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Discussion Starter #1
I am traveling in Quebec and after a very rainy day the temperature dropped below freezing for a few days. It became bitterly cold and when I went to get gas I was unable to open the fuel filler door. Fortunately I was staying here for a few days so I had time to deal with the issue. We are staying at a rented cottage and I was able to run an extension cord out to the driveway and then I used a hair dryer to unfreeze the lock. This worked and now I can fill the tank and drive home at the end of the holiday week. The other option was to leave the car in a heated garage for several hours but this worked. If you are traveling to a cold place don't wait until your gas gauge is low to refill just in case your fuel door is frozen.
 

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Nuclear engineer
02/2012 X5 35d M57Y CPO 99K miles NOKIAN WR G3 12K miles
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Unfortunately moisture is the root cause of the door being frozen shut, and when you melt the frozen water with hot water you are just adding more water to freeze. Annual pre-winter preventative maintenance should include Gummi Pfledging all of the weather seal surfaces.

I looked into the the active ingredients in Einzett's Gummi Pfledge to learn that it is PolyDiMethylSiloxane PDMS Dimethicone available at AmaXon for ~US$10 per 8 ounce bottle of 100% PDMS. Patent prepared solutions use only a couple of percent of active ingredients in mostly water.

I will not replace my 2 ounce (Gee Zeus, a GD ad link) bottle of Gummi Pfledgfe.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I had that problem once. I used a glass of hot water; worked just fine.
I thought about using hot water but I figured if it didn't work it would just add more water where I didn't want any. Besides I was dealing with some very cold temperatures, well below freezing (overnight low was -1F). Using a hair dryer worked well and in under 3 minutes I had the door open.
 

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Did you try the manual release cord (#5 below) located in the trunk? I wonder if it would have worked...even though it was frozen?




1 - Central locking drive, fuel filler flap
2 - two***8208;pin plug connection
3 - Fuel filler flap
4 - Linkage
5 - Emergency release
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Did you try the manual release cord (#5 below) located in the trunk? I wonder if it would have worked...even though it was frozen?
Yes, I did try the manual release cord but it didn't work because the lock was frozen.
 

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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
I think I found the root cause of the problem. The part is number 51178228939 (on Realoem.com) and it is named the "Buffer stop with ejector". This part has a rubber boot on it and mine is cracked. I assume the crack in the rubber allowed moisture in when the car was parked outside in heavy rain. After this the temperature dropped and this froze the part. It appears the rubber boot is not sold separately but the entire part is less than $10. The part is #4 in the diagram and a photo of the part is also shown.
 

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Yes, I did try the manual release cord but it didn't work because the lock was frozen.
Well....if nothing else...I have a new location to "winterize" thanks to this thread.

I usually hit all the lock cylinders and latches with Tri-Flow (a lubricant that contains TEFLON) to help prevent freezing from residual moisture when temps drop below freezing. I think I'm going to install the straw and lubricate this area, too. :thumbup:


{my "go-to" winterizing lubricants}

 

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Glfbggy
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I had that problem once. I used a glass of hot water; worked just fine.
This is not recommended, especially if the temperatures are in the teens. All you will do is create more ice and a worse situation.

I once witnessed a lady create a sheet of hard ice on her windshield at 13*F here in Boise, Idaho. She was trying what she had done in more temperate locations like California or Western Oregon/Washington. All it does is make matters worse in cold climates.
 
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