4 Methods to Siphon Gas from a Vehicle

Ingesting gasoline can cause harmful effects like blindness, lung damage, coma, and may even lead to death.
Certain situations may call for siphoning gas from a vehicle. Whether you decide to use a lawnmower, a generator, or simply replace the fuel pump of your car, the first step is to extract fuel from it. Gas tanks filled with ethanol gas frequently need siphoning, as such fuel is known to quickly go bad.
Siphoning gas from a car involves simple principles of physics. In most cases, air is sucked out of a pipe dipped in the tank, creating a vacuum. The gas then flows into the pipe to fill up the vacuum. It falls into the container from the pipe under the action of gravity. As fuel in the tank becomes lesser, it creates a new vacuum, which is filled up by air rushing inside from the tank opening. This air exerts pressure on the gasoline, making it continuously flow into the pipe, until the pipe is raised high enough to make gravity act in the reverse direction.

Siphoning gas from most modern cars is easier said than done. But, since it’s not impossible, there’s no need to lose heart. The various methods to siphon gas from both, older and modern cars, is given here.

Things Needed

– Fuel-approved container
– Transparent plastic hose or pipe
– Cloth
– Vacuum pump
– Screwdriver/chopstick

Manual Suction

► Place the container in which you want to store fuel below the gas tank, after opening it.

► Open the gas tank and insert a long plastic tube inside. To check if it is submerged, blow air into it, and you should hear bubbling noises.

► Create a loop in the pipe, such that the other end is facing upwards. This mechanism helps control the gas flow better while sucking.

► Take the end of the pipe facing you and begin sucking carefully. The transparency of the pipe will allow you to see the gas flowing through it.

► Keep sucking until the gas reaches the bottom of the loop, which should be a foot away from your mouth. Remove it from your mouth and plug it shut with a finger.

► Carefully lower this end into the open container, without pulling the other end of the pipe from within the tank. Once inside the container, remove the finger from the pipe, which will cause the gas to flow into it.

► When you have removed enough gas, or if the container is about to get full, again clamp the end of the pipe shut. Raise this end higher than the level of the tank and unplug it to drain off the remaining gas back into the tank. Fix the lid back on the tank.

With Two Pipes

► Get two transparent plastic pipes, such that one is much longer than the other.

► Insert the longer pipe deep into the tank, and put its other end into an open container placed at a lower level than the tank.

► Take the shorter pipe and insert one of its ends deep within the tank, such that both pipes have one end inside the tank.

► Now, seal the tank opening by plugging a large wet cloth in it. The aim is to make the opening air-tight, despite the pipes going inside.

► Take the open end of the short hose in your mouth and blow air into it. This is relatively safer than sucking gas out of the tank, but for more safety, connect it to a vacuum pump.

► Blowing air inside the tank raises the pressure in it since the opening is sealed. This pressure acts on the gas surface, and forces it out through the other pipe.

► To stop the gas flow, plug a finger on the end of the long pipe, and raise it higher than the gas tank. Carefully release the finger to drain the remaining fuel back into the tank.

With Mechanical Pump

► A vacuum pump works the same way as manually sucking the gas out, but protects the user from ingesting gasoline or its fumes. It’s the best and most reliable way to siphon gas.

► First, identify the input and output ends of the pump. This is vital, as inserting the wrong end will blow air into the tank, rather than drawing gas out of it.

► Place an open container below the gas tank. Then, remove the tank lid.

► Insert the input end of the pipe inside the tank until it gets submerged or reaches the bottom. Then, place the output end of the pipe inside the container.

► Depending on the type of vacuum pump, you may have to press a bulb or turn a squeeze-valve to begin transferring the gas. Some pumps require repeated pressing, while others are automatic.

► When the container is full, close the valve or raise the output end higher than the gas tank, after clamping it shut with a finger. Drain off the gas remaining in the pipe back into the tank.

Modern Cars
► All modern cars come with a siphon-proof filter in the gas tank. This consists of a metal flap which clamps shut and prevents any hose from entering the tank.

► To siphon gas from such a tank, you can either use the manual suction method or the siphon pump method. But for it to work, the metal flap has to be held open using a long object like a screwdriver or a chopstick.

