Syphoning petrol/diesel from tank. - KB.
Anyone know if you can buy a syphon kit to do this, or anything that can be made to do the job? Do new cars have anti-syphon devices to prevent said practice?

I tried sucking it out once when I was 17 (I'm 51 now) and never forgot the experience. Can't actually remember why I wanted to but guess there must have been a reason at the time. Suffice to say that I don't intend going in for midnight petrol stealing forays from neighbours, but would like to be able to remove fuel from my own tank.

Thanks in anticipation.
Syphoning petrol/diesel from tank. - Dynamic Dave
Would have thought it far easier to disconnect a hose under the car, say from the fuel pump or suchlike.
Syphoning petrol/diesel from tank. - BrianW
Try a car spares shop or a motor factors for a syphon incorporating a self-primer.
Personally I stick to the time-honoured tube in mouth method.
A tube off an inhaler (nebuliser) seems to be a good size, slow enough to be controllable and long enough not to get a mouthful.
Syphoning petrol/diesel from tank. - Dorian
From what I know, most new cars have a device fitted so that even if you detach a fuel pipe underneath the car, fuel will not come out. I think its due to a valve in the tank that must have vacuum applied by the engine before it allows fuel through...

I sort of know this because an ex-workmate put diesel into his petrol Citroen Picasso (or the other way around). The repair guy had a hell of a job trying to drain the tank.
Syphoning petrol/diesel from tank. - M.M
Hello KB, how are things? Think I've sort of owed you a mail since before the summer!

My fuel pump is easily obtained and really handy. It is the electric fuel pump from a Citroen BX GTi. These cars are everywhere in the scrapyards and the pump shouldn't cost any more that a fiver. It is on the rear axle in a rubber mounting block with the filter canister piggy backed onto it.

Simple to undo the strap that holds it to the car, the two hose unions and electrical connection.

At home fit longer suction and delivery hoses plus a lead with croc clips for power from the car battery.

It is powerful and has the advantage of the attached filter. I use mine for all my customer's who fill their diesels with petrol. Simply connect the pump suction to a suitable union under the bonnet, say adj' to the car's fuel filter, and you can empty the tank into 20lit cans with no spillage, mess or hazard.

David W
Syphoning petrol/diesel from tank. - Ian (Cape Town)
Getting a mouth full of high-octane isn't my idea of fun.
I was taught at an early age (my father got a few litres of water in his cortina once, after the u/ground tanks at the garage leaked) NEVER to suck fuel out.
The perfected method?
Two bits of hose (one short, for blowing, one long for fuel outlet), rag wrapped around filler cap, and blow down short one, causing pressure to rise in tank, and fuel flow out of the other. into suitable receptacle.

However, a friend of mine, being less adept at juggling hosepipes, once dropped his 'short hose' down into the tank.
He decided to leave it, but over a few weeks the fuel dissolved the rubber, and he ended up with a rather gunked-up carb!
Syphoning petrol/diesel from tank. - steve paterson
One thing to bear in mind when siphoning is that many vehicles have the filler pipe entering the tank near the top and from the side. This means that the average 'bit of hose' just waves about above the fuel. I use a bit of floppy convoluted hose with a weighted end that 'droops down' into the fuel. Bit of a pink fluffy dice to get in at times, but it will empty a tank.

Edited by Dynamic Dave on 09/03/2009 at 12:44

Syphoning petrol/diesel from tank. - KB.
Thanks all for a variety of thoughts. I went to Maccess today - there were a couple of syphons. One for £10 and a small (fish tank emptying one?) for £3.50. I also had a look under the car - a long, bendy hose which does enter the tank high up the side of it, hence confirming the difficulty as decribed by Steve. This then leaves Davids pump option and the two tubes option.

Now to own up to the reason for requesting such info.......I've agreed to sell the Yaris (which has a tank full of petrol) for less than I would have ideally wanted - about £700 less than I paid for it a year ago, and £1000 less than my original asking price (it's an import as most of you know). The buyer offered £8500 at first, then came back to me and we agreed on £9000. You can work the rest out for yourselves, hence the enquiry. I think I'll forget the idea but, in view of the fact that I've replaced it with a diesel Yaris, I'm also a tad concerned what would happen if either of us put petrol in it inadvertantly and needed to empty it - in which case I'll need some sort of pump/syphon. I speak as one who has done it once (just a couple of litres of petrol in a diesel Clio) so hope I've learnt my lesson, but you can never tell.

Think I'll get a spare Citroen pump and keep it in the garage - thanks again, but just for the record, can Ian confirm the sort of hose he uses and does the position on the side of the tank stop the tube from dropping down well below fuel level in the tank and what about the device referrd to by Dorian preventing syphoning?

I am OK, thanks David - much more so having joined the ranks of the great unwashed and able to spend more time with (and family, as they say).


