Charge Port Door Magnet Catch
Idea credit: Tom Dowling. When I first saw Tom's Rav, he had some Velcro holding his charge port door closed. Immediately I thought that it was a good idea to defeat the dash-mounted release, but I just *HAD* to figure out a way to make mine better. :) I've been a big fan of rare earth magnets since I first read about them. Now I have a huge supply from which to choose for my various projects. After unscrewing the metal "catch" from the back of the charge port door, I cut a bit of the foam pad, and glued a steel nut in place to act as the strike plate. The only challenge was to grind the nut down to the proper thickness to hold the door in just the right position. The rare earth magnet was glued to the mating part, directly over the formed sheet metal bumper pad. Finally, I carved a notch under one of the grille nubbins. This allows the grille to remain looking stock, but affords a perfect finger hold with which to yank the door open.
The benefits of doing this are: No need to unlock/climb back into the car when you want that door open. If I'm parked next to a vehicle who's owners know me, and my car is waiting in line for the charger - they know that my door can be pulled open and the paddle inserted. And the final benefit is that I didn't need to find a place to put the charge port door switch once I removed it from the dash for the cup holder project. Plus, I figure nobody can steal my fuel, so why does the door need to be locked in the first place? I sure wish Toyota had put this remote charge door opener money and effort into remote entry instead!
The top arrow points to the magnet that
is glued to the little bumper pad that is formed into the sheet metal at that
position (see the sister bumper pad on the right side of the port). The lower
arrow is the slightly rusty nut that I ground down and glued to the door.
I've since coated the nut with grease to prevent the rust.
This picture shows the stealth notch. None
of this can be seen unless your head is down at bumper level. I live for
using my Dremel.
Another Rav owner decided he wanted to keep the solenoid release even after breaking his spring. Here is what he found:
I considered Darell's magnetic latch modification, but decided to try to replace the spring instead. After some research with my local Toyota dealer (who doesn't service the RAV4EV) we discovered that Toyota's schematics for the RAV4EV actually show the grill assembly for the gas model without the charge port door. On whim, the parts manager went to the back and got the spring release that's used for the gas filler doors on most of the Toyota models. Sure enough the spring was the same as the one on the charge port door. The only difference is that it's on a plastic mounting bracket which attaches to the metal filler door.
I was able with some minimal effort to remove the spring from the plastic backing and slide it onto the mount on tab in the charge port door. Works like new.
If anyone needs this simple fix, the part number for the gas filler door spring is:
The cost was $7.41