How to Flush a Gas Tank

by Julie Duncan

A recently purchased vehicle that has been sitting for a long period of time probably has old, rusty gas in the tank that needs to be flushed. If you are mechanically challenged or do not know the first thing about car mechanics, it is probably best to take the vehicle to an expert for flushing. However, if you can read an owner's manual and understand the parts and functions of a vehicle, you can flush the gas tank.

Drive the car until you can get the gas gauge as low as possible without running out gas before you get to your destination. The gas tank should be as light as possible before you begin working on it, which is why you want to get the gas level as low as possible.

Remove any remaining gas using a siphon pump. Store the old gas in a large disposable container. This container will need to be taken to a local recycling center for proper disposal.

Read the vehicle's owner's manual to determine how to remove the gas tank and obtain the appropriate tools needed for removal for your particular vehicle. Tools may include a socket set, wrench set and screwdrivers.

Remove the gas tank from the vehicle. Depending on the size of the vehicle, the gas tank may be rather large, so you may need help in removing it and moving it to a location for flushing. You should also pour any gas that is still remaining in the tank in the disposable container.

Use the fuel tank cleaner according to the instructions on its container.

Wash and rinse the gas tank using a garden hose making sure the tank is rinsed thoroughly. You may use an attachment on the end of the garden hose for a more powerful rinse. Once it is rinsed, the tank will need to dry before being replaced. The drying process may take up to two days, but you can speed the drying process by using an old towel to soak up the excess moisture.

Replace the gas tank according to the owner's manual making sure it is securely attached to the vehicle.

Fill the gas tank with fresh gasoline.

Warning

  • close Be extremely cautious when working around gasoline because it is highly flammable and can cause severe injury or death to you or others standing nearby.

Items you will need

About the Author

Julie Duncan has worked in the legal profession for over 15 years as a paralegal, owner of a court reporting business and now a law graduate. She was also recognized for her research and writing by the South Carolina Political Science Association in 2006.

Photo Credits

  • photo_camera pumping gas image by Mat Hayward from Fotolia.com