Author Topic: Siphoning gas from a car? (Read 4895 times)

Villanelle

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Siphoning gas from a car?
« on: August 06, 2015, 04:52:27 AM »
I was thoughtless and am now in a bind. I filled my car with gas, something I do less than once a month since a tank gets me 300+ miles and I drive about 40/week.

On my drive home I realized that I ship my car (Germany to the US) in 10 days and it can have no more than 1/4 tank at that point. Googling tells me that modern gas tanks are siphon-proof. Is there any way to get gas out of my tank? Otherwise, I will literally have to either drive in circles for hours, or leave it running in the driveway for even more hours, or both. I probably need to get rid of at least half a tank of gas, if not more. Is there any way to do this other than just burning it? If not, any tips on how to burn *more* gas?

( I should also add that I am insanely busy and don't really have much time to run and try to find what I need on the German economy where language is a problem. Google turned up several gadgets I can buy, but I don't have time to order and have it arrive and probably couldn't manage to explain to the German car store that I am trying to syphon my own gas to it's okay. Of course that might be more efficient than a 2 hour drive to France and back.)

Friar

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Re: Siphoning gas from a car?
« Reply #1 on: August 06, 2015, 05:04:29 AM »
My breakdown insurance covers me for a fuel tank drain if I were to fill up with the wrong kind. i.e. put petrol in a diesel or vice versa.

I doubt they'd cover me to remove fuel that wasn't the wrong kind, however, there are companies out there that perform the same service. I'm sure if you called them up and explained the situation they would be able to drain the tank. From their point of view I can't see it mattering if the fuel is the same or different, it's just a case of getting it out.

There should be companies like that in Germany but I have no idea on the cost!

Alternatively, just tell your breakdown insurance that you put the wrong fuel in.

worms

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Re: Siphoning gas from a car?
« Reply #2 on: August 06, 2015, 09:28:02 AM »
If you can't symphon it you might be able to disconnect the fuel line at the fuel pump or carburettor and either drain it or pump it out (just how would depend on whether the car has a mechanical or electrical fuel pump).

forummm

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Re: Siphoning gas from a car?
« Reply #3 on: August 06, 2015, 09:43:04 AM »
Lend the car to someone doing a lot of driving? Just one friend with a crazy commute could eat it in a week.

Maseroni

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Re: Siphoning gas from a car?
« Reply #4 on: August 06, 2015, 09:57:00 AM »
Honestly, there might be options available, but draining a tank through a fuel line will take a similar length of time to simply burning gas, not to mention the extreme danger in siphoning or draining gas due to risk of static shock around highly flammable vapors.

Most options available will simply cost you more money or time. The safest, and likely cheapest option available will be to simply burn the gas. This leaves you with the two basic options you outlined in your original post: idle for hours, or drive around. Lets look at the pros and cons of each option:

Idling: PROS: You don't necessarily have to be in the car; Safe; easy. CONS: Takes HOURS, like probably 15 hours to drain what you need, depending on your tank size; Slight risk someone might yoink your car while its idling.

Driving:PROS: MUCH faster; Safe; easy; you could get other errands done while you are out; have a friend do it. CONS: You or someone else needs to be in the car.

Now if you choose to idle, you could speed up the time a little by turning on the air conditioning (if equipped), and turning on every electrical thing you can in order to put some load on the engine from the compressor and alternator.

If you choose to drive, the best you can do is increase the aerodynamic drag and weight as much as safely possible: load it up, borrow a big boxy rooftop carrier, tow a trailer (if equipped), or all of the above.

Best of luck!


supomglol

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Re: Siphoning gas from a car?
« Reply #5 on: August 06, 2015, 10:35:52 AM »
Many gas tanks are not siphon proof, they are just siphon resistant. They market that as a selling point to people who live in areas where siphoning gas out of people's tank is a problem. Many tanks have a flap that can be manually pushed open just like the tip of the pump does at the filling station.

