How to empty the petrol car tank

Emptying the car tank is a procedure to know: do not worry, it is much simpler than it may seem, just follow some precautions.

Empty car tank

First of all we will explain to you what is the purpose of emptying the car tank : this procedure, which at first sight may seem strange, is actually indispensable.

If you have accidentally refueled the vehicle with the wrong fuel , or there is damage that leads to leaks, but also if the car has been standing still for many months or if the pump (or sensor) needs to be replaced, you need to know how to empty the car petrol tank (read also what to do when putting petrol instead of diesel and diesel instead of petrol .)

The techniques and tools for emptying it are different: one of the most used is the pump that allows you to pour the liquid. Let’s find out how it is used and what are the alternatives.

How to empty the car tank

How to empty the fuel tank of the petrol car ? To do this there are two methods: you can drive until it is finished or pour the liquid.

Obviously, the advice to drive until you run out of petrol is not applicable if you have refueled with the wrong fuel.

If the problem is a fault, you must certainly proceed by completely emptying the tank, removing it, repairing it and putting it back together before filling it again, all with the car off and cold.

For the second technique, buy a gasoline siphon pump : you will easily find it in auto parts stores, both physical and online. This tool is activated manually and sucks the fuel by transferring it to a special container that allows it to be reused.

A tip: never reuse petrol that is too “old” or it will have been useless to empty the tank for repairs.

How to use the pump to empty the tank

To use the suction pump for petrol, the procedure is simple: insert the hose into the tank leaving about 40/60 cm to be connected to the pump itself and operate the pump by hand.

Wait for the gasoline to start coming out and remember to keep several containers available to avoid losing it.

Now that you have emptied the tank you can refuel it with the right fuel or proceed with troubleshooting.

Special cases emptying the tank

We want to emphasize that not all tanks can be emptied directly : why? The reason is that each model is different from the other, and therefore its position and characteristics can also vary.

If the tank is positioned under the car, towards the driver’s seat, you must disconnect the fuel system hose or open the drain valve.

Under the latter you have to place a container to collect the fuel: you have to wait for complete emptying before being able to close the valve, which is easily identifiable and is usually closed by a bolt.

It is also important to keep in mind that modern cars are equipped with a metal bulb that comes into operation in the event of a collision to prevent the liquid from escaping; at this juncture you only have to use a thinner and more rigid tube to still be able to empty the tank.


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