6 Easy Ways to Siphon Gas in A Survival Situation

Rich M.
By Rich M. July 8, 2019 07:07

6 Easy Ways to Siphon Gas in A Survival Situation

Gasoline is one of the most common fuels in America today. Not only do we power our vehicles with it, but a wide variety of other tools, like chainsaws and lawn mowers are gasoline powered. Gas is also a great fire accelerant, if you have trouble starting a fire. For that matter, you can use it in Coleman lanterns and stoves. You can be sure that in a post-disaster world, gasoline will be a valuable commodity; even if cars aren’t running.

But that’s not the only situation where you might need gasoline. There are plenty of others. Getting stranded in the middle of nowhere is much easier to happen than most of us would like to admit. So is running out of gasoline while bugging out and sitting in traffic. There are actually a lot of survival situations where we might need to find a way to get our hands on gasoline quickly… even if not quite legally.

The solution, in most of these cases, is to siphon gas out of someone else’s car. Granted, that’s their gas, which they paid for; but the ethics of the situation could get a bit fuzzy in a survival situation. Dying, just because you won’t steal a few gallons of gas doesn’t make much sense, especially if the owners of the vehicle with the gas in it have abandoned it.

Related: What’s the Best Fuel to Stockpile for Survival?

Siphoning Gas the Old Way

Siphoning gas used to be fairly simple, back when cars were simpler. One merely put one end of a hose into the gas tank and sucked on the other end. Eventually gas would come up the hose and you’d get a mouthful of it. That was your signal to get the hose out of your mouth and stick it into the gas can, before the gas could stop flowing.

Of course, that’s a rather dangerous way to siphon gas, as you have to inhale it into your lungs, as well as take the chance on swallowing some. I can’t recommend that method, even though I have used it more than once myself.

There’s an alternative to this method, which I’ve seen a few people use, if they have a long enough hose. The idea is to feed as much of the hose into the tank as you can, then cap the hose with your thumb, while you remove it.

6 Easy Ways to Siphon Gas in a Survival SituationIf all goes well, there will be enough gas in the tank that the hose will be most of the way filled with water. Then, when you put the end into the gas can, the weight of the water in the part of the hose that is outside the vehicle will help to siphon it out.

This method doesn’t always work and in fact may not work at all on newer vehicles. Many of them have a check valve built into the filler neck, making it impossible to siphon out gas in the normal way. If that’s the case, you will have to get the gas from somewhere other than the filler.

A Safer Siphon

Before we get to ways of siphoning gas on vehicles which have that check valve, I’d like to mention a safer way of siphoning gas out of a vehicle where you can stick a hose down the filler nozzle. This method requires two hoses, the main one and a short hose, which needs to be thinner so that it can be inserted into the neck, past the unleaded gas guard, along with the regular hose.

In this method, the main hose is put into the filler neck, much like for sucking the gas out of the tank. Once it is in, the second hose is inserted into the neck, just far enough to make sure that it won’t fall out.

6 Easy Ways to Siphon Gas in a Survival SituationThen stuff a plastic grocery sack into the opening, making a seal (many people recommend a rag for this, but air will pass through a rag; it won’t pass through the plastic).

Put the end of the main hose into a gas can and blow into the smaller hose. The air pressure you provide by blowing should force gas up the other hose and out. Once it reaches the gas can, you can stop blowing.

With any of these siphon methods, if gas doesn’t come out of the vehicle’s tank, it means that the end of the hose isn’t in the gas. That can mean that the end of the hose has curled up, so that it is above the level of the gas. It can also mean that the gas tank is almost empty.

Related: Investing For Preppers – 12 Things That Won’t Lose Value In A Crisis

Let the Vehicle Pump it Out

If siphoning gasoline out of a vehicle by the usual means isn’t going to work, what will? Ideally, it would be to get the vehicle to pump the gasoline out by itself. But when you put the key in the ignition, the pump only stays on for three seconds. That’s not going to pump very much gasoline out.

Nevertheless, using the vehicle’s fuel pump is the best way to get the gasoline out of the tank and into a gas can. All we need is a way to trick the pump to stay on, and someplace where we can divert the gas that is pumping out of the vehicle and into our gas can. Fortunately, we can find both in most cars.

Diverting the Gas

The first thing we want to do is divert the gas that’s going to be pumped out of the tank. To do this requires knowing where that gas is going. Modern cars don’t have carburetors, but rather use what is known as “fuel injection.” This means that there is a small valve, with a nozzle, that squirts gasoline into each cylinder, at the right time in the engine’s cycle. That gas is fed to the fuel injectors through a tube known as the “fuel rail.”