However, even if you were able to siphon out the gas - what are you going to do with it? To store gasoline you have to have special-rated containers which are costly. To store an entire vehicle tank you would need several such containers. Or at least one to assist in transport to another vehicle or holding area. Your best bet is to just let it idle or drive it excessivly :)

waffle

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Re: Siphoning gas from a car?
« Reply #6 on: August 07, 2015, 07:28:54 AM »
However, even if you were able to siphon out the gas - what are you going to do with it? To store gasoline you have to have special-rated containers which are costly. To store an entire vehicle tank you would need several such containers. Or at least one to assist in transport to another vehicle or holding area. Your best bet is to just let it idle or drive it excessivly :)

I'm sure he could find someone with a gas can willing to take it off his hands.




waffle

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Re: Siphoning gas from a car?
« Reply #7 on: August 07, 2015, 07:36:29 AM »
Let me get this straight you are in Germany about to leave, presumably for a long time since you are taking your car with you and you cant figure out enough things to go see before you leave that would burn 300 miles worth of fuel? Have you seen the whole country?

Also AUTOBAHN!!! Just go have some fun driving really fast. I know you are trying to be frugal but you are trying to add hassle where there should be FUN. Assuming you have a normal sized car with a 15 gallon tank then half a tank would be (I'm guessing $7/gallon) about $50. If you are so busy that you cant enjoy seeing a bit more Germany before you leave loan it to someone who can use it.

Villanelle

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Re: Siphoning gas from a car?
« Reply #8 on: August 07, 2015, 08:23:15 AM »
Let me get this straight you are in Germany about to leave, presumably for a long time since you are taking your car with you and you cant figure out enough things to go see before you leave that would burn 300 miles worth of fuel? Have you seen the whole country?

Also AUTOBAHN!!! Just go have some fun driving really fast. I know you are trying to be frugal but you are trying to add hassle where there should be FUN. Assuming you have a normal sized car with a 15 gallon tank then half a tank would be (I'm guessing $7/gallon) about $50. If you are so busy that you cant enjoy seeing a bit more Germany before you leave loan it to someone who can use it.

I'm busy as fuck and stressed nearly to my limit. I have no time for an extended road trip. I'm not allowed to loan the car out (due to the agreement the US military has with Germany). Sadly, none of those things are options.

It's not at all about being frugal. The $45 it took to fill my tank is a drop in the, er... tank. This is about diminishing hassle, which due to the circumstances, is getting the gas out of the tank without spending hours I don't really have driving around in circles.

It looks like DH will drive it to work next week which will probably use 1/3 of a tank, and then next weekend we will let it run in the driveway, and hope that doesn't cause us to by lynched by our eco-friendly German neighbors.
« Last Edit: August 07, 2015, 08:28:35 AM by Villanelle »

forummm

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Re: Siphoning gas from a car?
« Reply #9 on: August 07, 2015, 08:56:45 AM »
You don't have time to go drive for an hour or two at 100MPH (or more) on the autobahn? That would eat the gas up quickly. High speeds destroy gas mileage. It would be fun to see how fast you could go. At 120 MPH you could eat that gas in about an hour.

Villanelle

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Re: Siphoning gas from a car?
« Reply #10 on: August 07, 2015, 09:01:19 AM »
You don't have time to go drive for an hour or two at 100MPH (or more) on the autobahn? That would eat the gas up quickly. High speeds destroy gas mileage. It would be fun to see how fast you could go. At 120 MPH you could eat that gas in about an hour.

Unless it was down a steep hill, there's no way my Toyota Echo can go 120MPH. Also, there aren't any autobahns near us that don't have speed limits.

We could probably spend an hour or two next weekend driving. But I can't see how that makes more sense than running it in the driveway, since we wouldn't be seeing much we haven't seen many times, and wouldn't be able to stop and enjoy anything. It's an option though, especially if we need a break from the packing and sorting and cleaning.

waffle

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Re: Siphoning gas from a car?
« Reply #11 on: August 07, 2015, 09:08:22 AM »
You don't have time to go drive for an hour or two at 100MPH (or more) on the autobahn? That would eat the gas up quickly. High speeds destroy gas mileage. It would be fun to see how fast you could go. At 120 MPH you could eat that gas in about an hour.

Unless it was down a steep hill, there's no way my Toyota Echo can go 120MPH. Also, there aren't any autobahns near us that don't have speed limits.

