Locking gas cap, locking fuel door, or should I even bother?

Locking gas cap, locking fuel door, or should I even bother?

Postby justsomeguy [OP] » January 22nd 2011, 5:20am

I've been reading through some older posts here on locking gas caps and remote releases for the fuel door. My base model 2005 Astro has neither a remote fuel door release or a locking gas cap. I tried buying a locking gas cap today, got the one it listed, but it didn't fit. The GM dealer doesn't sell locking gas caps. The parts guy also advised me to be careful because if it's not the right kind of gas cap, it can cause problems and make my check engine light come on. After reading some of the outcomes other forum members have had, that sounds about right.

I know that if a thief really wants to steal my gas, he/she will either punch a hole in the gas tank, pry open a fuel door or force open a locking gas cap. I once bought a used repo Cutlass Ciera with a locking gas cap. It didn't come with any keys for the gas cap, but I was able to easily open it using vice grips. So, I know it's easy to get past these things. But I'm wondering it it's worth it to stop the amateur fuel thief who didn't think of punching a hole in the gas tank, or a prankster who might pour sugar in my gas tank or p!$$ in my gas tank.

If a van doesn't have a remote fuel door release, it it a lot of work to add one? (do I just need a fuel door, cable and handle from a van in the junkyard? Or can I add a lock cylinder? I've seen some cars with with a lock cylinder right on the fuel door.
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Re: Locking gas cap, locking fuel door, or should I even bot

Postby reebok » January 22nd 2011, 6:29pm

Don't have any answers, but if you find the right locking cap please post the part number. I'd like to get one too. I have a 2004 astro.
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Re: Locking gas cap, locking fuel door, or should I even bot

Postby Phantom » January 22nd 2011, 6:31pm

Stant makes good quality locking gas caps , they should have an application chart on their website , I have one on mine , works very good :)
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Re: Locking gas cap, locking fuel door, or should I even bot

Postby justsomeguy [OP] » January 22nd 2011, 7:19pm

I'll have to see who sells Stant gas caps around here. The locking gas cap I bought a few days ago (that didn't fit) was not Stant - I think it was MotoRad.

Surprisingly, the GM dealer doesn't sell a locking gas cap for the Astro. They say if it doesn't close tightly it won't have the right pressure and can cause problems, but I suppose that could happen with a regular, non-locking cap too.
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Re: Locking gas cap, locking fuel door, or should I even bot

Postby unrreal » January 22nd 2011, 10:40pm

i have tried the locking gas caps before and they're junk they only lasted about 3 to 4 months each, if i was you i would go to my local locksmith and just add a locking cylinder like the ones on the truck tool boxes installed on the door. just my :2:
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Re: Locking gas cap, locking fuel door, or should I even bot

Postby justsomeguy [OP] » January 22nd 2011, 11:03pm

unrreal wrote:i have tried the locking gas caps before and they're junk they only lasted about 3 to 4 months each, if i was you i would go to my local locksmith and just add a locking cylinder like the ones on the truck tool boxes installed on the door. just my :2:


That sounds like a good idea too. It was actually my preferred option, but I thought it would be easier to get a locking gas cap instead. I guess I could get to the junkyard andget a spare fuel door and practice on that one before installing it on my van. The only concern I have with a locking fuel door is if someone is determined to open it, he might pry it open and damage the bodywork around the fuel door too. But... I can't worry about every possible thing that can go wrong. I think most thieves/vandals would just move on to an easier target. If they're determined to hit my van, they'll do it not matter what.
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Re: Locking gas cap, locking fuel door, or should I even bot

Postby Phantom » January 22nd 2011, 11:14pm

The locksmith idea is ok , but I have been using Stant locking gas caps for 20 years and never had any problem , in fact the one on my car is the same cap that was on a truck I had previously for 10 years , so that cap itself is 12 years old and still works fine , and it just so happens it is the same model as the one that has been on may van and still looks brand new a year and a half later
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Re: Locking gas cap, locking fuel door, or should I even bot

