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3-Series (E36) Chat relating to the BMW 3-Series from 1992-1999. Autodoodad Specific models include: BMW 316i, BMW 318i, BMW 318iS/ti, BMW 320, BMW 323, BMW 320, BMW 324, BMW 325, BMW 328.

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Old 06-05-2009, 06:00 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Exclamation Help Please, I Can NOT open my fuel filler door !

My car is a 97 318i w/149k miles.

Of all the stupid things.

I went out today and bought a can of seafoam and poured it into my fuel tank.

Yes, the tank is FULL and I had NO PROBLEM opening/closing the fuel filler door. Spilled a small amount down the side of the car, got a rag a cleaned up the mess.

Proceed to take it up/down the highway (for about 20 miles) blowing out the carbon build up.

The car REALLY perked up and life was good again. Until I got home. I decided to clean up the side of my car where I spilled the Seafoam earlier.

I go and "TRY" to open up the fuel filler door (as usual) and the SOB will NOT open! It has always opened up with no big deal. There is a small finger grasp place on the side of the fuel filler door. NO LOCKS (that I know of).

It seems as though there is a locking pin (like it needs unlocked from inside or something). My car has NO such lock that I am aware of.

I know I can open it if I force it (break the pin), but that wouldn't be wise.

Perhaps the Seafoam I spilled freed up a locking device I did not know about or WHAT ???
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Old 06-05-2009, 06:33 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Ensure that the car is not double-locked. WHen you lock your doors, the fuel door is also locked on all E36's. Try first to unlock all doors.

There should be a black plastic plug attached to a cord that you can pull from inside the trunk to manually unlock the fuel door. Should be on the right side -- just about where the fuel door is on the outside.

The pin on my E36 is broken, and it really isn't a big deal -- unless you are afraid a crazy ex will pour sugar in your tank.

Seafoam has nothing to do with this problem. It seems like a locking system malfunction.

Good luck.

Moved the thread to the E36 forum.
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Old 06-05-2009, 10:20 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Quote:
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Ensure that the car is not double-locked. WHen you lock your doors, the fuel door is also locked on all E36's. Try first to unlock all doors.

There should be a black plastic plug attached to a cord that you can pull from inside the trunk to manually unlock the fuel door. Should be on the right side -- just about where the fuel door is on the outside.
Thank you!

I've owned the car for about a year and NEVER knew that!
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Old 06-06-2009, 01:34 AM   #4 (permalink)
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So, did any of what I said help you get your fuel door open?
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Old 06-06-2009, 06:09 PM   #5 (permalink)
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So, did any of what I said help you get your fuel door open?
Sure did. Most appreciated!
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Old 02-13-2011, 09:55 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drz View Post
Ensure that the car is not double-locked. WHen you lock your doors, the fuel door is also locked on all E36's. Try first to unlock all doors.

There should be a black plastic plug attached to a cord that you can pull from inside the trunk to manually unlock the fuel door. Should be on the right side -- just about where the fuel door is on the outside.

The pin on my E36 is broken, and it really isn't a big deal -- unless you are afraid a crazy ex will pour sugar in your tank.

Seafoam has nothing to do with this problem. It seems like a locking system malfunction.

Good luck.

Moved the thread to the E36 forum.
hey thanks. i just bought a 318 and i was having the same problem
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Old 02-13-2011, 10:09 AM   #7 (permalink)
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hey glad the problem solved, but have a similar question now.

what is the difference between seafoam and Gumout?
i saw the guys on twoguysgarage recommend gumout, but do they do the same thing?
equal results?
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