Why Aren't There More Capless Fuel Fillers?

09Expl_EasyFuel_HR

I generally don't consider myself to be overly prissy when it comes to filling my car with gas. I'm not even worried about messing up a fresh manicure since I'm really more of a pedi girl. However, after two recent stints in Ford vehicles (the Flex and the Fiesta) using Ford's Easy Fuel system, I don't want to go back. This is one of those features you never knew you needed until you have it.

Once you open the fuel door, you don't need to use brute strength to unscrew a stuck-on fuel filler cap after your husband screwed it a little too tightly shut the last time. (I've even been known once or twice to ask another gas-station patron to help crank that puppy over.) Instead, you just insert the gas pump, and the spring-loaded flapper door opens on its own. When you're done, the door closes behind you, closing even more tightly than the hand-crank screw-on version. Voila! A full tank of gas. Clean hands. No nasty, lingering chemical smell from touching a cap soaked in a gas slick from the leaky pullout.

Capless fuel fillers have been seen on certain Ford vehicles since 2008. What I don't understand is why more automakers haven't caught on to this feature and add it to their cars. Ford's initial market research showed that 75 percent of women and 68 percent of men were highly interested in this feature. In addition to the Easy Fuel system on Ford's lineup, there's only other vehicles we're aware of with a capless fuel filler are the Chrysler 300, Dodge Charger and Cadillac XTS.

Do you drive a vehicle with a capless fuel filler? If so, what do you think of it? Would you ever go back to the old system? Tell us in the comments section below.

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By Kristin Varela | October 1, 2012 | Comments (49)

Comments 

Petrus

I've had a capless on my Fusion the last couple years. As nice as it is, Ford can't make a mini-van. Love the Flex, but the 3rd row is bunk.

I am buying a new auto and passed on the Fords because of the no lockable gas door on the gas tank and NO Cap Either. How dumb can you get..vandals will put dirt and sticks into you tank. They leave the tank unprotected! Then the Ford Touch dash, ugh.
Sorry, Ford...Do not think you a better idea, there.

Darius

Now, I know which vehicles to siphon gas from when I'm in a pinch...or just want to have "unlimited" free gas with all the fords around. Great idea guys!

Actually, Ford says this system is better at preventing fuel theft than traditional ones. From the company's media site:

"Easy Fuel has a unique mis-fueling inhibitor to reduce improper refueling and siphoning. The inhibitor consists of a fuel nozzle detector that guides the nozzle to the opening. If a nozzle or foreign tube of a different size – a diesel nozzle or plastic hose, for example – is placed in the filler neck of a gasoline-powered vehicle, the latches will not release."

steve

What if you run out of gas and try to fill with a plastic gas can?
If it does not open, you are screwed.

Lance

Yeah, I usually pour the old gas left in my 2 gallon lawn mower/snowblower container in my truck in the spring and fill the container with fresh gas. I figure diluted with at least 15 gal or so the truck won't even notice it. Don't know if I had one of these capless gastanks if I could do that anymore. I'll still with a cap that can be locked, thanks.

Brandon

I drive a 2010 Ford Fusion with the capless fuel system and I have found it very difficult to go back in rentals to capped fuel systems. One night I got home in a rental Mazda 3 and had left the cap hanging out of the fuel system. Once you go capless you never go back.

George

Capless is easily circumvented, with regards to fuel contamination [intentional] and fuel theft.
This is a no sale for 30% of the population.

retro.joe

Fords with the Easy Fuel system include a special funnel with the tire changing kit for use with gas cans. They also use a rubber boot to help seal out dirt and small debris.

With Ford's attention to detail on this, it's a good thing all around.

Mark

I'm glad I don't live in a part of the US where I have to worry about people putting dirt in my fuel tank.

Carolina Jessamine

I'd love to have a car with no gas cap. I don't have a husband to overtighten the cap (are you sure it's his fault?), but sometimes I can't get the cap off.

