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How to Remove a Charcoal Canister

by Russell Wood

The charcoal canister on a vehicle is attached to the gas tank via a series of hoses, and is designed to catch fuel vapors from the gas tank and store them until the vehicle is started and the engine can suck out the fumes. This also helps with emissions, as the fumes are burned with the fuel. If you need to remove the charcoal canister for whatever reason, it can be done at home with basic tools. In this case, the project vehicle is a 2001 Chevrolet Silverado, but the process is similar for other vehicles as well.


Lift up the vehicle using the jack and place it on jack stands. Make sure the vehicle is secure before you crawl underneath it.


Crawl underneath the vehicle on the driver's side by the gas tank and locate the charcoal canister. This is just forward of the gas tank and has several plastic fuel-line connections running into it. Disconnect those lines using the flathead screwdriver.


Unbolt the charcoal canister from the frame using a 3/8-inch ratchet and socket. Slide the canister out of the bracket and remove it from the vehicle.


  • Be sure never to smoke or have any ignition source around the vehicle while you're removing the charcoal canister, as the fumes from the tank can ignite and potentially cause damage to you and the vehicle. As long as the canister is removed, make sure that no ignition source is around the vehicle. If you have to keep it open for long periods of time, use a plastic bag and some tape to create an airtight seal around the lines temporarily.

Items you will need

About the Author

Russell Wood is a writer and photographer who attended Arizona State University. He has been building custom cars and trucks since 1994, including several cover vehicles. In 2000 Wood started a career as a writer, and since then he has dedicated his business to writing and photographing cars and trucks, as well as helping people learn more about how vehicles work.

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