Draining the fuel tank


Last year a friend decided to migrate from Manila to Bacolod. He sold most of things and packed the rest on his 2005 Toyota Hilux. He rode the ferry from the port of Batangas to get to Iloilo. Then a few weeks ago, the indicator light for the fuel filter lit up. He drained the fuel filter housing and replaced the filter. The indicator light shut off but after a while it lit up again. He was thinking of using an additive to remove the water from his tank. But the availability of such a product was a bit of problem in his area. The usual thing most would do is to drain the fuel tank. But his tank didn’t have a drain plug. So he decided to bring his pick-up to the local Toyota dealer and have them take it down to drain and clean the tank. After cleaning and putting it back, they replaced the filter and added new diesel fuel. The fuel indicator light hasn’t lit up, up to now. The fuel tank did contain a fair amount of water and some sediments. Now, this was the first time since he bought his pick-up brand new that he had the fuel tank drained. That’s 13 years.

How often should the fuel tank be drained and cleaned? Well, that depends. For me, I usually drain the tank of my car at least once a year. Whether it be a diesel- or a gasoline-powered car. The quality of the fuel is not in question but the storage or the way it is transported can be the source of contamination.

For a gas station, all their storage tanks are underground. The older the station, the higher the possibility of the tanks collecting sediments. Not to mention if the area of the gas station is prone to flooding. Although gas stations do their best to keep their storage tanks clean, sediments still do get stuck in the tanks. Same goes for the delivery tankers.

The use of a fuel cleaning additive can help prevent sediments from forming in your tank. Dirt in your fuel system can cause damage to your engine and affect your gas mileage. The fuel injector nozzles are the ones that get brunt of it. These sediments can clog the injectors that can lead to poor engine performance. That is why you have some dealers including a bottle of fuel additive when they perform a routine tune up.

It would be wise whenever you change your fuel filter, whether it be for a diesel- or a gasoline-powered car, to take a look at the contents of your fuel filter. It’s a good indicator of what’s inside your tank.

Recently, I passed by Handy Man in Pacita complex. As I was looking around the car care products I noticed that they had small packets of Permatex products. These products were anti-seize grease and dielectric grease. The anti-seize grease is what you put on threads of your spark plug or the like, to prevent it from seizing. Using this product will prevent rust from forming on the threads making it easier to remove. The dielectric grease is used to moisture from entering electrical contacts. On your spark plugs, you apply it on the tip and boot of the spark plug cable. This prevents electricity from jumping and the boot fusing to the spark plug. I was kind of amused when I saw these. Brought back memories when I started tinkering with VWs. We would buy these at VW auto supplies and use them on our Beetles.

One tube was enough to last us a couple tune ups. You hardly see them now a day’s in someone’s tool box. Hmmm… why didn’t I get a couple of sachets?

Oh and another find is a winner… perfect for the DIY guy. Haven’t tried it out, but now I know it’s available. Rain-X windshield repair kit. Will think of a good excuse to keep a packet in my stash.


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