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Ms. Wrench
Ms. Wrench, ASE Certified Technician
Category: Car
Satisfied Customers: 554
Experience:  ASE Certified Technician-10 yrs., Service Writer-Foreign, Domestic & Fleet, Alternative Fuel Expert
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My gas zone..gasoline would not go into my gas tank.

Customer Question

My gas gage is in the emty red zone. So I stopped to get gas at a station I got to quite often. The gasoline would not go into my gas tank. It was overflowing all over. I tried a different pump and the same thing happen. I never had this problem before. My car is a 2002 Pontiac Sunfire. What could be the problem?
Submitted: 9 years ago.
Category: Car
Expert:  Ms. Wrench replied 9 years ago.

HiCustomer Thank you for asking your question on Just Answer. The other Experts and I are working on your answer. By the way, it would help us to know:

Should it be out of gas? I mean from the last time you filled up have you driven enough for it to be empty?

Thank you again for trusting us with your problem. Please reply as soon as possible so that we can finish answering your question.

Customer: replied 9 years ago.
Yes, the last time the tank was full was a week and a half ago. I drove quite a bit and the gas was getting used. The tank is on E (empty) in the red zone
Expert:  Ms. Wrench replied 9 years ago.


OK I just wanted to verify that there wasn't a gauge indication problem and the tank really was full. Let me ask you another question, when you put the nozzle in, does is keep clicking off like when the tank is full or does it let the gas pump and just overflow everywhere.


Customer: replied 9 years ago.
Both...Clicking about 3-4 times then gas all over. Thanks for taking the time to help me out.
Expert:  Ms. Wrench replied 9 years ago.

No problem, one more question, is your check engine light on? Trust me this is all leading somewhere.

Customer: replied 9 years ago.
Expert:  Ms. Wrench replied 9 years ago.


OK now I can answer. The reason I asked if the check engine light was on is because gas pumps have a small tube in the nozzle and a valve system that detects airpressure in the tank, that's how they know when to shut off. The airflow up the tube from the empty tank keeps the gas pumping, and shuts off when the space is filled with gas. If there was a malfunction in your EVAP purge system the pressure in the tank might cause the pump to shut off due to pressure. But if that were the case, your check engine light would most likely be illuminated.

What is probably going on with your car is that the check valve in the filler neck is stuck in the closed position. There is a check ball type thing at the opening that should release and let fuel in when the nozzle is inserted, what is going on is that that ball or valve is stuck closed and not opening to let fuel in. The gas pump is initially trying to shut off but by repeatedly starting it the shut off is overridden and gas in fact can not get into the tank so it just spills everywhere.

If you can not get to a shop, you may be able to stick a screwdriver in the nozzle and attempt to free the valve. This may or may not work depending on the nature of the failure, if it is just stuck it may free up and not give you more trouble, but if it doesn't it will have to be replaced by a mechanic.

Hope this helps. Let me know if you have any other questions.

Thanks for using JA

Ms Wrench

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Customer: replied 9 years ago.

Ms. Wrench did not tell me anything new. It had nothing to do with my car because I went to the totally different gas station last night and the gas went into the tank like it always has. So it must have been that gas station's pumps.

Expert:  Ms. Wrench replied 9 years ago.


I'm glad you got your problem figured out. Thanks for using JA

Ms Wrench