The fuel door has to be released from inside the car to access the gas, so what's the concerns about someone getting into it?

Ryan

All you chicken little types crack me up but have no fear, Ford has you covered too! For $25 you too can have your own genuine Ford locking gas plug that will ensure there is no siphoning of gasoline or dirt being put in to your gas tank.

http://accessories.ford.com/locking-fuel-plug.html

tammy

Our 2011 mustang is like this took some time to get used to...

Ching

To the knuckleheads above who complain about not being able to use a plastic can to fill the tank during emergency: Each car comes with a plastic nozzle adapter in the trunk that you insert into the tank that opens up so you can fill with a plastic container. How do I know? I own a 2012 Ford Focus which uses this capless feature.

Yea, my SAAB 900 had this feature in the 90's. Ahead of its time?

Indianajoel

Oh man. Reinventing the wheel much? Fuel cap too tight? Some fuel caps don't even have threads while virtually every one has a device that prevents over tightening it.
---
As a mechanic, I can only imagine the cost of having to replace this product when it fails. What's a replacement gas cap cost? Next to nothing.
---
I love convenience, don't get me wrong, I love my AC, but why fix something that was never broken to begin with? Whats next, seatless toilets? Capless Orange juice bottles? wheel nut less tires?
----
Manufactures need to work on making the area where we spend 99.9% of our driving time more efficient... the interior. Make the seats more comfortable, increase our visibility, make it more possible to avoid accidents and survive those that we are in, heck just increase the quality of the materials.
---
Man what a way to start the day. Useless products for an increasingly lazy country.

HFB

My wife loves the capless tank on our 2013 Explorer. It works great and is easy to deal with, those of you posting about filling with a can, in the trunk by the spare there is a funnel that pushes psat the flap and lets you fill from a can. The gas cover locks when the doors lock so there is no issue with anyone getting in. Great system, I would love one on my BMW.

I live in New Jersey where they don't allow us to pump our own gas. So it makes no difference to me :)

Anonymous Guy

You can buy a capless adapter to be used on almost any car for less than $15.

Search Stant Capless Adapter.

Doc David

Modern gas caps can't be put on "too tight." You're supposed to turn them until they click, otherwise they are on too loose. Once they are clicking, you can't turn them any tighter.

If you don't understand that, and if you can't fill up a car without spilling gas all over the place, and you can't figure out how to hang the gas cap on the provided hook or holder in your filler door when you fill up - I question why you drive in the first place.

Todd

I drive a 2012 Dodge Charger. I LOVE the cap less fuel filler! All I have to do is push a button as I get out and fill up. No more caps left off Mine also has a nozzle sensor, but if you do need to fill up with a can there is a nozzle provided in the trunk that slips right in.

Chris

So any crud on the flap such as road dust, mud, or snow will be pushed into the fuel tank when nozzle inserted? Id rather have the filler covered by the protective cap.

Dennis

I can't imagine just how much better my life would be if it were not for twisting off and on my gas cap 4 maybe sometimes 5 times a month. I'm amazed I've made it to age 34.

Wein

Ford is full of it and they know it, all you need is the right funnel to open the so called lack. in fact they include a funnel that is located in the trunk. debri will collect on the neck and when the pump nozzle push open that debri will fall into the gas thank. so how much is Ford saving by not including a fuel cap or spare tire?

One of those features you really don't need if you have a wrench handy all of the time.

Steve

Getting gas smell on hand from a gas cap?? The handle on the fuel pump nozzle usually has more gas residue on it than my gas cap (is your car really that dirty?) Also, never had an issue gettign a gas cap off - there is a reason why it says "turn to 1 click".

Gigi

I have a 99 Lexus RX 300. I had to replace gas cap and now, it's so tight, I can bearly turn it left to get it off -- I am afraid to click it 3 times as I will never get it off -- does this mean they gave me the wrong cap for my SUV?