This is where we are going to access the gasoline, so the first thing we need to do is locate the fuel rail. It will be on the top of the engine, running along the top of the cylinders. If the car has a 4 cylinder engine, there will only be one fuel rail. But if it has a 6 or 8 cylinder engine, it will have two fuel rails, one along the top of each row of cylinders. The fuel rail will connect directly to the tops of the injectors, which will, in turn, attach to the tops of the cylinders.

6 Easy Ways to Siphon Gas in a Survival SituationPicture of a fuel rail – taken on a 2005 VW Jetta

A cap can be found at the end of the fuel rail, which is usually threaded. Under that cap is a Schrader valve; the same kind of valve that is used on the inside of tire valve stems. It can be removed with a Schrader valve wrench. There are several styles of these, but the most common is shown in the picture below.

With the valve removed, attach a piece of hose to the end of the fuel rail, right over the threads for the cap.

If your hose doesn’t fit tightly, use a hose clamp to make it snug. Place the other end of the hose into a gas can.

Tricking the Car

Now that we’re ready to collect the gas, we need to trick the fuel pump in the car into turning on and staying on longer than three seconds. To do this, we need to remove the fuel pump relay and jumper across it.

The fuel pump relay is probably located in the engine compartment, in a plastic box, together with other relays and possibly even some fuses. If there is no such box inside the engine compartment of the car you are trying to siphon the fuel out of, then it is probably located under the dashboard, again, with other relays and fuses. If you can’t find it, look for information in the vehicle’s owner’s manual.

6 Easy Ways to Siphon Gas in a Survival SituationRelays can be thought of as remote control switches. There is a small electromagnet inside there, which controls a switch. When the electromagnet is activated, it closes the switch, allowing current to flow through the relay. They are used in cases where more current needs to flow through to the item that is going to use that electrical current, than the controller can provide. In this case, turning on the fuel pump is a function of the car’s computer, which can’t pass enough current to operate the pump, so a relay is used.

Relays can vary in quantity and appearance; but these square relays are rather common. What we’re going to want to do is jumper across the relay. So we need to know which contacts to jumper across. In the case of this particular relay, that’s contacts 3 and 5. We know this, because of the little diagram molded into the side of the relay’s case in the diagram below.

Notice on the diagram that contacts 1 & 2 are connected together through a box. This is the coil or electromagnet. Contacts 3 & 5 are also connected together; but this time through a symbol that looks like two lines that don’t quite meet, because the one coming from 3 is crooked. This is the electrical symbol for a switch. We want to concern ourselves with the switch part of the relay, not the coil part, as it is the switch which would normally get the electricity to the fuel pump. So, regardless of how your relay looks, you want to find which parts make up the switch and work with them.

6 Easy Ways to Siphon Gas in a Survival SituationRelay diagram – contacts 1 & 2 are the coil and contacts 3 & 5 are the switch

If we look at the bottom of the relay, we can see that the different tabs are marked as well, with the same numbers that are on the diagram. With three tabs running in one direction and the fourth tab running perpendicular to them, the relay can only be installed in its socket one way. Therefore, even if the socket is not numbered, we know which contact in the socket is which number.

6 Easy Ways to Siphon Gas in a Survival SituationBottom of relay, showing contact numbers

With the relay removed from its socket, we can jumper across contacts 3 and 5 with any piece of wire, pushing the ends of the wire down into the slots in the socket, just as the tabs on the relay itself would push down into it. It is best to use a solid wire for this, rather than a stranded one, but if all you have is stranded wire, it will work. Strip back enough of the insulation to ensure good electrical contact.

Now that the jumper is installed, all we have to do is to turn on the ignition key and the pump will start running, pumping gasoline out of the tank, through the fuel rail and into our gas can. If the gas doesn’t start flowing after a few seconds, turn off the key and verify that the jumper wire is firmly into the socket.

What If We Don’t Have the Key?

If you don’t have the key to the vehicle, but can still get into it, the same thing can be done by using a wire to jumper power from the positive terminal of a car battery to one of the two switch contacts from the relay (either 3 or 5 for this relay). I can’t tell you which, because it will depend on the make and model of the car. You will probably need to try one and the other to find which one works. Don’t worry about damaging the car, you won’t.

