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Old 27th April 2022, 22:05   #1
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Default VW Polo DIY: Adding the OE emergency fuel flap release mechanism

Some of our members had faced issues with the fuel filler door on their Polo and Jetta getting jammed/locked. Quoting some of them from the Polo - Maintenance and Service cost thread:

Quote:
Originally Posted by bowser View Post
The fuel lid on my Polo isn't opening anymore! Any advice on how to open it? It's a push-to-open type but it's locked even after unlocking the doors. I tried to access the locking mechanism behind the lid from inside the boot but there doesn't seem to be any way to get access. My tank is empty and the car is practically running on fumes so taking it to the service center is out of the question.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Thad E Ginathom View Post
The fuel-cap cover lock jammed today. Got it open, really needed to fill fuel but... What should I do to stop it happening again? (Polo GT TDI 2014)
Quote:
Originally Posted by KkVaidya View Post
I also have this issue- have to keep locking and unlocking from the driver side button to make it work. Spraying some WD40 on the pin that revolves keeps it working for some months.
Quote:
Originally Posted by prateekchanana View Post
Happened with my 2014 1.5 TDi as well, I was not able to open it after trying everything I could, but luckily I refuel at 1/4 tank so was able to comfortable take car to the service centre next day. Happened during the 4th year and it was replaced under warranty. Thats the only part that failed for me during almost 7 years of ownership now.

You should get it checked and get it replaced as well because failing of such a part on a trip can be very troublesome.
Quote:
Originally Posted by manjubp View Post
I had a similar issue in my Jetta during 2018. The newly replaced one also had a similar issue, so I went back to the original one and applied WD-40. Now almost after 3 years, still it is working fine. Just keep applying wd-40 once in 4-6 months near the latch, to remove any dust entering.
Quote:
Originally Posted by LandCruiser View Post
My Vento (2012) fuel lid is stuck. This happened few times already but upon repeated pushing it opened. Today it is completely stuck and unable to fill fuel. Taking to service later.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Vik7OO View Post
I am in a similar situation. Thankfully for me after trying forcefully it opens up. But looking for a proper way to get this fixed.
Gents, I bring forth good news!

The lock actuator assembly on the fuel flap has an emergency release system built in but we were not aware of it. At least, I wasn’t until I got hold of a new actuator when the one on my GT failed recently. I tried spraying WD40 into that tiny hole on the actuator but it didn’t help and the actuator wouldn’t lock.

VW Polo DIY: Adding the OE emergency fuel flap release mechanism-fb6003b30dcc4367bf81befe9303c391.jpeg

I decided to get a replacement unit. It was retailing for Rs. 2600 from Boodmo (link). Part number for the unit used in the Polo/Vento is 6C0 810 773.

VW Polo DIY: Adding the OE emergency fuel flap release mechanism-img4687.jpg

Upon receiving the new actuator, I fiddled around with it a bit and noticed some attachment covered with rubber.

VW Polo DIY: Adding the OE emergency fuel flap release mechanism-actuator_lever.png

Further research in Google threw some leads. Turns out, this is the emergency release lever! A plastic cord must be attached to it which is led to the trunk that enables the user to pull the cord if the actuator or central locking fails, thereby manually unlocking the actuator. Thereafter, push the fuel lid and it would open. The plastic cord is missing in the Polo, Vento and Rapid sold here and quite possibly the Jetta too. It is however a standard safety feature in some of the Audis. Perhaps the Superb and Passat may have it - I am not sure of it; owners can check and confirm.

I downloaded the 2020 Audi Q7 manual from the web and this is what the manual says:

VW Polo DIY: Adding the OE emergency fuel flap release mechanism-audi-q7-extract.png

Some snaps of the cord in some of the Audis, from Google:

From behind the trunk liner:

VW Polo DIY: Adding the OE emergency fuel flap release mechanism-audi_1.jpg

VW Polo DIY: Adding the OE emergency fuel flap release mechanism-audi_1a.jpg

The other end connected to the actuator:

Name:  Audi_2.jpg
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The bad part is, I could not get the part number of the cord separately. I searched as much as I could but no leads. I ended up sourcing the cord and a spare non-OE actuator from a Chinese seller on eBay for 12 USD.

Link - eBay

This is the plastic cord:

VW Polo DIY: Adding the OE emergency fuel flap release mechanism-3feca2ff04324d7b8611d147a2cf5566.jpeg

Note - If the above link throws an error or if the item is discontinued by the seller, try searching on ebay.com for keywords like vw polo fuel filler actuator, polo fuel cap actuator etc. This should throw some results.

Parts required:
  1. Emergency release cord

Tools required:
  1. Torx T20 bit/screw driver

  2. Precision knife

  3. Clean cloth

Procedure:
  1. Open the fuel flap and remove the T20 Torx screw:

    VW Polo DIY: Adding the OE emergency fuel flap release mechanism-1.png

    VW Polo DIY: Adding the OE emergency fuel flap release mechanism-88429926ed9e4905984180ebb88a8399.jpeg

  2. Remove the fuel flap assembly by wiggling it out:

    VW Polo DIY: Adding the OE emergency fuel flap release mechanism-a6197f9297514932b0d84b21b9ead093.jpeg

    Replace the fuel filler pipe lid back to prevent dust ingress or fuel vaporising.