David

Easy fuel system ??
I'm French and I rented a ford explorer in Miami with this #%#%#% system.
The result ? I filled two time the tank and the third time I was blocked in an unsafe area,waiting 4 hours for towing (2 times.. The tower didn't want to take the car with the nozzle stuck in the tank) and I had to call the fireman to separate the nose of the nozzle from the pump.
When it fails, it fails and you are really in trouble !!

Ken

Hope your easy fuel doesn't need repair. Ours (Fiesta) jammed and would not accept the nozzle. Charge from dealer to repair?? $575.00

SLD

I spent a full evening trying to remove a gas pump that was stuck in a capless fuel system on a 1 year old Ford Edge. The mechanic had to break the whole system in order to get the pump out. These systems cause more problems than they are worth.

I work in a gas station and had to help an elderly couple with this system today. The pump nozzle filling their Taurus became stuck in the filler. The dealer said to yank it out with force. I did and left a collar from the pump nozzle in their filler... They had to return to the car dealer. Now I wonder how many of these cars will be damaging our pump handles!

jessica

I stopped to put gas in my ford escape. It wouldnt let me put the gas nozzle into the tank. The flapper wouldnt open. I work at a gas station and I had other people with the same problem.One customer said he just bought it.

Ted

I had the exact same issue as Bradford described with my 2010 Ford Fusion. I couldnt get the pump nozzle out of my filler - I pulled hard and now have the pump collar stuck in the filler tube.

The local dealer estimates that it will take 1 hour to get the collar out of the filler neck. What no-one mentioned yet is that refueling with the collar stuck in the system slows the process to a snail's pace. Hope to get it repaired this week...

Steve

The dodge charger has a seal inside the gas door to keep out dust and debris. A picture: http://i401.photobucket.com/albums/pp93/BENISASPUD/Random%20Pictures/0214111156.jpg

Judy

I am sitting in sevice at ford dealership. I was gassing up my year old Edge. When I pulled the nozzle out gasoline exploded all over me. I thought I had done something wrong then a few days later a warning showed up "check fuel intake". I am glad I came to dealer before trying to fill up after reading in earlier posts that nozzles have gotten stuck. I have been here two hours and I wonder what this is going to cost me!

Phil Bickel

If you can't unscrew the click-to-lock gas caps, you have bigger problems than putting gas in your car. I might suggest joining a health club.

I'm not dissing Ford, but this hardly a reason to pick a car.

DL

So ... this is a complicated system that, when it fails, can cause a lot of headaches and will lighten up your wallet significantly. Thieves can still steal/buy a little adapter and siphon your gas without a problem.

Chalk this up to fixing a non-existent problem.

John

Well Ford made the decision for me I was looking at a fusion and an escape. Not anymore it is a complication I don't need and don't want drive lots of dusty roads and do not want to rely a gasket on the fuel door.

kevin

have a 2013 dodge charger, its at the dealer now because the gas pump nosil is stuck in the capless filler. two hours and missed work! i am very angry with dodge, this problem was obvious and should have been redesighned,I took the hose off the pump and drove to the dealer with the pump handle still in the car

Scandia

The premise of the idea is good, however, recent Fusion models are notoriously bad at having a slightly loose door pop up an engine light on the dash. There is no way to fix this unless you take it to the dealer ($$$) or a place like Jiffy Lube. We have a fleet of these cars at work that I help assist with maintenance and it's always the gas door. You'd think Ford would just do a recall to fix the millions of cars afflicted.

Scandia

Rethink: Ford made these cars this way precisely so they would make money off the the ruined vehicles when the unsuspecting customer would be forced to bring it back to the dealer. SHOP HONDA, NISSAN AND TOYOTA.

