The time may come when it is necessary to drain the fuel from a car’s gas tank for use elsewhere. Whether you need the gas to power your generator or you need it for your own vehicle, it is a really simple trick that may come in handy during a SHTF scenario.
We are going to look at a couple of different methods of siphoning gas from a vehicle but be incredibly careful with the first method.
Most websites will tell you how to siphon the gas by using manual suction to draw the gas up through a pipe. We do not recommend doing this unless you really have no choice due to the dangers involved. It surprises me that the most commonly taught method is actually the most dangerous one. Why is siphoning gas this way so dangerous? A few good reasons include:
- Inhalation of fumes – inhaling the fumes from the gasoline can cause harm to all the major organs in the. Direct inhalation of the fumes can damage your lungs and cause carbon monoxide poisoning
- Loss of consciousness – this method has the potential to cause a loss of consciousness. Breathing in the gas vapours can cause dizziness, fainting and in extreme cases, brain damage. This wouldn’t be much good if you are stuck in the middle of nowhere with no medical help around
- Gasoline poisoning – there is a risk of swallowing the gasoline. It is toxic to ingest and gasoline poisoning is extremely dangerous
In some situations you will have no choice but be aware that it is extremely risky and dangerous.
- Place your container that you want to collect the gas into on the ground below the gas tank
- Open the gas tank and insert a long plastic tube inside. You can blow into the tube and listen for bubbling to know if it is submerged
- Create a loop in the pipe, such that the other end is facing upwards. This will help to control the gas flow better while sucking
- Take the free end of the pipe and begin sucking carefully. The transparency of the pipe will allow you to see the gas flowing through it
- Continue to suck until the gas reaches the bottom of the loop, which should be a foot away from your mouth. Remove it from your mouth and use your finger to plug it shut
- Lower this end of the pipe into your container, without pulling the other end of the pipe from within the tank. Remove your finger and the gas will start to flow into your container
- Once finished, plug the end of the pipe again with your finger, raise it higher than the level of the tank and unplug it to drain off the remaining gas back into the tank
Two Safer Methods to Siphon Gas
1. Using Two Tubes
Make sure that your flexible tubing is clear so that you can see the flow of gas. Gather together the following materials:
- Container to collect the siphoned gas into
- 6 to 12 feet of rubber tubing
And here is the method:
- Take two lengths of tubing – one longer than the other and place one end of the longer tube into the gas tank with the other end into your container
- Hold one end of the shorter tube in your hand while putting the other end in the fuel tank beside the longer tube
- Take your rag and use it to fill the space around the tubes in the fuel filler neck and create a seal
- Blow into the end of the shorter tube that you have in your hand. Do not inhale. Use your thumb to cover the end of the hose as soon as you stop exhaling to prevent the fumes from entering your lungs. This should cause the gas to be pushed out and into your container
- Once finished, remove both tubes from the gas tank
2. Siphon Pump
A siphon pump is the safest way to siphon gas from a fuel tank. They are inexpensive and make a great addition to any car emergency kit. All you will need is the siphon pump and a container for collection.
- Each end of your siphon pump will have a tube coming out of it. One of these tubes will have a marking to show that it should be placed in the gas tank. Read any instructions that came with the siphon pump. Some will have a handle like a bike pump, while others just have a squeezable plastic or rubber bulb
- Place one tube in the fuel tank and the other tube into your container
- Squeeze the bulb a few times, to start the siphon action. Once the gas starts flowing you can stop squeezing the bulb. The gas should flow through the tubing until the tubing is kinked or the tube is removed from the gas tank
- Once finished, take the pumping tube out of the fuel tank and replace the gas cap.