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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello,

I just picked up an R8 yesterday after a long search and finally the decision to pay too much above sticker. But you only live once, and I'm completely thrilled. But today I start giving the car a very careful once-over and find the fuel filler cap won't open by itself. When i push the button on the door and can hear the latch trying to open. When I pull the emergency cord in the engine bay I can feel a little give, but not much. To open the cap I have to put a small piece of wood (like a popsicle stick) under the cap where the latch is and pry it up gently while at the same time pulling as hard as I can on the emergency release in the engine bay. Frustrating and maddening!

Has anyone else had this problem? Fix? I'm pretty convinced the cap is plastic, not metal, so I don't want to try to bend the catch on the cap.

I bought the car from a dealer over 200 miles away. Have to hook up with a local dealer to get service. Love the car - but disappointing way to get started.

JR
 

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Yup, had the same problem !!!!!

And used the same solution.....

I bent the locking tag in a fraction and its been fine ever since.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks. Since that tag looks like plastic I didn't want to try to bend it. Is it metal?
 

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The cap is plastic - what do you expect for £90,000 / $180,000?

Jon
 

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I've had this since the start - the plastic strap which retains the filler cap jams the hinge of the outer flap in certain positions - I make sure the strap is not fouling the flap hinge when I close it. Design flaw.
 

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I've had this since the start - the plastic strap which retains the filler cap jams the hinge of the outer flap in certain positions - I make sure the strap is not fouling the flap hinge when I close it. Design flaw.
Correct. I get the same thing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks all,

I solved the problem before going to the dealer. As I looked at it carefully is seemed that the small metal catch was not retracting far enough either when pushing the button or when pulling the cable. It seems bound up some how and just couldn't retract. So I put a tool handle through the loop on the emergency release and gave a substantial yank (more than I could do with a finger through the cable) and that seemed to free up the latch and it started working perfectly normally. Even went to a station today and got my first fill up. I'm also carefully keeping the cap cord out of the way in case that's been part of it.

Glad to have this solved. Thanks for your help.

JR
 

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Can anyone give me an update on this problem?

I began having the problem a couple of months ago. I have tried bending the release stud back a bit, as R8 England suggested. The cap would open the next time or two but then seize up again, as it if were slowly working its way back to the original position.

I began carrying a popsicle stick around, as another poster suggested on another thread, to pry the cap open as I pulled the emergency release cable.

However, the emergency release cable is apparently not supposed to be used regularly. It stores under a plastic cover in the engine bay which requires that three screws be removed to access it. Since I was having to use the cable for most fill-ups, I left it hanging free in the engine bay.

This, too, was a problem because the cable lay near the exhaust manifold in a very hot part of the engine bay and had to be fished out with a coat hanger (which I was also now carrying for the purpose).

I had the car in for an oil change about three weeks ago and asked the service tech about the problem. He called Audi, who said they had no reports of any problems with the fuel filler cap and had no advice on how to fix it. (I also asked whether Audi would replace the filler cap, since it was scratched from some early pre-popsicle-stick attempts to pry the cap open. They refused.)

Then yesterday I stopped to get gas and found the cable had disappeared somewhere into the engine bay and could not be seen at all. The car is now at the dealer, although they say they have no idea what to do. They're going to call Audi Monday morning to find out how to proceed. (I am not hopeful, as Audi is pretending no one else is having this problem.)

Meanwhile, our nasty rainstorms have finally given way to wonderful summer weather -- and this damned piece of junk is back in the shop yet again.
 

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Honestly considering all the grief why don't you sell it?
Uh, exactly how much would you pay for a car that cannot be fueled?

Of course, I guess I could try to sell the car without disclosing the problem . . . as long as neither dishonesty nor the prospect of a lawsuit bothers me.
 

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Sounds like the problem is your dealer.... I've had a few issues with mine and, so far, everything has been sorted without question.

Where are you in the world?
 

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I'm in Chicago (U.S.) and use a dealer in Glenview, a suburb (as the only in-town Chicago Audi dealer is not authorized to service R8's).

Actually, the dealer has been very helpful in repairing the four electronic failures in the car. I was standing by the service rep when he called Audi of America for advice about the fuel filler three weeks ago, so I know that Audi told him they could not help with the problem.

I think the problem is two-fold: this is a design flaw (as an earlier poster having the same problem suggested), and Audi of America has a very poor service infrastructure for this car.
 

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The US dealers don't seem to be as good as they are here in the UK, or maybe it's down to Audi USA.....? Not sure what to suggest, but my thoughts would be to call them out under warranty each time and see how long it takes for them to get annoyed enough to fix it!!
My car has over 16 thousand miles on it now and no issue with the filler cap (so far!). I have had to get the hood release solenoid refitted (front wouldn't open) but that's it for the electrics.

I do have a couple of other more serious issues that are in the process of being dealt with however, and I will be on the phone first thing tomorrow morning to chase them up. Expect a thread to appear relating to that at a later date. ;)
 

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I have had to get the hood release solenoid refitted (front wouldn't open) . . . .
I had already canceled plans to drive the car down to Georgia last month, due to fears of getting stranded a long way from an Audi dealer (there are very few in the American south) without being able to refuel the car.

Now it seems we have to worry about not being able to get to our luggage, either.

I guess this is a car for driving only within a certain radius of an R8 service shop.
 

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That is sad to hear.... I use mine everyday, so that wouldn't be a sensible option for me.
As for lack of service centres, that would be their problem if you call surely?

Maybe it's time it just sort of 'broke off' while you were trying to get it open? Surely that would then make them have to sort the problem? A little extreme, but it could work....
 

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Sounds like maybe you need to get an attorney on the case here if they don't resolve it to your satisfaction as it's a pretty basic expectation that you can fill the car with gas.
 

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Uh, exactly how much would you pay for a car that cannot be fueled?

Of course, I guess I could try to sell the car without disclosing the problem . . . as long as neither dishonesty nor the prospect of a lawsuit bothers me.
Get it fixed then sell it - you should be up on the deal if you bought it MSRP
 

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Are you sure it's not just the filler cap retaining strap that is jamming the hinge? There are really only three possibilities - either the solenoid doesn't fully retract (or is only working intermittently), the latch pin is somehow bent, or the plastic strap attached to the filler cap is jamming the hinge. You can move the strap around the filler cap to a different position (away from the hinge) and see if that helps. Perhaps you should explain to to your dealer that it isn't bloody rocket science...
 

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This just in: A popsicle stick will be standard on the 2009 models to alleviate owners fears about refueling. A slight price adjustment is anticipated to cover the additional equipment.
 
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