To do this, using a battery from another vehicle, you’ll also need to use jumper cables to attach the negative pole of the other vehicle’s battery to the negative pole of the vehicle’s battery you are trying to get the gas from. If there is no battery or battery cable, find a good solid piece of metal on the engine and attach the jumper cable there.

Remember, what you’re trying to do is to fake what the car’s control system does, supplying electricity to the fuel pump, so that it will work. To do this, you have to have a complete circuit. That’s why you have to have jumper cables.

When You Can’t Get to the Engine

The above method is fine and dandy, assuming that you have the keys to the vehicle so that you can get into it and turn on the ignition. It also helps if the vehicle you’re getting the gas out of is still functional. But what about a worst-case scenario, such as an EMP; is there still a way to get the gas out?

Related: EMP Proof Cloth. Easy EMP Protection For Your Car And Generator

The simple answer is “yes.” There are actually two ways; but that doesn’t mean that they will be simple to do.

Using the Fuel Pump

For the first way, we’re going to fool the fuel pump once again, but not use the relay or the fuel rail in the engine compartment. While you could break the window and get into the car to pop the hood, maybe there’s some reason why you don’t want to do that. In that case, we need to do everything from underneath the car.

There are two things you’ll need to access under the car for this: the fuel filter and the wires leading to the fuel pump. The filter will be located mounted to the side of the vehicle’s frame and the wires will be the only wires going to the top of the fuel tank. You won’t be able to see where they connect, but you will be able to see them going up there.

Remove the fuel filter by removing the hose clamps that hold it to the fuel lines. 6 Easy Ways to Siphon Gas in a Survival SituationYou may also need to remove a screw that holds the clamp in place, depending on the style of filter. With the filter removed, you can attach a hose to the line coming from the back of the vehicle, which is the feed line from the fuel pump. Use a hose clamp to make sure it is a tight connection, if necessary.

Find the wires providing power to the fuel pump and cut them, attaching your own. Most likely there will be two wires, as the fuel tank is isolated from the vehicle and the pump will need both a positive and negative wire. Connect your own wires and attach the other end to the vehicle’s battery to get the pump started.

Wires in vehicles are color coded, so there’s no way of saying what colors they are. If one of the wires is black, chances are it is the ground or negative wire. If not, take a guess and try. If it doesn’t work, reverse the wires. You will not have damaged the pump.

Removing the Tank

The other option is to just remove the fuel tank from the vehicle. Typically, fuel tanks are installed with two straps.

All you have to do is remove those straps and lower the tank to the ground. You’ll want to put a floor jack under the tank for this, so that it doesn’t fall.

In addition to removing the hardware at the ends of the fuel tank straps, you’ll need to disconnect the filler neck and probably the fuel lines leaving the tank to go to the engine.

With the tank removed from the vehicle, you can easily scavenge the fuel from it.

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Rich M.
By Rich M. July 8, 2019 07:07
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  1. Raven tactical July 8, 10:01

    Fuel injection vs carberators. Is pretty funny your talking 40 to over a 100 psi on the fuel in the fuel injection line. Why not just tap the fuel tank and get it out. The other method is a overly mcguiver idea is way to long and dangerous

    Reply to this comment
    • left coast chuck July 8, 15:23

      My thought also.

      Use a brass punch that has been sharpened to a point and punch the tank. Have your container ready to go. Saves all the folderol with fuses, switches, jumpers and all that exercise. If you don’t happen to have a brass punch (which should be in your bug-out bag just for such situations), you can sharpen a stick and use it to punch the tank.

      So why not just whip out your super-duper CRKT knife and punch the tank? Sparks, Grasshopper. You just want to get the gas in the tank. You don’t want to emulate a Buddhist priest protesting the Diem regime.

      No too terribly long ago, a thief who was stealing gasoline from a gas station in LA caused a spark and created a nice funeral pyre for himself and his vehicle.

      A brass punch won’t spark. A pointy wooden stick won’t spark.

      Just because the tank is made of some kind of plastic, don’t think that it won’t spark. Even notice how that piece of plastic seems to stick and just won’t shake off? That is static electricity. Static electricity will cause sparks. Ever read the instructions for opening up your computer and notice how they mention grounding yourself first before doing so? Static electricity again. That little micro-amp is enough to set off 20 gallons of gasoline in a spectacular way. That’s also why folks who know don’t use their cellphone while filling their gas tank. Sure you’ve done it hundreds of times — it only takes that one time to make the six o’clock news.

      Reply to this comment
      • Raven tactical July 8, 21:16

        Cell phones dont set off fumes or interfere with planes electronics.