Postby tedanderson » January 22nd 2011, 11:28pm

One thing that I like about having a lock at any capacity is that you have evidence of forced entry. Many years ago I lived in a rough apartment community where thieves would skim off of cars in the parking lot ever so gradually to where you wouldn't really notice a half-gallon to a gallon difference on the needle. Then when I started taking public transportation to work, my car sat in the parking lot for nearly 2 weeks before I drove it again. I started with a full tank before I parked it but had less than half when I was ready to drive it again.
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Re: Locking gas cap, locking fuel door, or should I even bot

Postby Phantom » January 22nd 2011, 11:47pm

http://www.amazon.com/Stant-10506-Locki ... B000B8JUBQ

I notice a difference in the style for 2005 , on mine there is the threaded portion that keeps the cap securely on ; which is the way caps had been for years but on the 2005 the caps only have a couple of tabs that hold the cap on , so it is hard to say how good any cap will be on the 2005 . The thing about the design of the locking cap is without a key the top part of cap will just turn in circles and never come off unless you take heavy tools to break it off like any other cap , with the key it disengages the lock and the cap comes off , parts store like Advance auto carry it and you may be able to test fit one to see if you like it ,
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Re: Locking gas cap, locking fuel door, or should I even bot

Postby justsomeguy [OP] » January 23rd 2011, 1:30am

tedanderson wrote:One thing that I like about having a lock at any capacity is that you have evidence of forced entry. Many years ago I lived in a rough apartment community where thieves would skim off of cars in the parking lot ever so gradually to where you wouldn't really notice a half-gallon to a gallon difference on the needle. Then when I started taking public transportation to work, my car sat in the parking lot for nearly 2 weeks before I drove it again. I started with a full tank before I parked it but had less than half when I was ready to drive it again.


That was pretty slick! The gas thief/thieves must have really thought that one out, so as not to draw attention to themselves. Stealing a half gallon or a gallon at a time is easy to go unnoticed rather than something obvious like half a tank or all of the gas in the tank. A locking gas cap or gas door would have either deterred them and they would have gone on to an easier target (the likely outcome, for staling such a small amout of gas), or like you said, you would have likely seen evidence of forced entry, unless they were really good and could pick the lock.

Phantom wrote:http://www.amazon.com/Stant-10506-Locking-Fuel-Cap/dp/B000B8JUBQ%3FSubscriptionId%3DAKIAIUAHXZCVLJCA5IKA%26tag%3Dauto-fb-20%26linkCode%3Dxm2%26camp%3D2025%26creative%3D165953%26creativeASIN%3DB000B8JUBQ

I notice a difference in the style for 2005 , on mine there is the threaded portion that keeps the cap securely on ; which is the way caps had been for years but on the 2005 the caps only have a couple of tabs that hold the cap on , so it is hard to say how good any cap will be on the 2005 . The thing about the design of the locking cap is without a key the top part of cap will just turn in circles and never come off unless you take heavy tools to break it off like any other cap , with the key it disengages the lock and the cap comes off , parts store like Advance auto carry it and you may be able to test fit one to see if you like it ,


That could be why the gas cap I bought the other day didn't fit. It might have fit mos other years of Astro/Safari vans so they just assumed it would fit all years (the people who put together the list, that is, because the parts guy looked it up and even double checked it when I came back). Indeed, on my 2005, the gas cap is not threaded.I was expecting the threaded type that would just keep turning in circles without a key.

If that's the case, and there is no locking gas cap available for my van, I might have to use the lock cylinder on the fuel door. Oddly enough, the link above for the Stant gas cap does not list any year Astro or Safari. I'll try another auto parts store or maybe a garage that specializes in fuel systems or fuel tank repairs.
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Re: Locking gas cap, locking fuel door, or should I even bot

Postby toddb » January 23rd 2011, 2:31am

unless there is some trick I don't know about, I thought it was very difficult getting a siphon line down in there.
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Re: Locking gas cap, locking fuel door, or should I even bot

Postby chevymaher » January 23rd 2011, 2:42am

Not really when I had to put in fuel pump I had full tank.We put a hose in as big as a garden hose went right in tank dry in less than 5 minutes
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Re: Locking gas cap, locking fuel door, or should I even bot

Postby Phantom » January 23rd 2011, 2:50am

justsomeguy wrote: Indeed, on my 2005, the gas cap is not threaded.I was expecting the threaded type that would just keep turning in circles without a key.

