Fuel Cap for 1999 Toyota



I am unable to open the fuel cap on my 1999 Toyota Camry. Does any know if the cap is pushed open by a spring?


I should have said the door that houses the fuel cap won’t open and not the fuel cap itself.


Your question prompted me to go out in the carport and investigate my 2000 Camry (I’ve had a long-term lurking fear about what would happen if the release cable broke). I’m guessing that my findings will apply to your 1999.

The door does have a little leaf spring at the hinge end. If that spring is broken, you could probably slip a thin tool in around the door to pop the door open – while somebody else pulls the release lever! (Had a similar problem with '94 Taurus, but that car has a back-up puller for the release cable in the trunk, so one person could do the job.) If this is the problem, and the spring looks OK, try just lubricating the hinge. (That was the problem on the Taurus.)

If, however, the problem is that the cable will not release the door, then you will NOT be able to slip a tool in to push the latch open (unless you are Benny the Burglar and know tricks beyond my ken). Go into the trunk and pull back the lining carpet by the fuel filler (I had to unscrew the hook for the cargo net). You can peer in and see where the cable goes into the fuel filler hatch. There is a plastic fitting on the end of the cable, holding the cable into the hatch. Reach in and give the fitting 1/4 turn counter-clockwise. You can then easily pull it back, bringing the latch end with it and freeing the hatch door to open. To reinstall, you have to hold the mating bushing in the access comparment in place while you insert the fitting and turn clockwise.

That gives you a way to get to the fuel filler. Not at all convenient, but it will do until you can get the cable replaced.

Please post back with your results, especially if it turns out that you have to replace the cable.


Very good answer Art. You’re spot on. I’ve had Toyotas fail like that before.


Thanks for taking the time to respond to my question. Your comments were very useful. The cable is still functioning OK. I am guessing that it is the spring that is broken. I will keep you posted.


MG – do you mean the spring failed, or do you mean the cable failed? As I recall from my investigation this afternoon, repair of either one looks like a job for a body shop.


If it’s the spring, you don’t need a shop. I had this on my '98 Camry. The leaf spring was broken. My dealer sold me one for less than $5. Less than a minute for a do it yourself repair. This was not unusual for Camry’s of that vintage.


I peeked at the spring on the 2000 Camry when I was fueling today. Indeed, it looks like the spring is easy to replace.