How to De-Ice a Gas Tank Door

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Things You'll Need

  • Soft-bristled brush

  • Plastic ice scraper

  • De-icing spray

  • Cooking oil spray

Follow the same de-icing principles for doors, handles and other hinged elements.
Image Credit: Hemera Technologies/ Images

In the winter season, keeping a full gas tank helps prevent frozen water from entering your fuel line, which can potentially cost you a new fuel pump. Unfortunately, the very same cold temperatures that make keeping a full tank so important can also lead to iced-over gas tank doors. Keep an arsenal of de-icing supplies on hand during the cold season to tackle this problem with ease.

Step 1

Clear your vehicle's exhaust pipe and radiator grill of any snow by hand or with a brush and ice scraper. Turn on the engine and allow the vehicle to idle for about five minutes. Do not turn on the defroster or heater yet, as the rapid change in temperature may crack the glass on the vehicle.

Step 2

Turn the defroster and heat on, set to high. Turn the headlights on. Not only will this help dissolve snow and ice from the glass, it will increase the overall temperature of the vehicle, making it easier to de-ice.

Step 3

Wipe as much loose snow as possible from the gas tank door and the surrounding area with a soft-bristled broom.

Step 4

Scrape as much ice from the gas tank door as you can with a plastic ice scraper. Score or break up thick ice with the scraper as best you can.

Step 5

Apply de-icing spray to the gas tank door, targeting the hinges and perimeter of the door. Allow the spray to set for about five seconds and then scrape the ice again.

Step 6

Spray the gas tank door and area around the gas cap with cooking oil spray once you've completely de-iced the area. This helps prevent the door from icing over again.


If de-icing fluid isn't handy, use a solution of one part vinegar and one part warm water.

Brush snow off your car even on days you don't plan on driving. This helps prevent ice buildup and iced-over gas tank doors.


Avoid using credit cards or other items to scrape ice from the gas tank door or other parts of your car, as they may damage the car's finish.

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