If that's the case, and there is no locking gas cap available for my van, I might have to use the lock cylinder on the fuel door. Oddly enough, the link above for the Stant gas cap does not list any year Astro or Safari. I'll try another auto parts store or maybe a garage that specializes in fuel systems or fuel tank repairs.


The factory original caps with the threads do not spin in circles , only the feature on the locking gas cap , go to the parts store and tell them you want Stant part number 10506,
and then take a look at it , they may let you test fit the cap before you buy it , it is likely that it also has the spin in circles locking antitheft feature on it , but only by physical examination will you know for sure .
Advance auto is where I got the part number
part numbers [10591 & 10501 pre release ] are for the earlier astro's
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Re: Locking gas cap, locking fuel door, or should I even bot

Postby RECox286 » January 23rd 2011, 7:31am

Knowing that locks are meant to keep honest people honest, and that it is so easy to insert a siphon, or just drill a hole in the bottom of the tank, and let the gas run into a bucket, what ever you do is only done for your own peace of mind. That said, get a Stant Locking Cap for your application. It will only be a few dollars spent one way or the other.

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Re: Locking gas cap, locking fuel door, or should I even bot

Postby justsomeguy [OP] » January 23rd 2011, 2:19pm

Phantom wrote:The factory original caps with the threads do not spin in circles , only the feature on the locking gas cap , go to the parts store and tell them you want Stant part number 10506,
and then take a look at it , they may let you test fit the cap before you buy it , it is likely that it also has the spin in circles locking antitheft feature on it , but only by physical examination will you know for sure .
Advance auto is where I got the part number
part numbers [10591 & 10501 pre release ] are for the earlier astro's


Thanks, I'll see if they'll let me test ft it first. I googled that Stant part number and it went to Amazon. The application guide says it doesn't fit a 2005 Astro. But then again, the Moto Rad gas cap I bought a few days was listed as a proper fit but it wasn't. I'll only know if I try.
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Re: Locking gas cap, locking fuel door, or should I even bot

Postby toddb » January 23rd 2011, 6:59pm

chevymaher wrote:Not really when I had to put in fuel pump I had full tank.We put a hose in as big as a garden hose went right in tank dry in less than 5 minutes



OH, It's been a long time since I siphoned, teenagers years and did it all the time to Mom so I could ride my Dirt bike, Thanks Mom, (not that I told her, but I'm sure she knew). Nothing worse than a mouthfull of regular. lol

Anyhow When I tried to empty my wife's tank on a 2001 grand am (fuel pump too) I could not get a hose down it for the life of me. When I asked around I was told all new vehicles have anti-siphon technology.
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Re: Locking gas cap, locking fuel door, or should I even bot

Postby Phantom » January 23rd 2011, 7:11pm

justsomeguy wrote:
Phantom wrote:The factory original caps with the threads do not spin in circles , only the feature on the locking gas cap , go to the parts store and tell them you want Stant part number 10506,
and then take a look at it , they may let you test fit the cap before you buy it , it is likely that it also has the spin in circles locking antitheft feature on it , but only by physical examination will you know for sure .
Advance auto is where I got the part number
part numbers [10591 & 10501 pre release ] are for the earlier astro's


Thanks, I'll see if they'll let me test ft it first. I googled that Stant part number and it went to Amazon. The application guide says it doesn't fit a 2005 Astro. But then again, the Moto Rad gas cap I bought a few days was listed as a proper fit but it wasn't. I'll only know if I try.

Here is a link for ya

http://shop.advanceautoparts.com/webapp ... 1053168___
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Re: Locking gas cap, locking fuel door, or should I even bot

Postby justsomeguy [OP] » January 23rd 2011, 10:12pm

toddb wrote: When I asked around I was told all new vehicles have anti-siphon technology.


