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What Are the Causes of Gasoline Spraying at You When Filling the Gas Tank?

by Quentin Shires

The last thing any driver expects is to get splashed with gasoline when fueling his car. Because gasoline is a volatile and flammable mixture of octane, hexanes and heptanes, extreme caution must be used during the refueling process. Gasoline has been known to splash in the face of car owners refilling their tanks. Knowing possible causes can help keep drivers safe when visiting service stations.

Faulty Stop Valves

Every gasoline pump should be equipped with a stop valve. A stop valve detects when your fuel tank is full and automatically shuts off the flow of gasoline flowing through the pump and into your tank. If the pump's stop valve is broken the pump will not automatically shut off, causing gasoline to spray.

To help lessen the chance of being sprayed with gasoline because of a faulty stop valve, be aware of how many gallons of fuel your tank can hold. Gasoline pumps are equipped with an indicator of how many gallons have been transferred to your tank. If you are reaching the maximum capacity and the stop valve has not turned on, manually stop the flow of gasoline.

Damaged Nozzles

Gasoline is pumped from underground tanks, through hoses and nozzles and into your vehicle. Damaged or faulty nozzles can cause gasoline to leak and, because of the pressure, spray back at you.

Although gas stations are required to regularly check nozzles, hoses, pumps and tanks, it is a good idea to watch for any possible leaks while refueling your vehicle. If you notice the handle of the gasoline pump to be wet, it can be an indication that there is a damaged nozzle.

Air Pressure

Air pressure has also been known to cause gasoline to spray out of a vehicle's tank. Most gas caps on vehicles are vented, meaning that pressure cannot build up in the gas tank when the cap is secure.

Find out what type of gas cap your vehicle's tank has and always use caution when opening. If your vehicle has a vented gas cap there is minimum risk of being sprayed with gasoline. If you drive an older vehicle, ensure that you slowly open the gas cap to release any pressure that has built within the tank.

Automobile Problems

There may also be a problem with your vehicle. If this problem is occurring on a regular basis, consult with a mechanic. The tank itself, or the area where you place the spout to fill the tank, may be damaged or faulty.

About the Author

Quentin Shires has been writing since 2003, covering topics such as safety issues, travel and counseling. Shires holds a Master of Science in mental health counseling from Nova Southeastern University and is working toward his Ph.D. in human behavior from Capella University.

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