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Hard to Remove Mitsubishi Outlander Gas Cap?

tmjc1tmjc1 Posts: 3
edited January 2014 in Mitsubishi
My wife has a 2008 Outlander and the gas cap is a bear to remove! When she first told me I thought maybe it was just from being new at the time, but I still almost have to get a pair of Channellocks to take the &#*@ off.

We only turn it a couple clicks when we put it back on, and the one mechanic told us this is normal. We'll both have sprained wrists before we trade this in. Has anyone else had this issue or is it really just my wife and I being wimps?


  • toomanyfumestoomanyfumes S.E. Wisconsin Posts: 916
    My '07's comes right off. I'd go to the dealer and have them replace it.
  • tmjc1tmjc1 Posts: 3
    Thanks for the response! We'll be taking it in right after the New Year I think-before we're both crippled!
  • dinabordinabor Posts: 13
    edited September 2010
    I had this issue on my new 2010. It was indeed tough to remove. I lubricated lightly the tread of the plug with some multi-purpose greese and the problem is gone. My wife tested and accepted the job :-)...
  • We did bring our Outlander into another local dealer. This dealer was quite a bit better then the first one and they did know what was wrong-seems there was some type of tech bulletin out on this regarding the o-ring. They replaced it and it has been perfect since.
  • Leased a 2010 Mitsubishi Outlander the other day. At 64 years old it was a little bit hard for me to follow the salesman's description of all the "gadgets" that come with it before I drove off. Have leased 3 Gallants in last 12 years and this is a new experience.
    Question: When do you use FWD as opposed to AWD-Auto? I get it that AWD-Lock is for snowy conditions but I am driving up to Saratoga Springs, NY (180 miles) with the wife tomorrow. Do I use AWD-Auto if it rains? Do I stay with FWD on dry days for both local & highway driving? Help!
  • rcpaxrcpax Posts: 580
    I have a similar system installed in my Outlander, I just leave it at 4WD Auto, which is the default mode. If you have more time reading the owner's manual, it describes how to use each mode.
  • comem47comem47 Posts: 395
    I have a 2007 with V6 4WD and definitely put in in 4 wheel mode in rain (with all the power it will spin the front wheels in wet when jumping out into traffic. On dry roads I leave it in FWD for slightly better economy . Lock mode is for deep snow. When in doubt leave it in the non-lock 4 wheel mode.
  • comem47comem47 Posts: 395
    edited September 2010
    To clarify if will spin the front wheels in rain if left in FWD, no problem when in 4WD.
    It will chirp the tires a bit in dry if I step on it from a stop if left in FWD because of the V6 power, but once again 4WD makes for perfect non eventful launches from a dead stop if you nail it. I have no idea if the 4 cyl has the same problem launching in wet in FWD mode., but with the 6 one learns to feather the throttle in wet in FWD or better yet forget about it in 4WD.
  • toomanyfumestoomanyfumes S.E. Wisconsin Posts: 916
    My AWD V6 will also spin the front tires in the rain in 2WD, even with the new tires. I use AWD in the rain, and throughout most of our Wisconsin winter.
  • Does anyone know the number of the tech bulletin mentioned in Post #5?
  • jonoxjonox Posts: 84
    The AWD is a notable features of your new vehicle be it the 4 or the 6 cylinder model. Many AWD vehicles do not have the option to select 2WD so fuel consumption is marginally higher due to the extra power required to drive four wheels all the time. The owners manual is pretty clear on when to use which drive - 2WD on dry tarmac and freeways. 4WD Auto in rainy or other potentially slippery conditions and 4WD Lock through deep snow, mud or on loose road surfaces, plus the ability to switch back and forth on the run.
    One important drawback - when being towed all four wheels must be off the ground.
  • dinabordinabor Posts: 13
    I was wrong about my "fix" with the lubrication. The problem came back when my wife needed to fuel it up next time. The cap was very hard to remove, so she had to ask gas station attendant for help again. We think that vacuum in the empty tank was causing some significant suction, making removal of the cap very hard. I came to the dealership and got the cap replaced, but that did not help. I wrote letter to MMNA and had follow up phone call back from their representative. I was told that this is "normal condition" in the vehicle and I "should not let the fuel tank to become this empty and I have to refuel the tank earlier".
    I actually went speechless for a minute at the time when I heard that. I did request formal written reply from Mitsubishi with this conclusion. This is the first time, I had such incident with a new car (~1200 miles on it) and manufacturer rep is telling me not to use the feature of the car, the way it is intended and documented in owner's manual. I am still suspicious that it is ok to let the fuel tank to get refueled only when the fuel light comes on. Anyone else has the same experience with the fuel cap?
    I forgot to tell the Mitsubishi lady on the phone, that folks on gas stations, that were helping my wife to unscrew the fuel cap, are not getting closer to become new Mitsubishi fans. (She did get some unpleasant jokes about our car choice instead). I am very sincere here.
  • fushigifushigi Posts: 1,285
    After 10K miles mine is still stiff but it is easier to open than it was when new. Personally I think it's just a close tolerance and has nothing to do with the gas level. Gas tanks are vented, after all.
  • dinabordinabor Posts: 13
    Thank you for your reply, fushigi. I do notice that after the bad case, next minute re-try on removal of the cap is normal and does not require excessive force. This coincidence was causing an impression, that the issue is fixed. Then when the tank is getting filled up and again become near empty (when the fuel light is on), the problem is back. Hence I started to believe in the suction theory. May be you are right, but still the effort needed to operate on this cap is not acceptable on consumer grade car. There is a problem. Sorry, I did not understand your phrase about "close tolerance".
  • rcpaxrcpax Posts: 580
    I don't think you can overtighten it either, because it gets tight to a point then it starts clicking. It's just how it was designed I suppose. You might want to consider a "racing type" gas cap. I saw one at Meijer. it's a gas cap with a valve.You don't have to open the cap. you just push the gas pump nozzle through the round flap, and pull the nozzle out when done. the round flap acts as a valve that "should" keep you gas cap sealed. I don't know if it will keep a tight seal though, that you won't end up with a check engine light. Might be worth to try. I think it's only a couple of $.
  • jonoxjonox Posts: 84
    Check the warning notes in your owners manual, page 1-5. Suggest you try filling before the fuel light comes on to see if this makes a difference. The cap is a tight fit.
  • fushigifushigi Posts: 1,285
    By close tolerance I mean that the gas cap & fuel filler neck are close enough in size that it's a tight fit to get the cap on/off.
  • Bought generic gas tank cover at O'Reilly's. First shop insisted on only using an authentic Mitsubishi 2010 part, which was out of stock. But another shop just sold me a "Mitsubishi 2009" one, that works ok with the neck of my 2010 Outlander. (Do not know how would they be different. :) ) The new part opens quite better. By the way, there is vacuum inside of the tank that is formed when the fuel is consumed. It is just the vented cap is expected to balance the pressure in it. Thanks to everyone, who shared their thoughts.
  • I'm not happy with the difficulty of the fuel cap removal. My wife will not drive our 08 Outlander because she can't get the cap off. Other than the crummy Yokohama tires, this is the only issue with our car , but enough that if we can't repair it, we will TRY to sell it because she can't put fuel in. I.E. We can't drive it without gas Mitsubishi. Try again.

  • I struggle each time to remove the gas cap on my 2010 Outlander. The dealer replaced it a few months after I bought it (September 2010) but the replacement is still difficult to remove.

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