        It would be extremely unlikey that your knife or whatever punctures a tank. If your going to add a heavy punch to your kit then so be it. I’ll keep a hawk with me. You could just cust the lines and get fuel out. That might be enough to get a hand pump in.

        Or if your smart enough wire up a electric dry fuel pump and just 12volt them out. Dont use a wet pump.. oh dont forget your fuel lines

        Reply to this comment
        • The Ohio Prepper July 9, 13:43

          Raven tactical,

          Cell phones dont set off fumes or interfere with planes electronics.

          But isn’t there a sign at the pump that says to not use cell phones since it’s dangerous? LOL
          All of the cases I have read about that blamed cell phones, were actually people pumping gas, fidgeting with their cell phones, and sliding around on the seat, creating a buildup of static electricity that eventually caused a spark and ignited the fumes coming out of the gas filler tube. The best practice is to just stand still while pumping your own gas; but, you may talk on the phone while doing so.
          Those signs are a CYA lawyer trick to fend off litigation from careless or stupid people.

          It would be extremely unlikey that your knife or whatever punctures a tank. If your going to add a heavy punch to your kit then so be it. I’ll keep a hawk with me. You could just cust the lines and get fuel out. That might be enough to get a hand pump in.

          Many tanks on newer cars have the pump built in to the tank and no lines to cut; but, poking a hole will still allows draining and a metal knife on a metal tank will still most likely not generate enough energy for starting a fire, since at the point of insertion, there is cold liquid fuel and not yet any fumes.

          Reply to this comment
      • Illini Warrior July 9, 12:06

        good to see the concern about sparking – long reach brass punch totally necessary – a commuter lot of abandoned vehicles will be a mixed bunch of bananas …

        also – consider your striking instrument – a poly dead blow mallet or something non-metallic >>>> you’re going to slamming around the frame and other supports features ….

        Reply to this comment
      • The Ohio Prepper July 9, 13:28

        left coast chuck,

        Use a brass punch that has been sharpened to a point and punch the tank. Have your container ready to go. Saves all the folderol with fuses, switches, jumpers and all that exercise.

        Much easier to take a piece of hard copper or steel pipe, sharpen one end and hook a hose to the other end. When you puncture the tank (now mostly made of plastic) the fuel flows down the inside of the punch, like a hypodermic needle, through the hose, and into your container. Less chance of leaking gas on the ground to create a fire hazard and waste gas you could be using.

        Reply to this comment
      • young prepper September 17, 17:49

        yaknow for a second i thought “why go through all of this garbage and why not just stab the thing”, but then i remembered “wait,metal on metal means spark,spark and gas means fire,bad idea” i never knew brass didnt cause spark on steel (or whatever gas tanks are made of i’m only 15 i dont know everything)

        Reply to this comment
        • The Ohio Prepper September 17, 21:03

          young prepper,

          i never knew brass didnt cause spark on steel (or whatever gas tanks are made of i’m only 15 i dont know everything)

          Only ferrous (iron based) metals can spark. Best to use non-ferrous (aluminum, copper, brass, bronze) metals to avoid sparks. Also, some gas tanks are now made from plastic; but, siphoning gas from a vehicle other than your own could be dangerous for several reasons.

          Reply to this comment
    • EGGY July 9, 00:00

      You’re making way too complicated , back in the day in the 70’s during the gas crunch we were only allow to buy 20 worth of gas every other day, depending on your car plates. So as teenagers we became very adapt at getting fuel.
      I will mention a few, and trust me all illegal.
      1 method was to hit school bus depots most are full or close to full simply stick a hose and siphon it out, also if that doesn’t work, you can simply cut the rubber hose coming from the fuel tank most have a flexible hose before going into hard metal hose, let gravity work for you.
      2) another way was having an electric car fuel pump with about 25 to 35 foot 1/4 inch hose, as well as two wire so you can wire the whole thing to your car battery simply drop the pump into a gas station main tanks, (likely willing be abandoned if there’s no power to run the pumps. Even if the tanks are empty there will always be a few inches on the bottom about 25 to fifty gallons

      Reply to this comment
    • Rich M July 9, 22:23

      The tank itself is not pressurized to that point. The tricky part about tapping the tank is doing so without creating a spark.

      Reply to this comment
  2. Rooinek July 8, 14:21

    Potential major danger with jumper cables sparking in proximity with the gasoline fumes – BOOM! My father taught me a way to siphon with a pipe and no chance of getting a mouthful. I’v used this method successfully but the “donating” tank does need to be reasonably full. Stick the pipe into the tank and blow hard and the fuel will backwash up the pipe. You have to be quick to get the exit end of the pipe low enough to complete the siphon effect.