Syphoning petrol/diesel from tank. - Dynamic Dave
I've replaced it with a diesel Yaris, I'm also a tad
concerned what would happen if either of us put petrol
in it inadvertantly and needed to empty it

You could put a sticker on the fuel flap/cap to remind you what fuel to put in. Not to the extent of the VW ad though. Just a thought.
Syphoning petrol/diesel from tank. - KB.
Funny you should say that DD. Mitsubishi do a, not unattractive, self adhesive sticky label - black print on a clear background, saying 'DIESEL' which I've placed just above the fuel flap, as well as, on the inside of said flap, a bright fluoro yellow square of plastic self adhesive stuff and put another red label on that.

Part number of Misubishi label:- MB247355 (£2.78 inc vat).

Syphoning petrol/diesel from tank. - Ian (Cape Town)
just for the record, can
Ian confirm the sort of hose he uses

Common garden hose! One six foot length, and one of 12 inches
about the device referrd to by Dorian preventing syphoning?

Normally a "cone" of wire, which sits halfway down the filler tube, preventing a hose going through.

If you are taking a loss on the car, make sure you half-inch the decent speakers before you let it go!

Syphoning petrol/diesel from tank. - sam76
I am in a similar situation and had inadvertently filled petrol in my diesel Clio. Now to cut a long story short and not go into the details of what all happened after that, the fuel filter is currently working with the pipes swapped (red one into green and the green one into red). However, this afternoon the fuel primer that supplies diesel to the fuel filter bursted, I don't know where to buy this, tried at eurocarparts but they didn't stock it! Would anyone know where can I buy the primer? Any leads appreciated!

Thanks in anticipation,
Syphoning petrol/diesel from tank. - jayeastanglia
is this the rubber rugby ball shaped primer???? If so halfords sell them(A little dear though)also unipart sell them along with any decent motorfactors.
Syphoning petrol/diesel from tank. - sam76
Yes, its the rubber ball shaped primer, I shall check at Halfords right away. Thank you!
Syphoning petrol/diesel from tank. - sam76
Checked with Halfords, they didn't stock them. Was searching online as well, but don't think this would fit in as this is completely different from what I had in my car. I have meanwhile bypassed the primer, bought a new fuel filter (approx 20 pounds from Europarts). Good news is that the car starts now, but stops after 10-15 mins. I then take out the blue pipe (as per Haynes Car Manual), and block the outlet from the filter, I am wondering if its ok to bypass the primer bulb? Advice welcome!

Edited by Dynamic Dave on 07/03/2009 at 14:39

Syphoning petrol/diesel from tank. - injection doc
Whilst the cost of fuel does make it a real commoditiy the dangers of drainig fuel outweight the cost of a tank full of fuel.
Extreme caution & care need to be observed when draining even down to the detail of earthing components & pipes.
There have been numerous & very serious accidents caused by draining tanks & i know 2 people scarred for life & have to wear body stockings due to fuel burns when static cause an explosion. The pain that burn suffere's go through out weight any price! let alone a tank of fuel
Syphoning petrol/diesel from tank. - sam76
Got the fuel drained out thru local garage (he just drained it out by squeezing the primer bulb), but the fellow didn't seem knowledgeable at all and was doing things more by trial and error. Anyways, checked with Halfords y'day, they didn't hv primer bulb. Shall call up Reno Dealer tomorrow and buy from them.

injection doc, I realized after spending time and effort with the local garage that I shud have approached professionals for this. Local guy had swapped the pipes of the fuel filter without realizing it, and as a result the primer bulb below the fuel filter burst. I changed the fuel filter subsequently myself (bypassed the primer bulb) and also bought Haynes Car Manual which gave me much needed info. As I mentioned earlier, after changing the fuel filter, the pipes are in right position now, the car works, engine starts but stops after 15 mins or so. Coz there is air in the pipe, hence I need to buy a primer bulb and put it in the right place.
Syphoning petrol/diesel from tank. - sierraman
You can get these primer bulbs from chandlers-marine supplies-they are used extensively for outboards.Also loads on e-bay
Syphoning petrol/diesel from tank. - Peter D
DO NOT go the car fuel pump route. Most car fuel pumps are designed to run fuel and no air. The motor brushed are exposed to the fuel. If you use one free standing then you first turn it on or when you run out fuel air is ingested and can be ignited by the brushed. Regards Peter
Syphoning petrol/diesel from tank. - sam76
Thanks Sierraman, just bought it from reno car dealer in western avenue. Costed me 51 pounds! It included the standard pipes and all, but I guess that would have been easy to fit. Saw the message a bit late :( Wonder if the ebay ones would have been perfect for my Reno Clio Diesel though..
Even after placing the Primer Bulb, the car stops after 5 mins or so, I then squeeze the primer and it starts after hunting for a while. Have got it booked for this friday at a local garage - a supposedly diesel expert! (The guy at the garage suspects that the fuel pump inside the fuel tank could have gone off and might need to be replaced!) Keeping my fingers crossed.