    VW Polo DIY: Adding the OE emergency fuel flap release mechanism-5a837189fba74bfda859d0e0979d4861.jpeg

  3. Pull out the the actuator assembly:

    VW Polo DIY: Adding the OE emergency fuel flap release mechanism-21506f9e353e4c1e9c658200535a24d0.jpeg

  4. Inside the boot, pull out the boot liner from the right:

    VW Polo DIY: Adding the OE emergency fuel flap release mechanism-img_8529.jpg

  5. Locate the 2-pin connector of the actuator harness and disconnect it:

    VW Polo DIY: Adding the OE emergency fuel flap release mechanism-2.png

    Please ignore the cables you see at the bottom of the snap above. Those are from the front parking sensors I have installed.

  6. The actuator harness has a rubber grommet which attaches to the body of the car. The grommet prevents dust ingress to the boot:

    VW Polo DIY: Adding the OE emergency fuel flap release mechanism-3.png

    Pull out the grommet and detach the actuator assembly:

    VW Polo DIY: Adding the OE emergency fuel flap release mechanism-51abc82a7c83484e8dbae1c7e06eec0b.jpeg

  7. To attach the cord to the actuator, you need to make a slit/incision in the grommet to route the cord from the boot:

    VW Polo DIY: Adding the OE emergency fuel flap release mechanism-49919b83ff0f4042993bdb5ff4990271.jpeg

    Use a precision knife to make a slit:

    VW Polo DIY: Adding the OE emergency fuel flap release mechanism-7a7af4ac821346b891a53a0a4265e663.jpeg

    The slit should be large enough to route the tip of cord. Don't make it very large as dust will start creeping into the boot!

  8. Route the cord through the slit:

    VW Polo DIY: Adding the OE emergency fuel flap release mechanism-88771e40efc9448dbd2658386bbb0284.jpeg

  9. Attach the cord to the actuator as shown:

    VW Polo DIY: Adding the OE emergency fuel flap release mechanism-576e3f3b2df7400899b8d5350b778215.jpeg

  10. Route the other end of the cord and the actuator's connector through the hole into the boot and secure the grommet to the body:

    VW Polo DIY: Adding the OE emergency fuel flap release mechanism-a5aad21a63564bc0bd9de681e562f0e2.jpeg

    Attaching the grommet to the body can be a bit tiresome as I had experienced.

  11. Secure the actuator to the body:

    VW Polo DIY: Adding the OE emergency fuel flap release mechanism-6b01e8e9cab941c986804d980345d36b.jpeg

  12. Replace the fuel filler assembly back:

    VW Polo DIY: Adding the OE emergency fuel flap release mechanism-23d03fe0c731414db2da4de6ec6df6f2.jpeg

  13. Replace the T20 Torx screw of the assembly:

    VW Polo DIY: Adding the OE emergency fuel flap release mechanism-887c1bc2fd4241f3bc0acb1460199eb6.jpeg

  14. Connect the actuator harness's 2 pin connector:

    VW Polo DIY: Adding the OE emergency fuel flap release mechanism-fa1b4ef5b37e48f9b0a483791e438550.jpeg

  15. Secure the other end of the cord inside the boot:

    VW Polo DIY: Adding the OE emergency fuel flap release mechanism-8d72cc56972b42b18e56917d786fded9.jpeg

  16. Test the emergency release mechanism to confirm the working.

Tested and it works beautifully! Takes about 15-20 minutes in all. Begs the question - why did VW choose to do away with this cord which would have cost like 10 Rs?

I have explained it in a video tutorial including the mechanism towards the end of it:



Trust this was useful. Thanks guys! Let me know if you have any queries.

Last edited by Gannu_1 : 17th May 2022 at 08:15.
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Old 17th May 2022, 08:28   #2
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Default Re: VW Polo DIY: Adding the OE emergency fuel flap release mechanism

Thread moved out from the Assembly Line. Thanks for sharing!
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Old 18th May 2022, 11:06   #3
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Default Re: VW Polo DIY: Adding the OE emergency fuel flap release mechanism

While not very exciting as DIYs go, this is a very very useful DIY for VW owners, especially with older cars which typically develop issues with the fuel flap. An emergency fuel flap release is one of those features that you don't know you needed until you do. It is a shame VW India deleted such a useful feature.

While your threads have always been informative and supported by a LOT of pictures, I really appreciate the introduction of a video tutorial in your recent threads. Thank you for taking the effort.

P.S. I have ordered the unit from the same eBay seller and am awaiting delivery.
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Old 18th May 2022, 11:09   #4
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Default Re: VW Polo DIY: Adding the OE emergency fuel flap release mechanism

That's an amazing and valuable piece of information. Thank you for the efforts made for the detailed tutorial.

I never thought that this too could happen in a Polo.
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Old 20th May 2022, 00:36   #5
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Default Re: VW Polo DIY: Adding the OE emergency fuel flap release mechanism

That is a very useful and much needed DIY for us VAG owners. VW has a weird way of surprising you when you least expect it.

For record, Tiguan doesn't have this either. I checked this after seeing the post here. Now I am on the lookout for the part number to order it through VW itself but it is turning out to be a futile exercise.

Checked with the VW service person who attends to my car and according to him even Passat doesn't have this so it might be difficult getting it OEM way.

Search is on, will update.

Many thanks Gannu for once again giving us such valuable info and apprising us of yet another hidden feature in our cars!
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Old 18th June 2022, 23:46   #6
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Default Re: VW Polo DIY: Adding the OE emergency fuel flap release mechanism

Thanks Gannu for detailed information. My polo fuel cap actuator also failed. I ordered the part in eBay as per the link provided by you. Awaiting for delivery.
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