How to fix a leaking gas tank yourself
You can fix some steel gas tank leaks with special epoxy putty
Leaks in steel gas tanks are usually caused by rust-through pinholes, a corroded seam, or large areas of rust on the top or bottom of the tank. You can temporarily fix small punctures and rust-through pinhole leaks using a special gasoline-resistant epoxy patching material. But you’re kidding yourself if you think epoxy patch material will permanently fix rust-through pinholes or leaks in seams. Those must be professionally repaired by welding/brazing and sealer, or with a new tank.
Which steel gas tank leaks can be repaired with epoxy?
• Rust-through pinholes smaller than 1/8″ diameter can be patched temporarily with gasoline-resistant epoxy
• Leaking seams can’t be repaired with epoxy.
You can’t fix a leaking plastic gas tank leak with epoxy
Yes, I know the epoxy manufacturers claim their product works on plastic gas tanks. But here’s the thing about plastic tanks; plastic gas tanks expand and contract from heat and cold and they bulge when filled. Epoxy cures to form a hard rigid patch that doesn’t expand/contract or flex like the plastic gas tank. So those repairs often fail.
Instead of epoxy, plastic tank repairs must be performed using a matching plastic patching material that’s melted into the puncture. If you want to fix a leaking plastic gas tank yourself, you’ll have to invest in an automotive plastic repair kit that comes with a variety of plastics and a melting iron. Before you do that, check on the price of an aftermarket gas tank; it may be worth your while to replace it rather than repair it.
If you can’t buy a replacement gas tank, try a sealer
Rusted gas tanks can be renewed internally if
they’re otherwise sound. POR Fuel Tank Sealer gets good reviews and just one of the gas tank sealer products you should consider. Here are the steps after removing the tank from the vehicle and draining the fuel:
1) Remove any old sealer that may have been applied to the inside of the tank
2) Degrease the inside of the tank to remove any gum or varnish
3) Add POR Metal Prep to dissolve rust inside the tank and coat/etch the tank with zinc phosphate to promote adhesion
4) Clean with water and allow to dry
5) Add sealer and rotate tank to cover all internal surfaces
6) Drain off excess sealer
7) Allow the product to cure for the recommended time
NOTE: RickFreeAutoRepairAdvice.com receives a commission on products purchased through the links below
Posted on by Rick Muscoplat
©, 2022 Rick Muscoplat