terms, the fuel door actuator is a key for opening the fuel door.

How do you open the gas tank on a 2019 VW Jetta?

The procedure is pretty simple to open the fuel tank on a VW Jetta. All you need to do is push down the fuel door and then rotate the knob present inside it. 

Where is the gas tank on the VW Jetta?

The gas tank on the VW Jetta is present on the rear side of the vehicle. The exact location of the tank is just behind the C-pillar of the vehicle.

What is the fuel door called?

The fuel door on a vehicle is also called the fuel filler. The upper part of the fuel door is called the fuel neck, while the lower part is called the fuel tube.


  1. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kuDCmKehCSc
  2. https://www.yourmechanic.com/estimates/volkswagen/jetta/fuel-door-won-t-open-inspection