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Gas / Fuel Tanks at 1A Auto

What is a fuel tank and where is it located?

The purpose of a fuel tank, as you likely may have already guessed, is to safely store the vehicle’s fuel supply—whether it is gasoline or diesel—until it is needed by the engine to run the automobile. The exact location of a vehicle’s fuel tank depends on the make and model, but they are commonly located before or after the rear axle, and strapped to the undercarriage of the automobile. Also, while most cars and light trucks will only have a single tank, some larger trucks and vans may have two.

How do I know if my fuel tank needs to be replaced?

While an unforeseen accident or other driving mishap can of course potentially damage your vehicle’s diesel fuel or gas tank, it is more common for time and age to take its toll on the tank, resulting in corrosion. Although fuel tanks are typically built to protect against and withstand the types of elements and hazards that are encountered during daily driving like road salt, rocks, debris, etc., for a long period of time, it can’t do that forever. Rusted, weathered, or damaged fuel tanks can then leak, which is not only an inconvenience and a waste of your money, but it is also a serious safety concern because of liquid fuel's flammability. Even diesel fuel or gas tanks that are not leaking and appear to be fine on the outside could have rust, dirt, and other harmful impurities built up on the inside. Regularly inspecting your car or truck’s fuel tank to ensure that it is in good working condition.

Because of its importance to the operation of your vehicle and to the safety of yourself and others, if it is determined that you are in need of a replacement fuel tank because of corrosion or damage, it’s important that you obtain one and swap it out for the old tank as soon as possible.

Can I replace the fuel tank myself?

Replacing the fuel tank can be a messy and time consuming job, so we recommend this job for the experienced automotive do-it-yourselfer. The first steps are to remove the fuel pump relay and disconnect the negative battery cable. Drain as much fuel as possible from the fuel tank. Then disconnect the fuel filler hose and the fuel pump wiring harness. Disconnect the fuel lines from the fuel pump. Be sure to support the fuel tank with a block of wood and a jack, and then loosen and remove any bolts from the straps holding the fuel tank in place. If needed, carefully hammer the retaining ring with a sturdy tool like a screwdriver to gain access to the fuel pump.

For reinstallation, insert the fuel pump into the new tank and tighten the retaining ring. Having an assistant will help to get the fuel tank into place. Slowly jack it up while an assistant holds it. Then re-tighten the straps to keep it in place. Then reconnect the fuel lines and the fuel filler hose. Tighten any hose clamps. Then reconnect the fuel pump relay and the negative battery cable.

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