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Can a car's gas tank be patched if it has a hole?

Discussion in 'Off Topic [BG]' started by ::::BASSIST::::, Apr 20, 2009.

  1. ::::BASSIST::::

    ::::BASSIST:::: Progress Not Perfection.

    Sep 2, 2004
    Vancouver, BC Canada
    Definitely have a leak. Can it be patched or do I have to buy a whole new tank?

    Any repair kits you can recommend?
  2. HeavyDuty

    HeavyDuty Supporting Curmudgeon Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 26, 2000
    Suburban Chicago, IL
    Is it a plastic tank or metal?

    If it's plastic, look to see if you can find the recycling code molded in somewhere - that'll tell you what kind of plastic it is and if it can be liquid welded.

    Metal, you can patch a pinhole with a small sheet metal screw and a rubber washer.
  3. If it's metal, remember to sign your Darwin Award before welding.

  4. Mike N

    Mike N Missing the old TB Supporting Member

    Jan 28, 2001
    Spencerport, New York
    What kind of car?
  5. Permatex makes a couple of kits for leaky fuel tanks, but they're really hit or miss.

    One is an epoxy that is designed to work if the tank still has gas in it.

    The other is a resin and a patch. This one is better, but the tank has to be empty or at least the level of fuel in the tank must lower than the leak.

    Nether one works with a plastic fuel tank.
  6. ::::BASSIST::::

    ::::BASSIST:::: Progress Not Perfection.

    Sep 2, 2004
    Vancouver, BC Canada
  7. ::::BASSIST::::

    ::::BASSIST:::: Progress Not Perfection.

    Sep 2, 2004
    Vancouver, BC Canada
    90% sure its a metal tank.

    Would the screw and rubber gromet really work?
  8. Loel

    Loel Blazin' Acadian

    Oct 31, 2004

    Your best bet with an 84 corolla sr5 is look for a
    remanufactured fiberglass tank,you'll save a lot of headachs.

    Try yellow pages for gas tanks (new or used) an inquire
    bout fiberglass replacement tanks and installation..

    good luck
  9. Provided the screw had a diameter just a bit larger than the hole and somewhat "fine" threads, I don't why not. I'd be concerned about drilling into a gas tank, though. The other issue is HOW the hole got there. If it's rust, there's more holes to come and the quick patch might just put off the bigger expense of replacement.

  10. fdeck

    fdeck Supporting Member Commercial User

    Mar 20, 2004
    Madison WI
    HPF Technology LLC
    Sure it's the tank and not one of the hoses or fittings?
  11. Loel

    Loel Blazin' Acadian

    Oct 31, 2004
    Trust me on this, you don't wanna be ridin'
    around in a car with a bad or patched gas tank!!

    exhaust sparks can cause the tank to go kaboom!!

    edit:your Q' was how to fix

    A:there is no fix just replacement IMHO
  12. Pilgrim

    Pilgrim Supporting Member

    Sorry, but "there is no fix just replacement" is 100% wrong. i've been working on cars since 1968 and have had a number of gas tanks repaired. It's a very common repair, and replacement is absolutely NOT necessary unless you have major damage. A puncture such as one caused by damage from objects flying up under the car is easily repairable.

    There's really nothing wrong with the epoxy patches, but they are the cheap way out and how well they seal and last is open to question. They don't last forever, but if the surface is properly cleaned and prepped, you'll probably get a few years out of it. Follow the directions with great care and check periodically for signs of renewed leakage.

    The best way is to drop the tank, drain it and have a radiator shop weld the hole. They know how to do this - it's pretty common. I've had tanks in collector cars with numerous holes cleaned, welded and re-lined. Replacement is not required - BTDT.
  13. Hi.

    Just my 0.02€...

    "Permanent" DIY band-aid repair: Forget it, creates more problems than it solves. IME.

    Professional repair: Like said, quite common and straight forward. Again IME.

    Replacement: BY FAR the best option. Yet again IME.

    IME = been keeping POS budget cars running over two decades now.

  14. seanm

    seanm I'd kill for a Nobel Peace Prize! Supporting Member

    Feb 19, 2004
    Ottawa, Canada
    I watched a mechanic repair a gas tank with an ancient soldering iron and brass? solder. The patch definitely had a brass look rather than say silver electronic solder.

    The soldering iron is what impressed me. Had to be a foot and a half long with a huge metal tip and a wood handle. Very very unbalanced. It was designed to sit on top of a wood stove to heat it up. You then quickly soldered before it cooled down. The advantage was that there was no chance of sparks.

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