    Reply to this comment
  3. Raven tactical July 8, 15:27

    Most tanks are dense plastic. That and sparks are not really as dangerous as most people fear. Fumes and sparks yea but not standing gas

    Reply to this comment
    • left coast chuck July 8, 17:13

      Anytime gas is flowing except in a closed system there are fumes. That’s why the PDRK is in such a tizzy about gasoline. Even with the enclosed fuel nozzles that are on all the pumps, there are still fumes emitted when the nozzle is pulled away from the auto and that little dribble around your gas cap almost instantly turned into fumes. An empty tank is more dangerous than a completely full tank.

      Reply to this comment
  4. Handtalker July 8, 16:13

    And gas in tanks over time degrade. What then? Heet?

    Reply to this comment
    • left coast chuck July 8, 17:20

      No question about it, over a period of time gasoline will degrade to the point it no longer is useful for a gasoline engine. First I would strain it through the finest filter I could find. Then I would add gas stabilizer to it. Those two steps might solve your problem. Emphasis on might.

      In any event, old gas is still useful. You can use it sparingly to get your fire going. It can be made into molotov cocktails for defensive purposes. It can be used as weed killer. You can use it to kill fire ants. If you don’t mind the potential to start an out-of-control fire, you can use it to burn off wild growth so that you can farm a piece of land.

      It’s further uses are only limited by your imagination. It’s like rancid cooking oil.

      Reply to this comment
  5. Silvercoal July 8, 16:16

    All good info! I’ll say this about using the two-hose method to pump air into the tank so the gas flows out: You only need one hose. Blow into the hose until your face turns red, and the gas will come out the hose. Just don’t still have your mouth on it when you stop blowing! And a section of bicycle inner tube is a great way to stop up the mouth of the tank. I mean, that’s what a friend told me ha!

    Reply to this comment
  6. LJ July 8, 18:03

    I agree with Raven, this all rather long, complicated, and dangerous. I would only concern myself with these methods if it was my gasoline or it was being given to me and there was a desire to easily return the vehicle to operation without major fuss.

    If I was liberating the gas from an abandoned car, I would get under it and pound a hole in the rank over a funnel into my gas can or a catch pan.

    Many cars of recent manufacture will use a screen to prevent siphoning. Do a smaller hose probably won’t work.

    Reply to this comment
    • LJ July 8, 18:12

      Most gas today has ethanol in it which is alcohol. It attracts water and evaporates. It also attacks fuel system components in older cars.Non ethanol gas breaks down and will form a varnish. Older gasoline will not be suitable vehicle fuel, but as LCC indicated, there are many other uses.

      Reply to this comment
  7. HoundDogDave July 8, 20:06

    DON’T do this to your neighbors car, but if the vehicle is truly abandoned go for it. In many small cars the gas tank (and it’s internal fuel pump) are located under the back seat or just behind it in the trunk. Forcing the seat bottom backwards and lifting the front will often give you access to the pump cover directly. If you don’t find it there ,it is usually under the carpet in the trunk. Nut drivers or ratchets are needed (pliers may work) to remove the cover. You can try to run the pump with your own hose to your gas can or just pull the pump altogether and set up a siphon.

    Reply to this comment
  8. Yosemite July 8, 22:08

    Something ignored or completely over looked as a source for gas are lawn tractors… while it is not going to be a lot but it is easy to get. Depending on the make and model might hold 3 or more gallons.

    Just disconnect the fuel line from either end of the fuel filter, put the hose into whatever you are using to collect and save he gas in,and remove he cap to allow air into the gas tank.

    Any mixed Two Cycle engine such as outboard engines for boats or chainsaws or other things goes bad in the carburetor and it does not take long. On Outboards with the gas PREMIXED with the oil when done with using it for your trip while the engine is running disconnect the fuel line from the engine and let the engine burn use all of he fuel left in he carburetor.

    Most modern outboard engines no have a separate oil reservoir
    >>>NOTE<< So gasoline powered boats with the SEPARATE reservoir could also be a safe source for gas.
    Depending the size of the boat… it may have portable tanks OR it may have an on board built in tank. Such a tank to be siphoned from. You should be able to remove the end of the hose that clips to the engine and pump the bulb and get gas out of the tank Make sure of what you are getting….gas and not diesel fuel

    I know of people using such PREmixed gas in OLDER vehicles….other than some smoke from the exhaust they had no problems…… I would not recommend it in Modern/ Newer vehicles with all of the emission controls.

