Things to Know About a Damaged Gas Tank - Service Information at Capitol Chevrolet

There are basically two ways your car's fuel tank could become damaged: from physical damage to the vehicle's undercarriage, or by putting something in the tank that shouldn't go! We probably don't have to tell you that putting water, diesel or sugar in your gas tank is likely to cause problems. But how do you protect your gas tank from other problems? And what about important anti-pollution systems that keep gasoline vapors in the tank? Learn more about these important aspects of your vehicle below.

Exposed Fuel Tank

4. Where Is The Fuel Tank On Your Car?

Most modern cars feature a front-engine layout with the engine located under the hood. That means the fuel tank is usually found at the rear, located under the cargo area on a sedan or SUV. Why is this important? So you can know if you struck your fuel tank the next time you go too fast over a speed bump or scrape on a steep driveway.

Always go slowly over speed bumps, curbs and other steep road transitions, and take them at an angle as you are able. This will help to prevent you from scraping your vehicle's undercarriage. Luckily, you're much more likely to scrape the front, where a skid tray will commonly provided protection, as opposed to the rear where the fuel tank is most often located. However, if you've got an exotic mid or rear-engined sports car (like the all-new 2020 Chevrolet Corvette!), the fuel tank may be located elsewhere. Check your owner's manual for details.

Fuel Pump Nozzle

3. Check For Leaks

If you do suffer some undercarriage damage, you'll want to look for fuel leaks. A significant fuel link could cause gasoline to drip beneath the rear of your vehicle and form a puddle there. Even a slow leak that doesn't create a puddle can still be a safety hazard. If you smell gasoline, there could be a leak in the fuel tank, or there could be a leak in a nearby exhaust pipe. Because a leaking fuel tank can be a significant safety hazard, we recommend getting your vehicle inspected by a factory trained Chevrolet technician if you suspect you've got a leak.

2. Fueling Issues

Today's cars are designed to work with the nozzles on modern fuel pumps to automatically shut off when the vehicle's fuel tank is full. However, damage to your vehicle's gasoline EVAP system can prevent this system from working like it should. The EVAP system is designed to trap volatile gasoline vapors in the fuel tank, and store them safely until they can be burned in the engine. If this system malfunctions, the fuel pump may shut off long before your fuel tank is full, forcing you to fuel-up manually. Worse, it could prevent the shut-off system from working, allowing the fuel nozzle to overflow the tank and let gasoline run down the side of your vehicle! That's one more reason why it's not smart to let your car fill up unattended. If your car isn't behaving as it should at the pump, the EVAP system may need service.

Fueling Car Thumbs Up

1. Don't Forget To Tighten The Gas Cap

One of the most common causes of a check engine light in the dashboard of your car? Believe it or not, it's as simple as failing to tighten the gas cap sufficiently! As we mentioned above, gasoline vapors are volatile and toxic. The fuel cap is the last line of defence for your vehicle's EVAP system, keeping all the gasoline vapors safely inside the tank. If you fail to tighten the gas cap sufficiently, fuel vapors may escape and the correct pressure won't be maintained in the tank. This can cause your vehicle to display a check engine light in the dashboard. So, be sure to have any check engine lights that stay on in your vehicle checked out by the pros -- but it never hurts to give the gas cap an extra turn just to make sure it's sealing properly.

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Capitol Chevrolet
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Salem, OR
  1. Capitol Chevrolet

    2855 Maple Ave Ne

    • Sales:    (888) 503-3094

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Directions SALEM, OR 97301

  • Contact: 503-5854141


  • Monday 7:00 am - 6:00 pm
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