Anyone Know How To Drain An Astra? - Clueless Dipstick
Evening.

I wonder whether anyone can help me. This evening I gave my
Astra diesel a special Saturday treat of sixteen quid's worth of
unleaded. The nice man from the RAC was duly called, and he
offered me two options - an expensive one (£150-ish) involving a
24-hour garage, or a tow home and a wait until Monday for a
cheaper garage to open. I opted for the latter, and the car is
now marooned here awaiting a stomach-pump. The RAC chap said
that if I could remove all the fuel (or almost all) and then
fill it up to the top with diesel, a trip to the garage would be
unnecessary (he said that even the cheaper garages would charge
me the best part of a hundred quid). As I am one of those
congenitally impractical buffoons whose cluelessness provides
Halfords staff and garage mechanics with hours of amusement, I
decided to ask the advice of my father and uncle. Before I knew
it, they'd produced an array of petrol cans and a length of hose
and were trying to drain the tank. Unfortunately, the hose
didn't seem to get to the petrol - it went inside about two or
three feet, but failed to find fuel. They switched tack, and
jacked the car up in order to look underneath it for something
which could be pulled out to drain the tank. So far, they've
not had much luck there, either.

Is there anybody out there who knows how to empty the tank on an
(R-reg) Astra LS 1.7 TDS? I've looked through the "back room"
stuff ("Petrol in a diesel car" and "Petrol into diesel don't
go", etc) but - apart from giving me a good laugh and making me
feel less of a chump - I still don't know the best way to go
about it. Is draining from beneath possible, or is there likely
to be a valve in the tank that requires a vacuum applied by the
engine before fuel can flow? And if siphoning is possible, what
kind of tube is needed for my car - i.e. what diameter, what
length, and is it necessary to put a weight somewhere on it?
Has someone out there ever managed to drain an Astra?

Any information would be gratefully appreciated.

Thanks,

Paul.
Anyone Know How To Drain An Astra? - Dynamic Dave
You'll have a job syphoning the tank as I believe the delivery tube has some kind of anti syphone device in place to stop people nicking your fuel.

What I would do is locate the fuel pump, disconnect the outlet pipe and fit a longer one instead - that in turn can be used to fill up your petrol cans with. Disconnect the wires going to the fuel pump and then wire up the pump directly to the battery via a switch and relay - making sure you have good contacts, as the last thing you want while dealing with petrol is a spark from a dodgy electrical connection.
Anyone Know How To Drain An Astra? - Clueless Dipstick
Thanks, Dave.

Your advice about the battery sparks put the wind up us, so we're not going to risk it! Is there another way you know of that doesn't involve electrics - a bung or something beneath the car? I'm not completely sure that there is a anti-siphon measure fitted to the tank (apart from that the petrol flap is only openable when the key's in the car): as I say, the hose goes in about two or three feet before meeting any resistance. Could it be that it's entering the fuel tank, but is stuck at the top, above the fuel?

Best wishes,

Paul.
Anyone Know How To Drain An Astra? - Altea Ego
Paul

I did this on a cavalier I had, same engine 1.7td. I went to the garage filled it with 15 litres of unleaded, realised what i did, filled it with 30 litres of diesel on top of the 15 of petrol. It seemed to run ok, and in fact nothing subsequently happened. I made sure to keep toping the tank up with diesel every 50 miles or so to dilute the mix.

Anyone Know How To Drain An Astra? - ChrisV
Paul,
Renault family's comment about topping up with diesel is correct, except I think you've put too much petrol in for it to run properly. You can usually get away with £5-£10 of petrol, but you've put in about half a tank.
My friend runs a garage, and this is a surprisingly common occurance. They usually put the vehicle up on a ramp, then connect a syphon tube (with an in-line "bulb type" pump) into the fuel line. It's quite time consuming, but no spark risk.
I don't know where you get these tubes from, Halfords? You'd also need the right connectors to couple the fuel line back together safely.
Good luck!
Chris
Anyone Know How To Drain An Astra? - Clueless Dipstick
Thank you both to the Renault Family and to Chris.
The good news is that my father and uncle have cracked it! They first tried a very thin tube, with a weighted end, which worked - it took ages, but they filled a 5 litre can with that. They then went to B&Q and got a tube of double the thickness (still about half the diameter of a garden hose, though), and stuck a lead collar on the end of it. This worked perfectly, and in no time they'd filled three more cans. Pa then brought back a can of diesel from the garage, stuck it in the tank, drove the car to the garage and brimmed it. I've driven it about, and it's not made any funny noises or spewed out smoke. One can went into the tank of our (nearly full) petrol vehicle, and that too sounded fine on the trip to the garage for the can of diesel: the other four will go in to it (or the mower) in due course. Joy!
Thanks again to all who offered advice,

Paul.
Anyone Know How To Drain An Astra? - Ian (Cape Town)
Now DON'T do it again, Clueless!!
Glad to hear you are back on the road!
Anyone Know How To Drain An Astra? - Railroad
Go to a breakers yard and get a second hand external electric fuel pump such as that fitted on an Astra/Cavalier/Carlton, Escort/Sierra, BMW, Volvo 240/360 etc.

Make up some simple leads and hoses. Disconnect the fuel pipe on your fuel filter, connect this to the large inlet of the pump, with a hose on the smaller outlet side of the pump into a sealed container. Then connect your pump to your battery and away you go.

Hey Presto.....fuel tank drained simply and safely. You've even still got the pump for when you do it again.
Anyone Know How To Drain An Astra? - J500ANT
Am I the only one who thinks that the removed mixture of unleaded and diesel doesnt sound like the healthiest diet for a petrol car? Surely if it were cat equipped that would knacker a cat good and proper! Even if it wasnt, I dont think i'd put it in my car, nor my mower (if i had one).

So that begs the question, what to do with unleaded contaminated with diesel?

Tony
Anyone Know How To Drain An Astra? - SkyMan
How about something that can both clean gungy engine parts and oil them at the same time ? :)

 

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