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BMW 3-Series (E90 E92) Forum > BMW E90/E92/E93 3-series General Forums > General E90 Sedan / E91 Wagon / E92 Coupe / E93 Cabrio > does anyone know the logic behind the fuel filler door?



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      09-04-2018, 10:04 AM   #1
John 070
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does anyone know the logic behind the fuel filler door?

Since I get my gas at full service (NJ), I've wondered. I roll into a station, put my window down and hand over a credit card, attendant opens door, fills my tank.

How does the door know to be unlocked? My side doors are still locked. I am 100% sure that if I lock my car and walk away, the fuel door is locked.

Enquiring minds want to know!
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      09-04-2018, 10:27 AM   #2
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Maybe the fuel door is only locked if you lock the car from the remote or comfort access, and is unlocked when the car is driving.
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      09-04-2018, 10:28 AM   #3
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Yeah it shouldn't open with the mechanism if doors lock.

But something funny I noticed, the mechanism that locks the door... well there isn't. When the door are lock, the mechanism just won't allow itself to extend so you can easily open the fuel door.

For example, if you lock the fuel door and use a credit card for example to lift the fuel door, it will work without any struggle because nothing is holding it down.
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      09-04-2018, 10:32 AM   #4
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That sounds broken. Since my first BMW from the 80s a little pin extends into the fuel door making it not open. It should take far more than a credit card to override from the outside.

I don’t use the auto locks so never tested if there is a different behavior, would make sense though.
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      09-04-2018, 10:33 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheMidnightNarwhal View Post
Yeah it shouldn't open with the mechanism if doors lock.

But something funny I noticed, the mechanism that locks the door... well there isn't. When the door are lock, the mechanism just won't allow itself to extend so you can easily open the fuel door.

For example, if you lock the fuel door and use a credit card for example to lift the fuel door, it will work without any struggle because nothing is holding it down.
Wrong. There is a pin that locks it. If it doesn't, yours is broken.
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      09-04-2018, 10:40 AM   #6
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Could it be something like, once the vehicle is started, the door is unlocked, and will not relock, until the vehicle is consciously locked i.e. with fob or door handle?

In other words, when pulling into a station, without unlocking the doors, the fuel door is ready to be opened. I would not know that if I only did self service...
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      09-04-2018, 10:42 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by datbimmer View Post
Wrong. There is a pin that locks it. If it doesn't, yours is broken.
Oh wow really?

is it a huge part to fix that or?
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      09-04-2018, 10:45 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ryan stewart View Post
That sounds broken. Since my first BMW from the 80s a little pin extends into the fuel door making it not open. It should take far more than a credit card to override from the outside.

I don’t use the auto locks so never tested if there is a different behavior, would make sense though.

Agreed.

OP, I would simply check to see if the fuel filler door is locked when your vehicle is in the same lock state as it is when you roll up to the gas station. I know you said you're 100% sure, but are you 110% sure!?

These cars are smart, but not THAT smart!

I'd just do a little experimenting and see when the lock pin extends, retracts, etc... Let us know what you find!
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      09-04-2018, 10:49 AM   #9
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Interesting question. What I do know about BMWs with locking fuel doors (I have 2 as such) is if you lock the car after you've opened the fuel door, it will not close and lock unless the car is unlocked. So in NJ, I'm assuming you turn off the engine while refueling. Do you unbuckle your seat belt? There is no occupancy sensor in the driver's seat, so maybe the logic is tied to the seatbelt position.

And John, I just have to say IT TOOK A WHILE FOR YOU TO FIGURE OUT THERE'S A QUESTION HERE...
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      09-04-2018, 11:33 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Efthreeoh View Post
...if you lock the car after you've opened the fuel door, it will not close and lock unless the car is unlocked...
I think I'm understanding this, but I am only one shitty cup of coffee deep, so help me clarify:

1. Car / fuel door unlocked
2. Fuel door opened
3. Car locked while fuel door still in open position
4. Fuel door then closed (with no other changes to locking/unlock state of car)

= Fuel door does not lock (and will not lock) until next unlock/lock cycle?

I'd assume this is so that you can still close it without locking pin obstructing it, but I can't say I've ever noticed this!

Cheers
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      09-04-2018, 11:43 AM   #11
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I wonder if the logic is tied to the same logic on the auto lighting. That is, there is some smarts as to know when the doors are locked while the driver has not left the car, versus getting out and locking the car.
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      09-04-2018, 11:44 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheMidnightNarwhal View Post
Oh wow really?

is it a huge part to fix that or?
It's a little piece of plastic. You can break it if you push on the fuel door hard enough. If you find a used actuator, you can remove the plastic piece separately.
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      09-04-2018, 11:49 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Welcome to NBA Jam View Post
It's a little piece of plastic. You can break it if you push on the fuel door hard enough. If you find a used actuator, you can remove the plastic piece separately.
Yeah just found out the part is 60$ LOL.

I might JB weld something onto it to extend it I guess.
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      09-04-2018, 12:12 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by e90yyc View Post
I think I'm understanding this, but I am only one shitty cup of coffee deep, so help me clarify:

1. Car / fuel door unlocked
2. Fuel door opened
3. Car locked while fuel door still in open position
4. Fuel door then closed (with no other changes to locking/unlock state of car)

= Fuel door does not lock (and will not lock) until next unlock/lock cycle?

I'd assume this is so that you can still close it without locking pin obstructing it, but I can't say I've ever noticed this!

Cheers
if you lock the car while the fuel door is open you can't close it unless you break it.
which is probably what happened to OPs car at a NJ filling station by an attendant, because not being able to pump your own gas is stupid, and gas station attendants don't GAF about your car.
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      09-04-2018, 12:53 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheMidnightNarwhal View Post
Yeah just found out the part is 60$ LOL.

