Ford Easy Fill Isn't Always Easy

Jack Baruth
by Jack Baruth

My experience with Ford’s Easy-Fill capless fuel system has been universally positive. It’s one of those why’d-it-take-so-long ideas and I’m surprised it hasn’t become the industry standard. It’s also certainly reduced the number of women drivers who leave the gas station with their fuel caps dangling or missing entirely.

On Saturday, however, the 2012 Edge SEL AWD currently being driven by my son’s mother experienced a most unusual issue: the Easy-Fill mechanism stopped working. And on further examination, it turns out that this malfunction isn’t as unusual as I’d thought.

Easy-Fill is more complicated than it looks at first glance. It locks the filler door in place unless the power door locks are released. It also won’t release unless a fuel nozzle of the appropriate size is inserted. Those are two Things That Can Go Wrong, of course. Naturally, this happened to the Edge in question when there was about two gallons of fuel left in the tank. Ford provides an additional plastic nozzle to be used in the Easy-Fill to facilitate the use of portable fuel canisters, so we placed said nozzle in the Easy-Fill and hammered it lightly, to no effect.

While I was busy experiencing defeat at the hands of a plastic nozzle, my partner in the enterprise was busy Googling for other occurrences of the issue. Although some of the issues are due to sheer stupidity, it would appear that sticking Easy-Fills aren’t that uncommon, with the cure usually being a vigorous hammering at the dealership.

After admitting defeat, we sent the Edge to the dealership, where the Easy-Fill promptly worked as designed and advertised. We have it on a two-year lease which is almost up, so we aren’t going to worry about it too much, but I’d think twice about buying a Ford with the feature unless I knew a good solid way to get the thing open in a pinch. It’s a complicated mechanism that might not be 100% ready for prime time in all circumstances. Ironically, the same thing’s been said about SYNC more than once.

It’s easy to admire Ford for relentlessly pushing technology into the marketplace, but it’s also natural to wonder if a little more caution wouldn’t be warranted at times. Not necessarily a Honda’s worth of caution; who wants five-speed automatic transmissions and Eighties-era in-dash displays? But a little more might not go amiss, eh?

Jack Baruth
Jack Baruth

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  • Aerojet Aerojet on Jul 20, 2014

    Here is my experience - we have a 2014 Transit Connect. It has been on the property for about three weeks. It has less than 1100 miles on it. Last week it set the MIL for the evap problem. I have been smelling gas like crazy especially on hot days. Went to the dealer, and they looked at it and told me it was MY PROBLEM in how I fueled the thing. Right! I am supposed to be sure the flapper door is closed properly. This one does not have the "lock" on it - that was changed a few years ago to just "push" to open with anything - this was in response to problems with emergency fueling from my research. This stupid thing does NOT WORK worth a darn. It is a way of Ford saving $10.00 per car or so at the assembly point. If you think Ford is going to admit it screwed up, you have another guess coming. They will push this off on you, and you can pay the dealer every time the light goes on - or - you can get a Actron tool, clear the code, turn off the mil light and move on -- IN Addition. I made a 2 inch circle rubber gasket (neoprene) and duct taped it to the outside of the fuel filler thingy. That sealed it. I am looking for another work truck, perhaps the Chevy City Express, which is a Nissan NV 200. SOON. This thing is a bomb just awaiting for some goof with a lit smoke to go off. Moderator - leave this up, it is a dangerous situation. Anyone with anything glowing, or open flame around this unit will go up when it gets hot out and the tank "outgasses". Trust me it will, it has set off my gas detector already, just testing it with tools here at the shop. The Aerojet

  • Drsmith917 Drsmith917 on Jul 04, 2015

    When the Check Engine and Fuel Filler Error lights on my 2012 Mustang came on, I was concerned. So I took it to my local Ford Dealer. After over $100 to "investigate", I was told that the fuel vapor purge valve was defective. The cost to replace was quoted at $450. But, I could apply the $100 towards the service resulting in an overall cost of about $350. I drove home, searched for the official Ford valve and found it at a local parts store for $17. I thought, the price quoted must be all labor. So I looked for it on my engine. Sitting right on top with a couple of clamps. Replaced it in 5 minutes. Did it fix the problem? NO! Is Ford trying to rip off their customers - At least in this dealership! I also had a problem related to rust under the edge of the hood. They stripped and repainted the entire hood. When I looked up the issue, I found that it had been a known issue since 1994! Ford, "Quality is Job 1"? Now, I'm going to buy an ODBII to reset my CEL and also buy a "plug" that should fix the poorly designed Easy Fill. Oh, guess what? Ford makes and sells a plug to fit Easy Fill fuel systems. Hmmm...Ford knows about the problem, tries to rip off customers and then sell them the solution for their design mistakes?

  • Tassos Jong-iL The Peninsula of One Korea.
  • Eric No, I just share my opinions. I have no use nor time for rhetoric from any side.
  • Redapple2 Jeez. This is simple. I 75 and 696 area. 1 nobody -NOBODY wants to work in downtown Detritus. 2 close to the tech ctr. Design and Engineering HQ. 20 miles closer to Milford.3 lower taxes for the employees. Lower taxes for Evil GM Vampire.4 2 major expressways give users more options to suburbs. Faster transport.Jeez.
  • Clark The Ring (Nürburgring) is the only race track I've driven on. That was 1985 or 1986 with my '73 Fiat Spider (and my not-so-happy girlfriend). So I made the Karussell (today: Caracciola Karussell, which I believe the author meant; there is another one: Kleines Karussell).
  • AZFelix This article takes me back to racing electric slot cars with friends on tracks laid out in the basement. Periodically your car would stop due to lost connections or from flying off the track and you would have to dash over to it and set it right. In the mean time your competitor would race ahead until faced with a similar problem. It seemed like you were struggling harder to keep from losing than trying to win. Fun times.“History never repeats itself, but it does often rhyme.” Mark Twain