National average cost of a Fuel Tank Replacement for popular vehicles:
Avg. cost $42
What is a fuel tank and how does it work?
The fuel tank in your vehicle is a hollow plastic or metal container mounted to the underbody that stores fuel used for combustion in the engine. Most modern fuel tanks house the fuel pump and a sending unit that monitors the fluid level inside the tank and sends the information to the fuel gauge. Attached to the tank are vent lines to prevent pressure buildup, fuel lines to transport the fuel to the engine, and the filler neck (tube) that leads from the fuel cap. As part of both the fuel system and the emission control system, the tank and attached components are not only responsible for collecting and storing fuel, but are also tasked with preventing fuel evaporation.
How do I know if my vehicle needs a new fuel tank?
A fuel tank will need to be replaced if it becomes damaged from an impact - from a collision or from driving over a large object - or due to cracks or corrosion. Several signs might point to the need to replace your fuel tank. These include
A noticeable smell of fuel, especially near the rear end of your vehicle even when the fuel cap is secure
Fluid leak underneath the rear end of your vehicle
Visible damage from road debris or other foreign object
The tank appears to be collapsed or bloated
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To replace a fuel tank, a technician will need to perform a series of steps that are common with most vehicles. For instance, your vehicle must be safely raised and supported to access the tank underneath. Power to the fuel pump is disconnected and the fuel system is depressurized before the tank is drained of fuel. The filler neck hose is detached from the vehicle body. The tank is supported, the straps that secure it in place are unbolted, the tank is lowered a bit. The fuel lines, vent lines, and electrical wires are disconnected. Then the tank is removed from the vehicle and its components (i.e. the fuel pump) are extracted and installed on the new tank. Installation of a new tank into the vehicle involves essentially the same procedure in reverse order.
While these steps are fairly common when replacing a fuel tank, additional steps might also be necessary, depending on your specific vehicle make and model. For instance, suspension components, drive shaft, and other parts might need to be removed for access. And great care must be taken when replacing a fuel tank in a vehicle because fuel vapors present an explosion hazard.
OTHER QUESTIONS CUSTOMERS ASK
Can a car fuel tank be repaired?
Although there are repair kits available to “repair” leaks in auto fuel tanks, they are often temporary fixes that merely delay the inevitable: fuel tank replacement. Because both gasoline and diesel fuel are petroleum products, it is extremely difficult to get good adhesion when patching a tank to stop a leak. Besides, gasoline is extremely flammable. The hot exhaust system that is routed only inches away from your fuel tank is cause for concern when leaks are present. Instead, have a professional replace your fuel tank if it is leaking, or at least find a professional who is skilled in tank repair.
Can you replace a fuel tank yourself?
The procedure for replacing many fuel tanks is not especially complex and does not require a lot of special tools. That does not mean that the job is easy. Or safe. Extreme caution must be exercised when lifting and supporting a vehicle off of the ground, not to mention when dealing with explosive fuel vapors. Fuel tank replacement is best left to a qualified technician.
Can you drive with a leaking fuel tank?
No. Considering the volatility of fuel vapors and the proximity of the fuel tank to the hot exhaust system, a vehicle with a fuel leak should not be driven. Leaking fuel creates vapors that can be ignited with the smallest spark and, given the volume of fuel in an automotive tank, set off a significant explosion.
What parts are related to a Fuel Tank Replacement?