Auto gas tank cleaning

Updated February 21, 2017

Cleaning an auto gas tank, especially from a car that has been sitting for ages in the garage, is the first step to getting that vehicle back into tip-top shape. Gas that sits too long on a tank can cause oxidation and create damaging clutter inside. So before reattaching the fuel lines to start your car, be sure to clean the gas task first. You can hire someone to do it for you, but to save money you can easily do it yourself by following some simple steps.

Read Manual and Empty Out the Tank

Read the car's manual to determine how the car parts are connected and how to properly remove the gas tank. Every automobile model will vary in construction, so it is crucial to go over the product manual. Before removing the tank, drive the car to empty it out. Driving it will help consume any leftover gasoline. When the tank is empty, remove it from the car according to the manual's instructions.

Cleaning Process

Purchase a fuel tank cleaner (some use toilet bowl cleaner or dish soap) and fill the tank with it. Follow product usage directions. The amount of tank cleaner to be used will depend on the size of the car's gas tank. Some products will even require the cleaner to be diluted in a gallon or two of water. Read the labels to get the exact amount. Allow the cleaner to sit inside the tank for it to effectively cover the interiors of the tank and remove the rust, grime and other deposits that have stuck to its inner walls. For best results, let it sit for 24 hours. Afterward, use a hose to rinse off the solution. All the deposits, rust and grime will drain from the tank. Repeat the process (tank cleaner and then hose) until the gas tank is completely clean. Hose down the tank a few more times to ensure that no solution or extra dirt remains.

Drying Time

Allow your gas tank to completely dry. Let it dry for about a day or two. The gas tank has to be completely dry before it is reinstalled into the vehicle. You might have to shake the tank to see if any leftover water particles are inside. You may even let the tank hang to hasten the drying process.

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About the Author

Alexis Writing has many years of freelance writing experience. She has written for a variety of online destinations, including She holds a Bachelor of Arts in communication from the University of Rochester.