Ford Explorer: Open Fuel Door

Wondering how to open the fuel door to gain access to the gas cap on the Ford Explorer SUV? You’re not the only one. Plenty of new Explorer owners find that the usual methods – like looking for a latch inside the vehicle – don’t work on their particular model.

Fortunately, opening your Explorer’s fuel door doesn’t need to be difficult. Let’s take a look at how it’s done, for a range of Ford Explorers, including the latest generation and older models.


How to Open the Fuel Door on a 6th Generation Ford Explorer (2020-Now)

We’ll kick off with the latest 6th gen iteration of the Ford Explorer. If your Ford was made in 2020 or more recently, here’s how you open the fuel door:

  1. Exit the car and move to the rear of the Explorer to locate the fuel door.
  2. Push down firmly on the right side of the fuel door. Then release, and the fuel door should pop open.

How to Open the Fuel Door on a 5th Generation Ford Explorer (2011-2019)

For slightly older Ford Explorers, from the 5th generation, the process is similar, albeit with one minor difference. Instead of heading to the rear left side of the vehicle, you’ll have to go the rear right side (where your fuel door is situated). Here are the steps:

  1. Get out of the car and move to the back-right side to find the fuel door.
  2. Push firmly on the left side of the door, then let go. The door should spring open, giving you access to add more fuel.

How to Open the Fuel Door on a Hybrid Ford Explorer

Ford Explorer Open Fuel Door

If your Ford Explorer comes equipped with a hybrid engine, opening the fuel door is totally different. If you go outside and push on the door panel, that won’t work. Instead, you need to find and push on a button inside the door, on the driver’s side.

  1. Look for a button with a fuel symbol on it, beside the dial that controls the lights, to the left of the steering wheel.
  2. Press that button. This should release the fuel door. It’ll pop open slightly.
  3. You can then exit the vehicle and fully open the door before adding more fuel.


How can I lock the fuel door?

Given the risk of fuel theft in certain places, it’s natural that Ford Explorer owners may wish to lock their fuel doors. However, there’s no need to worry. Ford Explorer’s come equipped with Ford’s “Easy Fuel” system. This involves a capless fuel filler that latches shut automatically unless a fuel nozzle is inserted into it, effectively minimizing the risk of fuel theft.

Do I need to remove a gas cap?

No, there’s no gas cap covering the fueling location. Insert the fuel nozzle and fill your tank. This is all thanks to the aforementioned “Easy Fuel” system that Ford developed. It allows you to simply open the fuel door, put the fuel nozzle straight in, and fill up the tank. This cuts out the step where you would usually have to unscrew the cap before inserting the nozzle.

How do I add fuel from a portable container?

Fortunately, Ford’s “Easy Fuel” tech works with portable containers, too. But you’ll need an accessory to pour in fuel from a container. Specifically, you’ll need a little while plastic funnel, which comes as standard with your Explorer. It should be sitting in the cargo bin (behind the back seats). If it’s not there, you may have to buy one.

What should I do if the fuel door doesn’t open?

Nightmare situation. You try to open the fuel door, but it just won’t budge. That makes it impossible to refuel or fill your tank. Fortunately, there are some fixes. You can try unlocking and locking the car a few times with your fob, or manually with the key. Then try again. If it still won’t open, there may be damage to the hinge or actuator behind the door. A mechanic should be able to sort it out.

Unlock Your Explorer’s Fuel Door with Ease

If you’ve been stuck wondering how to get your Explorer’s fuel door to open, this is all you need to know. The main takeaway to remember is that most Explorers don’t have any button or latch inside the vehicle. It’s as simple as getting out, unlocking the doors, and opening the fuel door by hand.

4 thoughts on “Ford Explorer: Open Fuel Door”

  1. Rental car. .how confusing trying to find gas cap release. A little bit of tutorial on the part of agency would have helped. Thank goodness for Google.

  2. NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOoooooooooooooooo!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    There’s also a third model that has a trunk release button on the left side of the steering wheel on the console.


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