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I was heading out yesterday on a 500 mile trip in my 02 ML500. When I stopped at a gas station to fill the tank, my gas flap door would not unlock, so I had to scrap the trip. I guess I am just lucky this did not happen out on the road. BTW, my key fob works just fine to lock and unlock all of the ML doors, so at least there are not bigger problems involved.

I think my flap lock actuator has failed. With a flat screwdriver through the small interior access panel, I was able to manually retract the actuator's locking pin from the flap door and could open the flap door. Can I just permanently remove the lock actuator; will the gas flap stay closed without the actuator pin being engaged? I don't really need a locking gas flap in my neighborhood.

It seems like Mercedes chose to use a complicated motor/gear driven actuator for the gas flap lock mechanism instead of a much simpler and more reliable electromagnetic solenoid design. Has anyone repaired a faulty actuator by disassembly, cleaning, and lubing the mechanism? Do I just need to bite the bullet and purchase a new actuator before removing the large plastic panel to gain access to my actuator?
 

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You don't know your truck that well. It is either you do not have an owner's manual or do but you haven't read it. All manufacturers that have elec. locking flaps, have a manual release, just for these kind of instances.
 

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You don't know your truck that well. It is either you do not have an owner's manual or do but you haven't read it. All manufacturers that have elec. locking flaps, have a manual release, just for these kind of instances.
First thing I did at the gas station (after unloading luggage to gain access to the little access door) and finding no easy way to manually open the fuel door was to look at the owners manual. Perhaps a previous owner had broken off some emergency release lever (my owner's manual had no photo but mentioned a clockwise turn was needed). It would have taken a miniature set of vice grips to turn the actuator rod clockwise on my ML. Since there was no lever arm on my actuator assembly, I had no choice but to return home and look for some tools.

Even after forcing my actuator rod back up with screwdriver, it re-activated downward to lock the flap when I did a short test drive; again it would not unlock with the key fob. In preparation for my 500 mile trip today, I disconnected the white two wire plug to the actuator motor, so I no longer have a locking fuel flap.

Thank goodness, I don't live in NYC and don't need such a "feature" on my ML. I can't leave food in my ML, but at least the bears around here don't steal gas.
 
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