Handy to know about: fuel cover emergency release on an Audi A4

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A couple of days ago, my wife called me and said the low fuel warning light had come on on my car as she set out to take the kids swimming (a 25 mile round trip). “No worries”, I said, “you’ve got enough to get home – I’ll fill it up later”. Fast forward to today, when I drove to the filling station only to find that the cover on the fuel filler cap (controlled by the central locking) wouldn’t open.  Thankfully, I was close to home, so I went back (fuel range now showing as 5 miles!) and called the lease company’s breakdown service, who said I might have to wait up to 90 minutes for a technician. Not great, but acceptable – and at least I was home.

A few minutes later I got a call from Volkswagen/Audi Assistance and 15 minutes after that the technician was on site (the RAC provide the Volkswagen/Audi Assistance service – but with dedicated technicians, so a different queue).

I explained the problem and he tried (and failed) to open the fuel cover the same way that I did… then he popped open the boot, removed a cover and pulled on a wire – which promptly opened the offending fuel door.  Result! If only I’d known about it at the petrol station an hour earlier. (For reference, the car is a 2009 Audi A4 Avant – the B8 model – but I wouldn’t be surprised if the A5 has a similar mechanism.)

So full marks to VW/Audi Assistance – both for the rapid response and for following me to the filling station in case I ran out of diesel on the way.

And, for anyone else with a fuel cover that’s linked to the central locking on the car, it might be worth checking if there is an emergency release…

17 thoughts on “Handy to know about: fuel cover emergency release on an Audi A4

  1. Mark,
    This just allowed me to relay how to do it to my partner at a petrol station 150 miles away … problem solved.

  2. It is a handy hint and I had to use it recently. However don’t pull too hard especially if it doesn’t open first time. I did that and the flimsy plastic release cable snapped! I’ve just bought a replacement but it is a package including the solenoid release. An expensive mistake on my part. Still the plastic cable should be thicker or better designed so as not go snap if the release is stiff and causes you to pull harder!

  3. Thanks. A couple of days ago my wife came home screaming at me when she could not open it at the gas station saying that I broke it because I filled the gas last time. Thanks to you and Google I will know what to do next time.

  4. Brilliant – I encountered this problem today when I went to fill up, where the fuel flap door would not release. Fortunately I was close to home (only 20mi range left …..) – quick search on google and I found this solution, which worked. And, the fuel door is now working again (must have just been stuck somehow …..) avoiding the need for an expensive repair …

  5. i done this a while back. just remember once you have pulled the red wire your filler cap will not lock when you lock your car. oyu have to take the solenoid out and re set the cable. dont be fooled int buying a new one like i did.

  6. The fuel door on my Audi A4 convertible is locked. I made sure the car is unlocked using the key fob and the manual button in the vehicle. Is there an emergency release cable and how do I get to it ???

  7. Hi Glenn, I don’t know, but my guess would be that there would be a panel in the boot, just as in the Avant? I guess it might be a bit harder to get to in a convertible.

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