If there’s anything we can always rely on, it’s that when something is clean, it is bound to perform better. I mean, we take a bath every day not only because of societal reasons but also as a psychological trigger for our body saying “Hey! We’re going to have a great day ahead!”
It’s the same thing with the parts in your car. When the parts are clean they can perform to their very best. Your engine needs cleaning every now and then, so does your car cooling system. But if there’s one part of your car that definitely needs cleaning but is disregarded most of the time, that’s your gas tank.
Why Clean Your Gas Tank?
It’s easy to doubt a mechanic or seasoned car owner when they say cleaning your gas tank is necessary. It’s almost never discussed when we talk about our cars. However, the gas tanks of our cars can end up being the dirtiest part of your car.
Think about it. Over the years, rust (for older vehicles) and grime accumulate on your fuel tank and they actually have no way out. While there are fuel filters to ensure the grime foreign particles don’t enter the engine body, it sure does not feel good to know your fuel tank has all those particles in it.
Note that not all cars need to have their gas tanks cleaned. Most experts recommend doing the cleaning for older cars (especially ones with metal tanks) as they are more likely to accumulate rust and sediments.
When Should You Clean Your Gas Tank
There’s no set rule in cleaning a car’s gas tank. If you just bought an old car or if you are doing a restoration job then it should be on the “before I go on the road” checklist.
If you already own an older car, you can have the gas tank cleaned when you do some “under the body” maintenance work like replacing the car’s fuel pump.
How To Clean Your Gas Tank
In theory, cleaning your gas tank is as easy are removing the tank, cleaning it, and placing it back. However, doing it right requires you do create a checklist so you don’t forget anything. Here’s a quick rundown of what needs to be done to properly clean your gas tank.
1. Safety First
Just like in any undertaking, make sure you ensure your safety first. Clean up and organize the immediate surroundings. Make sure the working area is well-ventilated as there might be fumes coming from the tank. Wear a mask and protect your eyes. It will also be better if you have a fire extinguisher ready.
2. Empty the tank
Before cleaning the tank make sure it’s empty. You can empty the tank by either letting the car run until it hits empty, siphoning the fuel, or by using a drain cock if it has any. Emptying the tank is not only a safety precaution but it also makes the work much easier.
3. Take down the tank
After ensuring the tank is as empty as possible, remove it. Depending on the car, there might be different ways to do it. However, one thing to remember is to make sure all valves and cap in their position. This will be so that mounting back the tank will be easier. After taking down the tank, make sure to make a quick ocular check of the tank. Look for rust or sediments and check if you see any holes. You should patch the holes after the cleaning.
4. Wash the tank
The first thing you need to do is to de-grease the tank. You can do this using any type of degreaser you can find in your favorite auto shop. If you don’t have any degreaser you can just use a mixture of warm water and detergent. Make sure you go through every centimeter of the tank by swirling it in. Leave the mixture in the tank for at least 24 hours. If the tank still smells like gasoline after, repeat the process.
5. Replace the fuel filter
Don’t forget to replace the fuel filter every time you clean your gas tank. This seems automatic but a lot of people forget this step.
6. Put Everything Back Together
When everything is clean and replaced, mount the tank back. Make sure it is in the right position and fits securely in place. Remember that a tiny gas leak can turn into a big problem.
If you are in need of help in getting your gas tank cleaned, don’t hesitate to give T3 Atlanta a call. We specialize in Lexus, Infiniti, Toyota, and Nissan cars. Bring your beloved car to T3 Atlanta for maintenance checks and that occasional gas tank cleaning as needed.