    Where I live we can get NON-Ethanol unleaded gasoline and it does cost more…..most people here call it or refer to it as Marine Gas. BUT people do use t for other purposes such as lawn mowers/ tractors.

    There are pumps made for drills that one could use on a cordless drill to safely pump gas or other flammable liquids…. I dunno what they costs. Then again they could be special cordless drills that are safe from creating a spark…….

    Reply to this comment
  9. Bill July 8, 22:30

    Very well done article. I like the air pressure way of getting fuel.

    I built myself a neat little jig to get a lot of fuel fast from any tank, including in ground tanks at gas stations.

    Get yourself an air chuck that actually clamps onto a tire valve stem, and attach a cheap ball type value to the air chuck, so once you clamp onto a tires valve, you can open and close the valve to regulate air flow.

    Then on the other side of the ball valve, attach a long hose to go into the donor vehicles tank or an underground tank.

    Have another long hose that goes into the fuel and into the tank you need to refill.

    Like the article said, use plastic or even a rag at this point because you’ll have A LOT of air that will over come any leaks from a rag or whatever, and shove it into the neck opening and open the ball valve slowly and you can drain from one tank to another almost as fast as you can when filling up at the gas station.

    I’ll say this, 99% of the time, you’ll never be able to “BLOW” enough air to over come leaks and to start a fuel flow from one tank to another, and air from a tire is a massive reserve to tap into.

    This little system is also a way of using a donor vehicles tires to refill a low tire on your vehicle if needed. You just need two air chucks, and not clear plastic hose. Get fuel line hose as it’s rated at 250 psi, and of course for fuel so it won’t break down from being exposed to a small amount of fuel vapors, and can handle higher air pressures for airing up tires.

    The air side of this system is never really exposed to fuel, just vapors, so using it to air up tires isn’t an issue. Just keep it OUT of the fuel in the tank.

    Keep up the great work.

    Reply to this comment
  10. Wiley Coyote July 9, 01:58

    How about using one of those boat hoses that you just put into the tank and jack the end in the tank up and down for a few moments until the gas comes out. The hose has a
    marble inside a brass holder on one end and the action of the marble going up and down provides the suction. It works every time I’ve used it for years…

    Reply to this comment
    • left coast chuck July 9, 02:09

      Only works on older model cars. Newer models (don’t know what year they started) have a screen or block to prevent slipping a hose down into the fuel tank. That’s why all the talk about alternate methods of obtaining the fuel in the tank, including punching the tank.

      As another poster mentioned, you don’t want to punch the tank on your car or the car of a friend of yours unless you absolutely, positively know for absolute certain that you are never going to use the car again.

      Reply to this comment
  11. Yosemite July 9, 03:00

    Of all the techie ways….
    Something simpler:
    There is usually a short rubber hose connecting the tank to the fuel line. Just cut the hose or remove the clamp and then the hose and drain the fuel from there. Let Gravity work for you.

    You will have limited space underneath the vehicle to work in. Something else to consider.

    There is no reason a fuel line for a boat with a priming bulb to pump up and the attachment ends removed should nit work to create a siphon. Screens inside the tank might keep it from working….other than that, why wouldn’t it work? MAKE SURE THE PRIMING BULB WORKS….they do get holes in them or wear out/deteriorate over time. Replacement priming bulbs are inexpensive and one can also buy rubber hose and make their own hose

    One could use the modified boat fuel line by removing the ends and attaching one end to the vehicles gas tank’s fuel line to drain/siphon and even pump gas out of the vehicle into their container.

    Reply to this comment
  12. Tom July 9, 10:51

    “f all goes well, there will be enough gas in the tank that the hose will be most of the way filled with water. Then, when you put the end into the gas can, the weight of the water in the part of the hose that is outside the vehicle will help to siphon it out.”

    Why all of the discussion about water and a hose when your article is supposed to be about gas?