Well, on one hand, that's good to hear. On the other... I guess that's why some gas thieves puncture a hole in the gas tank. If it came down to someone determined to steal gas out of my tank, I'd rather they siphon it rather than damage my gas tank. Or ideally, notice the locking gas cap (and perhaps later, flashing LED for an alarm I may install) and move on to an easier target.




Great, thanks! I look forward to test fitting that gas gap. Hope it fits! :)
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Re: Locking gas cap, locking fuel door, or should I even bot

Postby tedanderson » January 24th 2011, 1:32am

Please forgive me if this is too far off topic but to put things into perspective, I gotta ask- How much gas can someone realistically steal at one time? I mean I suppose if someone had a pickup truck with a storage tank and the right equipment, they could easily take 20 gallons from you.. but then again, would someone with that status need to steal gas?

Secondly, how easy is it to collect and carry more than a couple of gallons if a thief were to puncture the tank? Wouldn't the size of the container needed to take a tank of gas be too big and heavy for the average person to carry? Secondly would the thief have enough time to collect the gas in a shallow pan and transfer it to something larger? Maybe if they had 4 or 5 of those military style gas cans, they could lean them over far enough to get the slanted side of the can under the puncture hole. But again, how do you carry that many 5-gallon cans without getting noticed?
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Re: Locking gas cap, locking fuel door, or should I even bot

Postby justsomeguy [OP] » January 24th 2011, 3:23am

I think the chances of being the victim of "gas theft" is not very likely. Having said that... It would be bad enough if someone siphoned a bit of gas. At least there would (hopefully) not be any damage to the vehicle. But, there's still a chance that someone who really doesn't care how much damage he/she does could cause hundreds of dollars in damage for $10 worth of gas - whether it be to puncture a small hole, take what he/she can carry and let the rest of the gas spill onto the driveway.

I'm all for thinking positively. But, every once in a while, anyone can become a victim of crime - whether it be minor or major. Over the years, I've learned to think the best, but be prepared to occasionally have the unexpected happen. If I can spend a small amount of time, effort or money to prevent something ("set it and forget it), I do it. Let me share a personal story:

When I was 21, I bought my first brand new car, all on my own. It was a (then brand new) 1994 Ford Escort LX and I was so proud of it. Within 2 months of ownership, one night someone stole the factory aluminum rims & OEM tires off it and left the car sitting on the ground, causing more damage (in addition to punching out a door lock to gain entry to the car to use the factory jack in my trunk. I had insurance, but the deductible was rather high. I did not budget for it, and it took me nearly 3 months to save up to pay the insurance deductible to get the car fixed - all the while I had to keep up with the monthly car and insurance payments. Without the car, I had to give up my part time delivery job, taking a pay cut. I realized that if I had spent $25 on a set of locking lug nuts, I may not have been the victim of this crime. The thought that someone would steal my factory rims and tires on my Ford Escort never even crossed my mind. However, since then, I have always spent the $25 or so for a set of locking nuts on any vehicle with aluminum or chrome rims and/or a decent set of tires.

That same year, a friend of mine had a $400 beater Corolla stolen which he had just bought 3 weeks prior. The thief used the car to get to a nearby city then smashed out all of the windows and parked it on a set of train tracks. The police found it before the train came at 4:00 am, but the car had to be scrapped. Of course, given the value of the car, my friend did not have fire, theft or vandalism insurance, so he had to absorb the loss. After that, I decided that I didn't want to have a vehicle stolen, so I have always used "The Club" on the steering wheel.

Of course, locking lug nuts or The Club on the steering wheel, or even a locking gas cap won't stop a professional or determined thief. But, it will hopefully ward off the amateurs who will move on to an easier target. I feel it is a wise investment to spend $25 to $50 for each of these low tech anti-theft devices. On certain vehicles, I've opted to spend even more had an alarm and/or starter kill installed.

So, that's why I'm willing to spend the $20 or so for a locking gas cap or lock for the fuel door for my new Astro. I've already got The Club on the steering wheel and will soon get locking nuts and a locking gas cap or fuel door. I may also get a remote starter with alarm. I'm just taking a few simple steps to make my vehicle less attractive to amateur thieves. These thefts may be rather unlikely, but for the small amount the protection costs, it's worth the peace of mind to me.
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