I might JB weld something onto it to extend it I guess.
Check a junkyard for a wrecked E90. You can get to the actuator really easily and just remove the plastic extender thing. They might not even charge you for it.
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      09-04-2018, 01:02 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Welcome to NBA Jam View Post
Check a junkyard for a wrecked E90. You can get to the actuator really easily and just remove the plastic extender thing. They might not even charge you for it.
Yeah I looked around me but E90 BMWs seem rare here to be in a junkyard.

All I can find is 2005 and before BMWs.
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      09-04-2018, 01:32 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by e90yyc View Post
I think I'm understanding this, but I am only one shitty cup of coffee deep, so help me clarify:

1. Car / fuel door unlocked
2. Fuel door opened
3. Car locked while fuel door still in open position
4. Fuel door then closed (with no other changes to locking/unlock state of car)

= Fuel door does not lock (and will not lock) until next unlock/lock cycle?

I'd assume this is so that you can still close it without locking pin obstructing it, but I can't say I've ever noticed this!

Cheers
Not totally correct...

If you lock the car from the outside using the key fob and the fuel door is opened BEFORE the car is locked, the fuel door can not be fully closed until such time the car is unlocked. In other words, with the fuel door open, when the car is locked, the locking pin extends when the door locks are activated, and blocks the fuel door from completely closing. The fuel door will just rest ajar against the locking pin.

For example, this happens when you gas up the car, insert the fuel nozzle into the tank filler neck, start the pump, lock the car to go into the store to take a piss and buy a six-pack of beer. When you return to your now-completed fuel fill, return the fuel nozzle to the pump and try to close the fuel door, and you forgot to unlock the car when you returned to it...
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      09-04-2018, 01:57 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheMidnightNarwhal View Post
Yeah it shouldn't open with the mechanism if doors lock.

But something funny I noticed, the mechanism that locks the door... well there isn't. When the door are lock, the mechanism just won't allow itself to extend so you can easily open the fuel door.

For example, if you lock the fuel door and use a credit card for example to lift the fuel door, it will work without any struggle because nothing is holding it down.
Uhm if the driver is turning the engine off (to fill up the tank as everyone should do) while the key is still in the ignition (or in his pocket for comfort access) then the gas door unlocks even if the driver and/or passenger doors remained locked.

I'm not sure if this is a coded feature because on my car I coded the drivers door to unlock when engine is off but other doors to remained locked until I take the key out.


I didn't read the entire thread to see what tests were done BUT if anything would be broken then you would see the driver lock the car from outside , walk away, only to comeback 5 minutes later to find he could unlock the fuel door while the car is still locked.
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      09-04-2018, 03:31 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Efthreeoh View Post
Not totally correct...

If you lock the car from the outside using the key fob and the fuel door is opened BEFORE the car is locked, the fuel door can not be fully closed until such time the car is unlocked. In other words, with the fuel door open, when the car is locked, the locking pin extends when the door locks are activated, and blocks the fuel door from completely closing. The fuel door will just rest ajar against the locking pin.

For example, this happens when you gas up the car, insert the fuel nozzle into the tank filler neck, start the pump, lock the car to go into the store to take a piss and buy a six-pack of beer. When you return to your now-completed fuel fill, return the fuel nozzle to the pump and try to close the fuel door, and you forgot to unlock the car when you returned to it...
Okay thanks -- this makes a lot more sense... This is my second BMW and while my first was much newer, it certainly didn't have any sensor to tell it whether the fuel filler door was open or closed, so I was surprised to think (however momentarily) that our beloved E90's had some way of knowing in order to avoid the very situation you describe (unable to close fuel door on account of locking pin being in the way).

Agreed with nsjames as well re: pumping own gas. Stupid laws. Pumping gas is the lord's work; I prefer to do it myself.
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      09-04-2018, 03:46 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by delmarco View Post
Uhm if the driver is turning the engine off (to fill up the tank as everyone should do) while the key is still in the ignition (or in his pocket for comfort access) then the gas door unlocks even if the driver and/or passenger doors remained locked.

I'm not sure if this is a coded feature because on my car I coded the drivers door to unlock when engine is off but other doors to remained locked until I take the key out.


I didn't read the entire thread to see what tests were done BUT if anything would be broken then you would see the driver lock the car from outside , walk away, only to comeback 5 minutes later to find he could unlock the fuel door while the car is still locked.
What no one has mentioned is, BMW N.A. is headquartered in New Jersey, I doubt the company is deft to the point where it would make refueling of HQ cars difficult in their home State.
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      09-04-2018, 04:47 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by delmarco View Post
Uhm if the driver is turning the engine off (to fill up the tank as everyone should do) while the key is still in the ignition (or in his pocket for comfort access) then the gas door unlocks even if the driver and/or passenger doors remained locked.

I'm not sure if this is a coded feature because on my car I coded the drivers door to unlock when engine is off but other doors to remained locked until I take the key out.


I didn't read the entire thread to see what tests were done BUT if anything would be broken then you would see the driver lock the car from outside , walk away, only to comeback 5 minutes later to find he could unlock the fuel door while the car is still locked.
Lmao yeah just tried it. My pin ain't broke. The other day when I tried it I think I had unlock the car then tried to open with the the credit card hahaha.
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      09-04-2018, 05:29 PM   #22
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I just experimented. I had a friend in the car. Tried all ways to lock the car, even with the valet setting both ways. The logic is simple; the car does not lock the fuel door with the inside central lock button. The fuel door only locks via the key fob or metal key.

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