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Discussion Starter #1
hi, i just bought the 97 rav4

the gas door stays open. cap screws in fine. i looked on youtube and some advice from other cars was to put lubricant on the hinges for the door. I did that with DW-40 but it didnt work. see pics for any other ideas?
 

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Does the door move on its hinge, or is it stuck open? If it is stuck in the open position, has something happened to damage the door's hinge or bend the door out of alignment? Or is the problem that it will move into the closed position but won't latch?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
it swings fine, especially after i put the DW-40, but that was never the problem. The previous owner said it was new gas tank, maybe they replaced the entrance to the gas tank where you take the cap off? When I go to close the door, it seems clear to me that the latch on the fuel door is too far out to catch the bolt inside, so maybe something is missing on that bolt that the door latch is supposed to grasp (until it is kicked out open when u press the fuel button under the seat.

What I am saying is, look at the second photo, you see the nut/bolt thing on the right side? Well, the plastic latch on the fuel door can't grasp it at all, its too far away, meaning a piece may be missing from either the nut/bolt thing or the door latch grasper. I'm guessing its the nut/bolt thing cause it looks pretty bare. You can see the door latch grasper on the first pic, left side, greyish plastic thing that has a claw look to it (on the left of the sticker with words, not on top of the sticker, that is to hold the gas screw cap as u fill up.
 

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What I am saying is, look at the second photo, you see the nut/bolt thing on the right side? Well, the plastic latch on the fuel door can't grasp it at all, its too far away, meaning a piece may be missing from either the nut/bolt thing .
I don't have a 97, but since you don't seem to be getting any responses I will offer my best guess.

I believe that nut/bolt thing should have a plunger protruding from it. The gas cap gets caught on the plunger. When you pull on the interior release handle, the plunger is retracted ( as it is in your pictures) and the door pops open.

I came to this conclusion after watching this YouTube video. If your lucky you may be able to just spray the plunger area with WD-40.

 

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Looks like your cable release mechanism is stuck in the open position as ricki has pointed out. Probably either the release pin is stuck inside that nut you see or broken off. The cable itself could also have seized, keep spraying around that daily with WD40 or else remove it to see what the problem is.:smile
 

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Discussion Starter #6
thanks for the video. Yes, it appears I am missing the white thing that sticks out of the nut/bolt. My father has a parts car 97 rav4 so I will see if it has the part. But I don't know yet how I will replace that part. Hopefully it won't be too hard, could just take the whole end unit that has the part and swap it out fully.
 

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Have you visually verified the plunger is missing?

I was thinking that the cause is most likely to be a seized cable running from the interior release handle to the filler door. I know that my release handle always has a rust buildup due to salty snow falling on it whenever I enter the vehicle.

Does your release handle have the normal tension ( do you feel the spring pulling the handle back down after lifting it?) or is it difficult to move (seized), or is there no tension at all?.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
the lever under the seat works fine. i hear clicking in the back so probably the white thing in the cap area is gone. sorry for the late reply.
 
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