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How to Fix a Leaking Gas Tank

How to Fix a Leaking Gas Tank

If you have a hole in your motorcycle or car gas tank, you don't have to necessarily replace it. Here, I discuss some ways in which you can undertake their repair.
Omkar Phatak
Having a hole in your car or motorcycle gas tank can be a serious problem and a potentially dangerous situation to have. It is absolutely essential that you go for repair, as soon as possible, to avoid fire hazards and prevent fuel loss. You do not have to go for a replacement, if the damage is in small proportions. The repair can be done using epoxy sealing chemicals. Many people carry out such repair jobs on their own, using kits. It cuts down the cost and is quite an easy fix.

How to Repair a Gas Tank?

It is difficult for a leaking gas tank to go unnoticed. Not only can it cause a loss of fuel but it is also a potential fire hazard in the making. As soon as you notice or suspect a tank leak, it is essential that you go for a repair, as soon as possible. Here is how you can fix small holes in these tanks.

Repairing a Car's Gas Tank
The things you will need are the following:
  • Lacquer or acetone thinner
  • Duct tape or masking material
  • Epoxy sealer
  • Putty
  • Plastic container
  • Rubber bands
  • Plastic wrapping
  • Knife
First part of repair is removing the gas tank and draining all the gasoline fuel out of it. To get the tank thoroughly cleaned of any remaining fuel, add a pint of acetone or lacquer thinner. Then, you must rotate the tank to make sure that all of its inside parts are cleaned with acetone. Once you have thoroughly rinsed the tank, you can dispose the fluid inside and let the tank dry for a while. Locate holes in the tank and mark them clearly.

Next part is sealing the holes using epoxy sealers from inside. Before doing that, you should apply masking tape over the small holes so that the sealer poured inside, does not leak out. It is essential that the tank outlets are also sealed with putty. Mix two parts of the epoxy sealer in a plastic container for some minutes and then pour it inside the tank.

The filler hole of the gas tank should be sealed using rubber band and plastic wrap, after pouring the epoxy sealer in. Then, the tank should again be subjected to rotation so that the epoxy sealer coats itself evenly on the inside surface of the tanks, which will seal the holes. After rotating it for some time, remove the plug on the filler outlet and let the remaining amount of epoxy sealer drain out. Scrape out any extra deposits. Then, leave the tank to dry and give time for the sealer to harden. Once the tank is dry, test for leaks; after which your job is done. You can install the tank back again in place.

Repairing a Motorcycle Gas Tank
It is important that holes in a motorcycle tank be repaired as soon as possible. Make sure that you have the complete epoxy sealer based kit for fixing tank leaks in motorcycles.

The procedure is similar to car gas tank repair. Remove the tank from the bike and pour out any of the fuel left inside. Rinse the tank thoroughly and let it dry. Then, using a duct tape and putty, cover the holes from outside. Pour in the mixed epoxy sealer, after mixing its two parts together. Seal filler holes and rotate the tank. Let the sealer cover the insides thoroughly. Then, pour out the remaining sealer and leave the tank to be cured. That finishes the job of sealing holes in motorcycle tanks.

Repairing a Plastic Tank
Plastic tanks often get riddled with small holes that need to be fixed immediately. The things you will need are the following:
  • Sandpaper
  • Epoxy sealer based plastic tank repair kit
First thing to do is remove the tank and completely empty the fuel inside it. Rinse it and let is dry for some time. Locate the holes in the tank and roughen the area around them with sandpaper. This will help the epoxy sealer to stick in place and plug the holes effectively.

Mix the two different chemicals of the epoxy sealer for some time and then apply them on the holes formed in the tank. In case, the holes formed in the tank are too big, plug the fiberglass mesh, supplied with the kit in the hole before applying the epoxy sealer. Ensure that the epoxy coating is smooth and leave it to be dried and hardened for some time. With that, your job is done. Just check for any leaks before you install the tank back again.

These kinds of fixes work best for small holes in gas tanks. In case the tank damage is too high and there are dents, then it is best to get the tank replaced or repaired from a body shop.
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