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Ted G.
Ted G., ASE Certified Technician
Category: VW
Satisfied Customers: 6152
Experience:  20 years auto repair experience, ASE Master Tech, Mechanical Failure consultant, Expert Witness
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I'm trying to take the trunk panel apart to get to the fuel

Customer Question

I'm trying to take the trunk panel apart to get to the fuel cap (supposedly there is an emergency release behind the panel) my switch inside the car no longer works and I am out of gas. 2005 Volkswagen passat TDI
JA: Thanks. Can you give me any more details about your issue?
Customer: The inside release for the fuel cap no longer works. The release for the trunk works fine. Can't put gas in the car and every forum i read says take the panel off to manually open the gas lid but I can't get the panel off.
JA: OK got it. Last thing — VW Mechanics generally expect a deposit of about $18 to help with your type of question (you only pay if satisfied). Now I'm going to take you to a page to place a secure deposit with JustAnswer. Don't worry, this chat is saved. After that, we will finish helping you.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: VW
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I have looked through the manual and there is no mention of an emergency fuel cap opening. Can't believe there is no big yellow chord to pull to open the cap. I have the panel half off and there doesn't appear to be anything near the back of the gas cap except for the fuel tank. I don't want to pull too hard as there are 9V electrical outlets that have power to them and I don't want to rip the cables off.
Expert:  Ted G. replied 1 year ago.

Are you removing the panel in the trunk? Or inside the vehicle?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
It is a wagon so I am trying to remove the back right hand side panel where the fuel cap is. It really isn't working too well.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
This is the inside of the truck not the outside of the car.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I lifted up the carpet and took 2 plastic type screws out using a star shape screwdriver and then hand losening them but it didn't seem to do much. I then pulled on the panel (I removed the back piece that normally comes out first). I guess inside this may be a battery or something on some models but there was nothing in mine. I then tried to yank the panel off but got scared as there are 2 9V electrical terminals and I didn't want to pull out any wires. I watched some videos on taking off the door to get to the switch on the door but again too many wires. I just need gas to get to a repair shop.
Expert:  Ted G. replied 1 year ago.

Okay, you are looking for a small actuator up near the wheel well. I have attached a picture of the rod and actuator. You may be able to feel it if you can't pull the panel all the way off.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
What do I do with it when I see it?
Expert:  Ted G. replied 1 year ago.

Pull the little rod toward the rear of the vehicle.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I'll go to the garage and see if I can see it.
Expert:  Ted G. replied 1 year ago.

I'll wait on here for you.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I can't see anything like that but I can see the wheel well. I tried to stick my hand in but there are just too many wires. I will have to call CAA in the morning and get it towed to a garage.
Expert:  Ted G. replied 1 year ago.

You need to sort of aim your hand toward the gas door, the actuator and rod are in line with the center of the door when viewed top to bottom.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I can't seem to get that close to it so I am guessing I need to take more of the panel off. (even reaching my arm in as far as I can I am still not even to the gas cap). I am going to sleep on it as I am a little frustrated right now and better light in the morning. Thanks for your help though! I will let you know if I have better luck in the morning. Still can't believe they don't build in manual chords to open it in an emergency!
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I can't get my hand past the wheel well. Somehow I need to get more of the panel off. The thing in the way is the black plastic holder that looks like it holds a battery or something and I can't see how to screw it off. I'll let the mechanics do it at this point. Good night!
Expert:  Ted G. replied 1 year ago.

Sorry we couldn't be more help.