How to Clean Rust From Gas With Muriatic Acid

by Eric W. Thompson
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Rust can build up in your gas tank over time and inhibit proper engine functioning. This is especially true with older vehicles. The rust will eventually clog your fuel filter and fuel injectors, causing excessive sputtering and stalling. Fortunately, you can solve this problem fairly easily with using muriatic acid. Though the process for removing rust from your gas tank is easy enough that you can do it yourself, you will want to ensure your safety and employ adequate safety measures due to the caustic fumes the muriatic acid emits.

Step 1

Disconnect the negative battery cable from your vehicle's power source using a ratchet and socket, and siphon the gas from the gas tank with a gas siphoning kit.

Step 2

Place a jack beneath the gas tank and raise it until the gas tank rests upon the jack.

Step 3

Disconnect the tank's holding straps using a ratchet and socket, then slowly lower the jack until you can see the tank hoses. Remove the hoses using a flathead screwdriver, then plug the hoses with rags, lower the jack and remove the gas tank. These instructions may vary, depending on the make and model of your vehicle.

Step 4

Inspect the gas tank to make sure it is not rusted completely through.

Step 5

Pour the container of muriatic acid into the gas tank, then lift one side of the tank gently up and down for a few minutes to distribute the acid throughout the tank. Be sure to wear a face mask, gloves and goggles while performing this task. Allow the acid to sit for an hour, then remove the acid, carefully lifting one side of the tank and draining it into a compatible drain pan.

Step 6

Rinse the tank out with water and drain the water into another drain pan repeatedly until there is no more rust residue.

Step 7

Allow the tank to dry for an hour, then pour rubbing alcohol into the tank to absorb excess moisture. Swish the alcohol around in the tank using the aforementioned method, then allow it to sit until it is evaporated.

Step 8

Reinstall the gas tank and finish the procedure, following steps 1 through 3 in reverse.

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