► Using metallic objects like a screwdriver is not recommended, as it can create a spark which can be deadly. In case you are using one, make sure it is grounded with the car body.

► The best option is to wedge a chopstick into the tank opening to hold the flap open. Now, this allows siphoning of gas with a hose. If required, a friend can hold the chopstick in place.

► Some cars come with a ball-shaped anti-siphon valve, which, while allowing gas-filling, does not allow the entry of pipes. The above methods do not work on such cars.

► Many products like the GasTapper are available in the market, which can be used to siphon fuel from cars with ball-shaped valves. They have a thin inlet pipe which passes into the tank through the space around the ball valve, and is connected to a suction pump.

Now that you know how to siphon gas from a car tank, it’s best to understand the dangers involved. Gas is highly inflammable, and the vapors from the open tank even more so. While it is also possible to extract gas by drilling into the tank from below, it’s easy to generate sparks by this method, which is best avoided.

Muffler Repair Cost

Muffler repair cost
Importance of a Muffler
The cylinder of a vehicle’s engine produces a high level of noise due to the combustion of fuel. The job of the muffler is to tone down this noise, and this is done with energy obstructing baffles which bounce off the sound energy.
The muffler of a vehicle can malfunction due to many reasons, right from a broken strap, which may cost as little as $20 to replace, to the whole muffler itself, which can cost as high as $1000. But wait, it isn’t so straightforward. There can be other causes too, which need relevant fixes.
Muffler Damage
If you hear any noise coming from the exhaust system, first check to see if the muffler is properly attached to the exhaust. Sometimes, only the straps that hold it together might have broken. If this is not the case, then the muffler itself might have a problem. The oxygen sensor is an important part of the muffler. Information provided by the oxygen sensor is vital for the electronic controlling unit of the vehicle to maintain proper fuel-to-air ratio. Any change in this ratio affects the number of molecules of unburnt fuel in the exhaust, and ultimately affects the sound waves that are produced within the exhaust system, which the muffler is expected to neutralize. It is a good practice to replace the oxygen sensor after every 50,000 miles of running, since these sensors tend to lose accuracy as time passes by. Clogging of the muffler and rusting are also some common problems.

Problems with the muffler can lead to a lot of inconvenience as the car’s sound levels can exceed permissible levels.
Rusting is the worst problem not only with the muffler but also with the entire exhaust system. It is caused by moisture reacting with the metallic parts of the car. This problem gets enhanced by frequent short trips while driving, as the water vapor does not get enough time to move out of the exhaust, and it cools off to liquid state again, thereby rusting the metal. For those living in the coastal areas, the salt in the water can speed up the rust, causing negative reactions.

Cost of Repair
Before anything else, check your vehicle’s warranty, since mufflers are mostly covered under it. If you have a fair idea about car maintenance, then you can check out the muffler repair kits available in stores as well as on the Internet. Most of these kits come at a price of just around $30. These kits can help you repair a muffler with ease without the need of taking the car to a workshop. Some of the commonly used types of repair kits include – muffler bandage, flexible steel tubing, exhaust pipe, tail pipe sealer, tail pipe bandages, and muffler cement. Most of these are suitable for cars equipped with catalytic converters, the muffler bandage kit being the best for such cars. You can use it for a long duration without worrying about heat damage to the system. The cost of the muffler can range anywhere between $75 to around $1000, depending on the make and model of your car.

On the other hand, if you visit a workstation, the labor charges, taxes, and other miscellaneous charges can be more than double the total cost in the end. A mechanic may convince you to examine the car engine, the entire exhaust system, and some other related parts that may or may not be damaged. In such a case, you will need to pay much more, even if only your muffler is faulty and the other components are fine. The repair cost also varies according to the number of muffler parts that have been damaged. Although the construction and working of the muffler is fairly simple, in most cases, you may need to replace the entire muffler to solve even the smallest problem. With after-market parts and professional help, the total cost can be anywhere between $100 and $1000.

Note: The prices mentioned here are simply for guidance, and actual prices will vary according to the make and model of the vehicle, parts involved, warranty if any, and location of service.

Not only muffler-related issues, but one should not ignore any minor problem in a vehicle, because if left unresolved, it may spread to other parts of the car and end up damaging them too, eventually costing much more.