    Reply to this comment
  13. HoundDogDave July 9, 17:02

    Reading this article and some of the responses mentioning “bad gas” cause me to wonder what if anything could be done to restore degraded gasoline. After an hour or so of research this is some of what I discovered. In a long term SHTF situation all that gasoline in abandoned vehicles will start going bad and of no use in cars or generators just a few months. Fuel stabilizers are fine to slow down the degradation of the gas. But once it has broken down there is no restoring it. On top of that, much of the gasoline sold is E10 ethanol blend and many of us are completely unaware (although there is a little sticker on the pump alerting you of the fact). Ethanol is heavier than gasoline, which means it will settle in the bottom of your gas tank. Ethanol is hygroscopic; this means it suck up the moisture in the air and that ends up as water in the bottom of the tank. Once you get bad gas in your fuel system the only fix is to remove old and replace it with new “good” gas. But unless the tankers are delivering new refined gasoline to the pumps your screwed. Diesel may be a slightly better option if you have a supply of stabilizers and additives to control the algae the eats the diesel, plus filters. But after a year or so most all internal combustion engines will go silent. Time to find an old steam engine tractor I guess.

    Reply to this comment
    • Survivormann99 July 13, 16:02

      I saw a recommendation for PRI-G (for gasoline) and PRI-D (for diesel) on another survival web site. This product is supposed to preserve fuel for 10 years. According to the company rep I spoke to, it will also rejuvenate fuel that is 10-years-old. I don’t believe that any other product makes that claim.

      Reply to this comment
  14. Raven tactical July 9, 20:00

    You know most cars and trucks have jack right……. so theirs a solution to the life problem.

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  15. Josey Wales July 10, 03:36

    Using a small Jack to push a punch of any type upwards into a gas tank will not create a spark. Then let gravity take over. Work smarter not harder.

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  16. DJ July 10, 13:42

    A standard drain opening snake will take care of the screen problem in a gas tank. Sharpen the end before inserting to the tank though.

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  17. Geebs July 12, 01:05

    I apologize if someone already mentioned these methods, but I know of 2 easy ways to get gas out of a tank that I use. One way is to create a trap in a clear tube simply by putting an over hand knot at one end o the tube you will be sucking. That allows you to see the fuel coming out without getting a mouth full of it. Another way is using a kerosene hand pump and adapting the inserting tube end to fit a longer length of pipe. I then tape the pipe to create a tight vacuum. Punching a hole in the bottom of a gas tank, where the “sludge” rests, just gums up the gas and clog injectors or ports on a carb.

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  18. Survivormann99 July 13, 16:11

    I am no expert here. While I certainly understand the risk of sparks resulting from an effort to punch through a metal tank from the bottom, this would only seem to be risky if the tank had no fuel in it, or am I wrong? The presence of fuel would remove the risk because the fuel would displace the oxygen necessary for combustion, correct?

    For someone trying to save a few bucks on gas in normal times, the risk/benefit ratio is quite different than it would be for someone who is desperate to obtain the last fuel source available after things have turned “spicey.” Desperate times would seem to justify desperate measures.

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  19. Yosemite July 13, 18:02

    Gasoline as liquid and does not burn it burns a vapor an space at all allows for Oxygen..Have you ever flooded the engine when you tried to start it???
    Same thing…..

    An empty tank is more dangerous because of the vapor and the space for air/ Oxygen just waiting for a spark or ignition source.

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    • Survivormann99 July 13, 21:43

      I understand part of what you are saying, but I am not clear about other things.

      Let’s say that a gas tank on a vehicle has a half inch of fuel in it. Obviously, that fuel remains at the lowest place in the tank. A person with a hammer and a Phillips Head screwdriver, when piercing the bottom of the tank, is driving the head of the screwdriver into the tank. As it goes upward, it is moving through that gasoline. Since it is only gasoline vapor that burns, how is that spark, if there is any, from the steel-to-steel contact make contact with the oxygen inside the tank?

      With regard to the potential from a plastic gas tank creating static electricity, wouldn’t placing one’s hands on the tank when the body was in good contact with the ground eliminate any static electricity build-up?

      And, if not, exactly how is the spark from the static electricity going to be transferred through the gasoline and into the area occupied by the gas vapor?

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  20. Yosemite July 13, 23:06


    It takes Three things to have or cause a fire….Fuel, Oxygen, and a Spark/ Ignition Source or enough heat.

    If you read above to use a BRASS PUNCH or a WOODEN spike. No chance of a spark.

    Static Electricity will ignite the vapor….Using a regular screwdriver can carry or make/cause or release a static electrical spark….. liquids conduct electricity….and with that …..KABOOM

    Grain Silos have been known to explode because of static electricity. The have now fixed that problem

    I know of a USAF B-52 that was destroyed and lives were lost because of a test that was being done. The fuel tanks were supposed to be 100% full to perform whatever test they were conducting. The tanks were not 100% full…..I cannot remember the exact number killed but t was over Ten and only about 20 or so feet of the tail section was left.

