Engine Maintenance

How to Fix a Gas Tank Leak


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Any vehicle can develop a gas tank leak for a number of reasons. One common cause is due to sharp objects, including rocks, which are thrown up by the car's tires. Gas tank leaking is also caused by corrosion and even from the gasoline itself, because it can eat away the material. Driving while gas is leaking from your vehicle is very dangerous as well as costly, and immediate repairs must be carried out as soon as the situation becomes evident.

Tools and Materials Required:

  • Gas tank sealer putty
  • Plastic gas can
  • Jack stands
  • Needle nose pliers
  • Socket wrench set
  • Open end wrench
  • Pliers
  • Emery cloth 
  • Metal primer
  • Metal paint
  • Machinist's file

Step 1. Remove the Remaining Gas

If there is not much gasoline left in the tank, it is possible to simply drive home and utilize the fuel in the process. The best approach is to drain the gas tank. Use an open end wrench and needle nose pliers to remove the gasoline line from the tank. Allow the remaining fuel to drain into the plastic container. Store this container in a safe area, away from flammable products.

Step 2. Disconnect Electrical Wiring

Disconnect the electrical connector from the gasoline pump by simply removing the connector, which you will find behind the vehicle's back bumper.

Step 3. Remove Fuel Tank

Loosen the nuts that secure the fuel tank straps. Use jacks to hold the fuel tank in place so that you can remove the vertical bolts. Unfasten the fuel pipe that connects the tank and gasoline pump and remove the fuel tank.

Step 4. Sand the Damaged Area

Place the tank in a suitable work area. Check the gas tank for damaged areas and proceed with the gas tank leak repair. Use the machinist's file to clean all damaged areas, paying particular attention to remove any rust that is present. Complete this task by sanding the area with emery cloth.

Step 6: Apply Fuel Tank Putty

Work a suitable layer of fuel tank putty over the damaged area. Check manufacturer's instructions as to how long the putty needs to dry. Once the putty is completely dry (may be 24 hours or more), sand down any excess with the emery paper.

Step 7. Paint

Paint the repaired area with a suitable metal primer. Allow this to dry completely. Then paint with a suitable metal paint and allow it to dry completely.

Step 8. Replace the Tank

Position the fuel tank on jacks underneath the car and reconnect the gasoline pump tubing to the tank. Raise the tank until the vertical bolts can be inserted and secured. Replace the tank straps and use a socket wrench to secure the nuts. Reconnect the electrical connector to the fuel pump.

Step 9. Refill the Tank

Add gasoline to the fuel tank and ensure that the damaged areas have been correctly sealed.

Repairs to a leaking gas tank can be done at home, so there is no need to continue to drive with a leaking fuel tank, which is not only costly but dangerous as well.

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