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Gas cap release on Subaru Forester — a problem?

Gas cap release is recessed into the floor of the drivers side, under the drivers’s feet. I have a new Forester and I can’t see how this will last the winter with melting snow, salt, mud accumulating in the cavity. Anyone have experience in this area? Am I being alarmist? But that is the world worst location for any machinery.

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Of all the Subaru problem posts we’ve gotten, I don’t remember one about the door release.

Gas cap release is in the same location in my wife’s 2006 Sienna minivan. Other than a few crumbs here and there, no issues after 8 years.

Ed B.

I have a new Forester as well, I see what @BillRussell means. It’s right next to the driver’s side floor mat where you would most likely swing your legs in on entry. Just cleaned out mine a little and took the all weather mat out for a little cleaning. Not sure how you’d cover that spot.

They’ve been like that for years. You can check the Subaru threads, I don’t remember folks having problems.

From what I’ve been able to find on the Husky mats cover the fuel door lever and would help keep all the gunk out of there. There have been complaints in areas with heavier snowfall/extreme cold that the water gets in there and freezes so you have to heat up the interior before you can use the lever. $184.95 for a front/rear set The Factory all weather mats leave that area exposed.

wolyrobb: I have a new set of WeatherTech mats so your solution is out. They leave the release lever exposed. I’m thinking of a plastic cover… but that would not be waterproof.


Sounds like a job for Gorilla Tape:

Do the weather tech mats allow water to drain into that area? I would have thought they wouldn’t.

@BillRussell The Husky mats were the ones specifically mentioned to cover that spot,Both offerings from weathertech leave the lever exposed. I have the Subaru all weather mats on mine for now. It’s not the water/dirt coming from the mats but from your shoes when you enter the vehicle. Just bought a $3 door mat at Home Depot that I’ve used to make a small patch to cover where the lever is. Not totally waterproof but should protect from what’s on the bottom of my shoes.

From the installation instructions for the Huskyliner:

Interesting question; mainly because mine on my tC is located there too, although mine is elevated some.

I cannot recall ever having seen a post about a problem with this setup. It is possible to design a setup that’s totally immune to the ravages of winter residue. It’s done on military vehicles as a normal requirement of the design. I can only assume from the lack of problem posts that it’s a good, robust design.

I’ve found a few complaints about the design, mostly from Michigan and other places that get lots of snow, the Husky brand mats haven’t always covered the fuel lever but after getting some feedback and complaints they changed their mats to give you the option to have that area covered or trim the mat back if you don’t. The lever is elevated some from the floor mat (at least with the Subaru all weather mats) so it’s mostly what comes off your shoes. I now keep a hand vac in the garage to clean out any needles and other stuff from the floor.

I’m in the southern tier of NY, and Subaru’s were like that back to at least 1993 Impreza my mom had. Never had an issue, and never worried about it - over the 12 years we had that car, and the 3 subaru’s I’ve had since. Then again, I have to drive for at least 5 miles to a gas station, so maybe it warms up in the winter before I would ever pull the handle?

I have owned Subarus since 1997, and the gas door release lever (the lever that the OP is referring to is the release for the door covering the gas cap, not the gas cap itself) has been mounted in the same place on all 3 of them. The sum total of my problems with this design have totaled…zero.

Is it sometimes annoying to have to vacuum debris from that area?
Is it problematic in terms of “freezing-up” in the winter?

Is the OP being an alarmist?

@VDCdriver is right. I had one experience with the cap lever having been crushed by the small heel of a female driver’s shoe when she was climbing out of the car, but that was easily remedied by straightening it out with a pliers. That was on a Lexus is300, not a Subaru.

I have a Subaru Forester. Has anyone ever made a device that would allow you to reach the gas cap door release without having to bend over? When I pull into a service station for gas, I have to unbuckle my seat belt, open the door and then reach down and pull up on that lever. It seems that some kind of tool would allow the driver to just slip some sort of loop onto that lever and just pull up while remained seated in the vehicle.

You must live in Oregon, the only State where there’s no self serve gas allowed. The rest of us generally get out of the car anyway, to do the filling, so it’s just not an issue.

I have a Miata. I have to open the door and take off the seatbelt to get to my wallet. I really have to open the door and take off the seatbelt to do pretty much everything, except I can easily forget to stop and buy gas.

Technically, NJ also prohibits self-serve, but I have been doing it myself for ~50 years, and–so far–the mythical gasoline police haven’t jumped out from behind a bush in order to put handcuffs on me.

I somehow thought New Jersey had dropped that rule. Oh well, wrong again.

When they arrest you, take pictures. The photos will be the internet hit of the day.

If you are a member of the bar, perhaps you can represent me when I have to appear before the mythical
NJ Gasoline Violations Court.