How to remove a locked petrol cap without a key

Written by russell wood
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How to remove a locked petrol cap without a key
A locking petrol cap can help prevent thieves from siphoning the petrol out of your car. (Car fuel filler cap image by Christopher Dodge from

When petrol prices go up, so do incidents of petrol being siphoned out of tanks. Stopping the problem can be as easy as installing a locking petrol cap onto the petrol door. But if you lose the key to the lock, then you've got no way to fill up your tank, and eventually your car will run out of fuel. Fixing the problem can be a bit complicated, but it can be done at home with a few basic tools.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Flathead screwdriver
  • Drill
  • Metal drill bits
  • Dead-blow hammer

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  1. 1

    Place the blade of the flathead screwdriver into the keyhole and hammer the end using the dead blow hammer. Attempt to turn the screwdriver and open up the petrol cap. If you can't get it open, proceed to the next step.

  2. 2

    Pull out the flathead screwdriver. Drill out the lock using the drill and metal drill bits, starting with a small bit and stepping up progressively until the keyhole is gone from the cap.

  3. 3

    Place the flathead screwdriver into the centre of the cavity where the lock was previously located and turn the linkage over with the screwdriver, unlocking the cap. Turn the petrol cap counter-clockwise until it comes off the gas filler neck.

Tips and warnings

  • Never smoke or have an open flame nearby while you're working on the fuel system of a vehicle. If you do, you risk causing a fire and damaging yourself and the vehicle.

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