Rodger Hamilton

I own a 2011 Mustang. I had driven it home late one night with the low fuel warning light on. The next day I had to make an unplanned run to fetch my daughter from work. Upon arriving back home I noticed the display telling me I had 1 mile before empty.. No problem (I thought). I borrowed my kind neighbor's car (also a Mustang) to go to the local grocery store gas pump for a gallon of fuel. Upon returning home, I went into the garage to put the petrol into my vehicle... simple so far, right? Knowing that the opening in the filler tube was small, I carefully inserted the gas container's flexible nozzle into the opening and gave it a push. It didn't seem to go in very far. Not wanting to spill gasoline on myself or in the garage, I very carefully, tipped the gas container to dispense the fuel. I was careful not to tip it too far and cause gas to overflow out of the filler tube and down the side of my vehicle. The gas flowed very slowly but DID NOT overflow out of the filler tube. After a time I became impatient with the slow dispensing and removed the nozzle and placed the gas can on the floor to check how much had gone in. While bending down I got a strong odor of gasoline. I looked over for spillage but saw none. The gas odor became so strong my daughter poked her head into the garage from inside the house and complained she was becoming nauseated by the fumes. By that time I too was being overcome with fumes so I got down on my hands and knees to look under the car. To my surprise, there was a pool of gas under the car. Gas appeared to be dripping from somewhere under the trunk and the rapidly expanding pool of volatile liquid had reached all the way to the front tires. I screamed at my daughter to get out of the house as I raced to open the other garage door and vacated the premises myself. My car, in my attached garage, was setting in a pool of gas and there was nothing I could do but hope and pray there wasn't ignition. we waited until the gas had pretty much evaporated. I got on the internet and Googled how to put gas into my car from a plastic container. It was then I learned about the "funnel". I had to look in my owners manual for the location and ended up having to unload my trunk to open the spare tire compartment to get the "funnel". I inserted the "funnel" into the filler tube and dispensed the remaining gasoline without incident.
Epilogue:
What started out as a simple put some gas into my car quickly turned into a life threatening situation. My home, my car, and my family were endangered by this "innovation". Now my home, my garage, and my car smell like gasoline. Thank you Ford for this better idea. Please, don't come over to my house and try to fix something that isn't broken. I love my family and home too much to even consider letting you in.
In answer to the author's question of why there aren't more of these types of filler systems... Maybe the other manufacturers can't afford the LIABILITY.

frank

Wife won't buy anything with a normal cap now. She has arthritis and always had trouble with getting the cap off in the cold. Dodge's new cummins trucks have capless now also.

Chris

I sell Fords, and have hated the idea of capeless fuel fillers since the first Fords got them years ago. It kills me inside having to BS customers on the advantages us this feature. I love Ford vehicles and would stand behind every feature 100% if it wasn't for this useless feature. I can honestly say I'd never purchase a new Ford with the capless fuel filler! And I get a huge discount! Sorry Ford bring back the cap or loss customers for good!

Basem

I have ford edge 2011 capless door and recently I got strong gas smell after a couple of days I got "check engine" light code P0456 (Small leak)
Now I have to take it the dealer to fix that or replace it and I have no idea how much it will cost ?!!!
I was happy with capless system but after some filling issues and now leaking I'm not happy. May be they improve it in the future.

Orie

I love my cap less fill on my 2010 rapter. Its easy and simple. I think that if you can mess up filling up a vehicle in general. You might have some bigger issues

paul keresztes

Call me old school, but I like gas caps! I looked at a new gas mustang, but it was capless.
Question: What happens when the fuel seal on the cover cracks, falls apart like all rubber parts do, and moisture and crud leaks in and ruins the fuel?

Brad

I hate this system. I am constanly getting the message on my dash to "check fuel system inlet" and have a check engine light on all the time. I bought a code reader and the codes it gets are 0455 and 0456; evaporative emmisions leaks in the system due to the stupid little flap not sealing on the capless system. I'm going to my dealer and trying a locking fuel cap for this system to see if it seals things off. What a dumb idea...since they have so many sensors on the system they should have thought of what happens when the car gets a few years old and the spring weakens or the seal gets dirty. You can't lean it either unless you have dental tools...

Jim

If you cannot get gas nozzle into the tank is simply because you locked the doors of your car. In other words, do not lock the car when filling in a gas station.

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