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How to open the charging flap by hand

Posted: Fri Jan 03, 2020 2:08 pm
by Rodriguez
A few months ago my charging flap wouldn't open anymore and I couldn't find a decent to the point video on how to do it manually, so I made one myself. This is meant someone who encounters the same problem and just wants to plug in, so I kept it very brief.

Thought might post it here as well, you might want to know the trick before you need it:

https://youtu.be/0J9lPGGp3-A

Re: How to open the charging flap by hand

Posted: Fri Jan 03, 2020 2:53 pm
by jjeff
Thanks, seems easy enough.
The only time my hatch wouldn't open was after rain/ice. I assume the rubber seal got water on it and froze, freezing the hatch to the rubber. Pushing the button didn't help, the spring wasn't strong enough to break the ice seal. I tried pounding down on the hatch with the heal of my hand but nothing, in the end I ended up slipping my fingers as much as possible in the crack and while lifting I used the remote hatch release(only found on '13 and later Leafs. If it had happened to my '12 it would have taken a second person, one to pry up on the hatch and one to pull the remote hatch release below the steering wheel. As I was alone I was glad it happened to my '13 :)
Using the trick you posted even with a '12(or '11) it should be a one-man job.

Re: How to open the charging flap by hand

Posted: Fri Jan 03, 2020 6:48 pm
by Rodriguez
Some vaseline or silicone spray on the rubber should help prevent that from happening, people have been putting that on door rubbers to prevent them from freezing shut since whenever while fiercely debating which one is the better choice.

Anyway next time you have some spare time, give it a try, it's not that hard but it can be a bit finicky to locate the lever the first time, might as well take your time to find it out while it's nice and sunny instead while you're stuck in a parking lot in the freezing rain :lol:

Re: How to open the charging flap by hand

Posted: Fri Jan 03, 2020 7:49 pm
by LeftieBiker
Petroleum jelly will slowly dissolve rubber, so I'd go with either silicone spray or silicone rubber-friendly grease.

Re: How to open the charging flap by hand

Posted: Fri Jan 03, 2020 9:11 pm
by Oilpan4
I was thinking about sticking some electric hand warmers under there along the seal.
For my car it likes to collect water near the lower part of the door seal.

That's good to know incase the cable freezes or breaks.

Re: How to open the charging flap by hand

Posted: Fri Jan 03, 2020 10:55 pm
by Nubo
LeftieBiker wrote:
Fri Jan 03, 2020 7:49 pm
Petroleum jelly will slowly dissolve rubber, so I'd go with either silicone spray or silicone rubber-friendly grease.
Agreed; I avoid using petroleum products on rubber. It depends on the specific material but it's a good rule. Definitely better safe than sorry.

Re: How to open the charging flap by hand

Posted: Fri Jan 03, 2020 11:24 pm
by LeftieBiker
I think that maybe synthetic rubber will better resist petroleum products, but since so many rubber products are still made from or with natural rubber that it's not worth the gamble, as you said.

Re: How to open the charging flap by hand

Posted: Sat Jan 04, 2020 9:34 pm
by goldbrick
Thanks OP, for the great write-up. I hope to never need to know this but if for some reason I can't open my charging door, I will know what to do.

Re: How to open the charging flap by hand

Posted: Sun Jan 05, 2020 6:02 am
by powersurge
I have found that it is not the rubber parts that need to be lubricated, but the cables. I have found that since we do not pop the hood very often, the door cable may rust or stick, and the door will not open,

A little bit of wd40 and or penetrating oil will get it to open freely, and maybe some lithium great will keep it well lubed...

PS - WHAT DOES THE GREEN DOT NEXT TO MY NAME MEAN? (capitals used for greater visibility)

Re: How to open the charging flap by hand

Posted: Sun Jan 05, 2020 6:29 am
by GerryAZ
The green dot means you are online on the forum.

Lubricating the mechanical cable is a good recommendation--easiest way is with a pressure lubricator that clamps to one end of the cable. You can get one at a motorcycle accessory shop along with lubricant in a spray can. WD40 is OK, but motorcycle cable lubricant will last longer between applications.

I am glad to see from the original post that it is not difficult to access the electric release mechanism used starting in 2013.