How to Stop a Fuel Leak

Updated February 21, 2017

If there is a presence of a gas smell around your vehicle, there may be a fuel leak. After you complete a visual inspection and find gas is leaking from the fuel tank, the vehicle should not be operated until you fix the problem. A leaky fuel tank can be costly due to loss of fuel, and could be hazardous if the fuel ignites. You can make a temporary fix, but the vehicle should be inspected by a qualified mechanic for a long term solution.

Empty any remaining fuel from the gas tank. Detach the gas line from the tank with a pair of needle nose pliers and an open end wrench. Wait for the gas to empty into an approved gasoline container.

Remove the electrical connector from the gas tank with a wrench. This is usually found behind the vehicle's rear bumper.

Set jacks under the fuel tank and remove the nuts that attach the straps to the vehicle's body. Detach the fuel pipe and remove the gas tank with a wrench.

Smooth the damaged area of the tank with sandpaper. Use a file to remove rust and debris. Sand the area with an emery cloth to finish it off.

Mix the fuel tank putty according to the manufacturer's instructions. Press the putty onto the affected area. Wait for the putty to dry and smooth it out with emery paper. Prime and paint the tank to prevent damage to the putty.

Replace the tank. Reattach the nuts that connect the tank to the car's body and replace the fuel line tubing and the electrical connector.

Refill the tank with gasoline and allow a few minutes to pass before looking for leaks.


If the fuel leak is not repaired in a timely manner, the gasoline could ignite and result in serious injury. Do not operate a vehicle with a fuel leak.

Things You'll Need

  • Open-end wrench
  • Needlenose pliers
  • Plastic container
  • Socket wrench
  • Screwdriver
  • Jacks
  • Sandpaper
  • Metal file
  • Emery cloth
  • Fuel tank putty
  • Primer
  • Paint
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