How to Empty a Fuel Tank

Written by matthew fortuna
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How to Empty a Fuel Tank
Auto gas tanks can be emptied for cleaning or other purposes (petrol station image by Mat Hayward from

Automotive fuel tanks, or gas tanks, are an essential part of any vehicle. For many reasons, you might decide you need to empty your gas tank. This is sometimes done before cleaning the tank or replacing it. The work is done under your car. You can empty the tank with no past experience and no professional equipment.

Skill level:


  1. 1

    Mount your car on a jack and use your owner's manual to locate the gas tank from underneath your car. Make sure you drive the car until the tank is almost empty before draining the last of the tank.

  2. 2

    Locate the gas tank. Place a collection pan or container underneath to catch the draining fuel. Be sure to wear safety glasses to protect your eyes.

  3. 3

    Find the drain cock and place the pan underneath this outlet. Remove the drain cock by unscrewing it from the tank. You might need a wrench to unscrew this cover.

  4. 4

    Slowly unscrew the cock until it starts leaking. The pressure from the canister might force the fuel out.

  5. 5

    Wait until the release of fuel stops, then remove the drain cock completely to finish draining the tank.

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