We could probably spend an hour or two next weekend driving. But I can't see how that makes more sense than running it in the driveway, since we wouldn't be seeing much we haven't seen many times, and wouldn't be able to stop and enjoy anything. It's an option though, especially if we need a break from the packing and sorting and cleaning.
Most cars, especially small cars, use practically no fuel at an idle. Like a 5th of a gallon per hour or less. Idling is also one of the worst things for the car since things aren't running at optimal speeds and temps.

forummm

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Re: Siphoning gas from a car?
« Reply #12 on: August 07, 2015, 09:45:26 AM »
You don't have time to go drive for an hour or two at 100MPH (or more) on the autobahn? That would eat the gas up quickly. High speeds destroy gas mileage. It would be fun to see how fast you could go. At 120 MPH you could eat that gas in about an hour.

Unless it was down a steep hill, there's no way my Toyota Echo can go 120MPH. Also, there aren't any autobahns near us that don't have speed limits.

We could probably spend an hour or two next weekend driving. But I can't see how that makes more sense than running it in the driveway, since we wouldn't be seeing much we haven't seen many times, and wouldn't be able to stop and enjoy anything. It's an option though, especially if we need a break from the packing and sorting and cleaning.
Most cars, especially small cars, use practically no fuel at an idle. Like a 5th of a gallon per hour or less. Idling is also one of the worst things for the car since things aren't running at optimal speeds and temps.

Exactly. To run the tank down, you want to be pushing as much air as possible--hence the higher speed driving. The force required to move a certain amount of air increases at the cube of the speed.

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Re: Siphoning gas from a car?
« Reply #13 on: August 09, 2015, 10:08:43 PM »
Easiest method would be to idle it out. Lock the car and let it idle overnight.

Probably quickest would be to remove the fuel line at the fuel filter (WARNING: first relieve the pressure on the fuel system), have a few containers on hand, turn the key on and let the fuel pump draw the tank down to the desired level.
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Flynlow

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Re: Siphoning gas from a car?
« Reply #14 on: August 10, 2015, 10:40:58 AM »
From your earlier post, I'm guessing you are military? Are you on base? If so, find your mechanic shop, offer to buy them all a couple dozen donuts and coffee, or a couple rounds of beer (their choice) and ask them to help you drain the tank.

You can either pull the line off the fuel filter, then put a rubber hose on in its place out to a fuel can, or some have a break at the firewall for a similar purpose.

gaja

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Re: Siphoning gas from a car?
« Reply #15 on: August 10, 2015, 11:03:03 AM »
It is not only the neighbours who might complain. It is illegal in Germany to let the car run idle. You might get a fine.

https://dejure.org/gesetze/StVO/30.html
It translates to something like When operating a vehicle it is forbidden to produce undue noise and avoidable exhaust fumes. Especially prohibited is the unnecessary idling of vehicles.
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guitar_stitch

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Re: Siphoning gas from a car?
« Reply #16 on: August 11, 2015, 12:40:29 PM »
Your fuel line will have a schrader valve on it that you can connect a line to and dump the fuel into a gas can. This will work quickly.

DangleStash

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Re: Siphoning gas from a car?
« Reply #17 on: August 21, 2015, 10:56:06 AM »
I second the "Drive around with your AC on the coldest setting, windows down, and speeding" idea.
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Greg

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Re: Siphoning gas from a car?
« Reply #18 on: August 21, 2015, 11:57:04 AM »
Offer it to a neighbor or friend if they help you figure out how do get it out of the tank. I mean, free gas!

erutio

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Re: Siphoning gas from a car?
« Reply #19 on: August 21, 2015, 12:33:37 PM »
will the shipping company literally turn on the car, check the gas level, and refuse to ship it if it's pass a quarter tank?

Yonco

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Re: Siphoning gas from a car?
« Reply #20 on: August 23, 2015, 02:24:07 PM »
Easiest way would be to disconnect the fuel line at the fuel filter under the car, Gravity will only get out what is in the lines. You will have to keep priming the fuel pump(key on then off) to keep it spitting gas out, or you can find the fuel pump fuse and add 12v to the fuse block on that spot so it will run continuously.

Villanelle

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Re: Siphoning gas from a car?
« Reply #21 on: August 29, 2015, 02:30:12 PM »
will the shipping company literally turn on the car, check the gas level, and refuse to ship it if it's pass a quarter tank?

Yes, they will/did. Thankfully, we drove it enough that we made it to quarter tank on the drive to drop it off for shipping. What a strange experience it was trying to think of reasons to drive more, and less efficiently!