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Old 22-11-2015   #1
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Help... Oil filler cap won't undo...

Hi,

Tried to top up the oil on my wife's fiat 500 today and cannot undo the oil cap!

It's not stuck and I can turn it but it just keeps clicking. If I turn it clockwise or anti clockwise I get the same noise. It is harder to turn as if I was trying to undo it though but it still clicks.

Has anyone had this problem? Google shows no similar experiences. I'm wondering if it has been tightened up wrong and has somehow managed to cross thread??

Any help would be appreciated, thanks.
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Old 22-11-2015   #2
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Re: Help... Oil filler cap won't undo...

Your 500 has a 0.9 TwinAir engine?
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Old 22-11-2015   #3
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Re: Help... Oil filler cap won't undo...

Quote Originally Posted by Blu500 View Post
Hi,

Tried to top up the oil on my wife's fiat 500 today and cannot undo the oil cap!

It's not stuck and I can turn it but it just keeps clicking. If I turn it clockwise or anti clockwise I get the same noise. It is harder to turn as if I was trying to undo it though but it still clicks.

Has anyone had this problem? Google shows no similar experiences. I'm wondering if it has been tightened up wrong and has somehow managed to cross thread??

Any help would be appreciated, thanks.
Hello and welcome.

The oil filler cap has a built-in friction ratchet, which clicks when tightening (to stop it being overtightened). It should not click when untightening - it seems likely that yours has got a worn or damaged ratchet mechanism.

Try undoing it when the engine is either at running temperature, or stone cold. It might firm up in the cold weather, so trying first thing on a very cold morning might just do the trick.

Once you've managed to remove it, I'd say the best and safest thing to do is to replace it.

Don't try driving with it removed - the mess it will make of your engine bay would have to be seen to be believed.
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Old 22-11-2015   #4
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Re: Help... Oil filler cap won't undo...

Ok, I realise the following link is for a Jeep, but this might be a solution if you don't succeed with other methods:

http://www.stu-offroad.com/engine/oi...ilchange-3.htm

Clearly, anything you try is at your own risk
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Old 22-11-2015   #5
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Re: Help... Oil filler cap won't undo...

Quote Originally Posted by frupi View Post
Ok, I realise the following link is for a Jeep, but this might be a solution if you don't succeed with other methods:

Clearly, anything you try is at your own risk
Looks worth a try, though I'd buy a replacement oil filler cap first.

If you are in any doubt about being able to remove it cleanly without anything falling into the engine, I'd suggest also buying a new gasket, removing the cam cover and extracting the old filler cap on the bench.
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Old 23-11-2015   #6
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Re: Help... Oil filler cap won't undo...

My oilcap (TA) has always been difficult to remove, in fact It can't be undone by hand if tightened past the first 'click' and I have to use pliers. I suspect one day it will do the same as this due to the stress so I only tighten it to just short of the first 'click' now. It hasn't shown any inclination to come loose and I still sometimes need the pliers to get it moving.
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Old 23-11-2015   #7
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Re: Help... Oil filler cap won't undo...

Quote Originally Posted by Piccolo Nero e Bella View Post
My oilcap (TA) has always been difficult to remove, in fact It can't be undone by hand if tightened past the first 'click' and I have to use pliers. I suspect one day it will do the same as this due to the stress so I only tighten it to just short of the first 'click' now. It hasn't shown any inclination to come loose and I still sometimes need the pliers to get it moving.
With your words ringing in my ears, I went out to check mine.

I very nearly panicked!

It took all my finger-strength to turn it. Never had a problem before, but this morning was damned cold and I would normally have undone it with the engine still warm.

Maybe when the engine block/head/etc is stone cold, it's tight, and when warm, it's not so tight?

Thanks,
Mick.
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Old 23-11-2015   #8
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Re: Help... Oil filler cap won't undo...

Quote Originally Posted by Mick F View Post
Maybe when the engine block/head/etc is stone cold, it's tight, and when warm, it's not so tight?
The thermal coefficient of expansion for aluminium is very different from that of most plastics, so I'd expect the fit to be temperature dependent.

Linear temperature expansion coefficients ((10-6 m/(m K)):

Aluminium: 22.2
ABS: 73.8
Nylon (general purpose): 72.0

If you get into the habit of always opening the cap under the same conditions, it might help prevent this sort of thing from happening. If yours is stuck, try any combination you can think of - one of them might work! You could even try wrapping the cap in a packet of frozen peas when the engine is warm.
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Last edited by jrkitching; 23-11-2015 at 17:27.
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Old 23-11-2015   #9
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Re: Help... Oil filler cap won't undo...

Damn ....thats too technical for me at this time of day !
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Old 23-11-2015   #10
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Re: Help... Oil filler cap won't undo...

Yep, my TA's cap has been very tight on occasions, but I've always (just) been able to undo it by hand. When I tighten it, I only let the ratchet click once, but I'm not sure if that's any different from multiple clicks!
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Old 23-11-2015   #11
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Re: Help... Oil filler cap won't undo...

Thanks for all the replies.

I have tried it when cold and at running temperature still no luck. If I twist it really hard I can see and feel the plastic cracking a bit. So as said the Rachet system must have failed.

We have booked the car in for a service on Friday at fiat as its due one so will report the problem then and see what they can do.

I feel that I will have to break it to get it off and don't fancy doing this without a replacement handy also with the risk of something falling inside I think it's better to leave it to the professionals
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Old 23-11-2015   #12
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Help... Oil filler cap won't undo...

Quote Originally Posted by Blu500 View Post
Thanks for all the replies.



I have tried it when cold and at running temperature still no luck. If I twist it really hard I can see and feel the plastic cracking a bit. So as said the Rachet system must have failed.



We have booked the car in for a service on Friday at fiat as its due one so will report the problem then and see what they can do.



I feel that I will have to break it to get it off and don't fancy doing this without a replacement handy also with the risk of something falling inside I think it's better to leave it to the professionals

Hmm be careful with that, you may run the risk of bits falling in alright, I wouldn't risk it
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Last edited by Mercky; 23-11-2015 at 23:07.
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Old 1 Week Ago   #13
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Re: Help... Oil filler cap won't undo...

I had trouble removing the oil filler cap, the ratchet kept slipping so I wound a large self drilling screw into it to trap both halves of the cap. I still had to use pliers to get it out, very tight. See pic.
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Old 1 Week Ago   #14
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Re: Help... Oil filler cap won't undo...

Quote Originally Posted by Ripley View Post
I had trouble removing the oil filler cap, the ratchet kept slipping so I wound a large self drilling screw into it to trap both halves of the cap. I still had to use pliers to get it out, very tight. See pic.
I hope you're not still using the faulty cap? and its just the new one is a tight fit?
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