    It does not take much of a spark……..people using cell phones have started fires while pumping gas into heir cars.

    IF you have ever zapped yourself or friends in the Winter ….that is static electricity….. that little spark in the right conditions is all it takes to go KABOOM.

    To All

    I had friend that was ring to save money using regular diesel fuel in his 38 Foot Sports Fisherman…..He found out the hard way and it cost him some big $$$ money for the repairs.

    So Marine diesel MIGHT last longer than On The Road Diesel……

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    • Survivormann99 July 14, 02:29

      You are not really addressing the question. How would a screwdriver punching through the bottom of a fuel tank and passing through the fuel that is there introduce a spark to the fumes? That spark from the screwdriver’s contact with the tank, whether steel or plastic, would have to pass through the fuel to get to the vapor.

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      • left coast chuck July 22, 20:32

        Gasoline is highly volatile. High volatility means easily vaporized. There is an easy way to avoid the possibility of a spark and ignition — use a wooden punch or a brass punch. If you want to take a chance on looking like a Buddhist monk in Saigon, be my guest and use a steel punch, steel screw driver, whatever. However, should I happen to be in the area, please let me know before you do so that I can move further away and not become a crispy critter.

        You can get lucky nine times out of ten. It’s that danged tenth time when Mr. Murphy springs up that sucks.

        It’s like using your cell phone while pumping gas. Yeah, 99 times out of a hundred there is no problem. It’s that one time that the cell phone rings just as you are pulling the nozzle out of your tank and releasing the build-up of fumes from the gas tank that Mr. Murphy pops up and you make the six o’clock news.

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        • Raven tactical July 23, 02:02

          What evidence is their that. A cell phone sets off fumes.

          You realize it’s in a open air space not a coke can.

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          • Sgt. F May 22, 23:43

            When stationed overseas we had a bunch of thugs that would go around late at night and would get under peoples carsand disconnect or cut depending on the model of the car the rubber hose thet ran from where you put the gas to the tank. If they could not cut it they poked a hole in it. When they were finally caught it turned out they had a small hose that would fit on a used Simi truck transfer pump hooked to a small 12 volt battery mounted in a plastic tool box. They would stick the hose far enough in to touch the bottom flick the switch and the fuel would come out the hose on the other side into their containers and in less then 3 minutes would be a block away laughing at the stupid American’s. The way they were caught some one reported a tool box stolen like theres. When the police stopped them walking down the street they were asked to open the tool box so they could identify the tools and found a miniature gas pump. Fast and easy to mske and no sucking or blowing.

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        • Survivormann99 July 23, 02:43

          I notice that you are still not answering the question.

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          • left coast chuck May 23, 00:06

            My father worked in an oil refinery. He was a pipefitter in that refinery. He got burned once with hot tar because someone else didn’t think there was any danger. After that he was extremely cautions about flammable liquids. Any time we used gasoline, he was very cautious about using it. We used lots of gasoline powered devices that are not in common usage these days. When was the last time you saw a gasoline powered plumber’s torch? When was the last time you used a gasoline powered lamp? Before portable tools and propane powered heating devices, gasoline was used in a lot of places. Did you know at one time car heaters were not heated by hot water from the radiator but by a gasoline burner that ran off gasoline piped from the gas tank itself? You had to be sure to crack at least one window as you couldn’t asphyxiate yourself. They did provide instant heat but could be deadly to use. That’s one of the reasons why you don’t see them any more. But you didn’t have to run the car’s engine to heat the car. Handy when you are stuck in the snow far from anywhere.

            He was always preaching the flammability of gasoline and would regularly carp about folks who didn’t appreciate the dangers of careless conduct around gasoline.

            When I first arrived at the First Marine Air Wing I was mistakenly assigned to MABS17. The 3rdMarDiv and the 1st MarAirWing had just come back from an exercise in the Philippines and the air fuel supply officer was writing an extensive report on the loss of Avgas120 from the fuel bladders the Marine Corps used to store Avgas in the field. It was astonishing how much fuel evaporated from a 500 gallon bladder in the hot Philippine sun. I assisted him in preparation of his report to HqMC regarding fuel loss in the field and suggestions on how to reduce that loss.

            I would suggest that some dorcas self-igniting himself by stealing gas is a local phenomenon that doesn’t make national news unless it is so unusual as to make the Darwin Awards, so to actually quote instances of self-immolation, other than the dude in Los Angeles stealing gas from a gas station with a hand rigged pump, I cannot state specific instances.

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