Q: Fuel spills out when fueling, even if the tank is near empty. What's happening?

asked by on

When we put gas in our 2000 Hyundai Accent, it spills out of the tank, even though the tank is nowhere near full. It doesn't seem to matter which gas station we use. We are in Illinois, where I don't think the pumps have any special vapor recovery gizmo. What could be happening? Our mechanic says the only option is to charge us hundreds of dollars in labor to remove the gas tank and try to diagnose the problem. Thanks!

My car has 95000 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

Hi There, What you are describing sounds like you may have a faulty purge solenoid in your EVAP system. Your car has a small purge valve called a purge solenoid that controls the venting of fumes from the fuel tank as these fumes build up inside, particularly when you are refueling the car with gas. The EVAP system prevents fuel vapors from the fuel tank from escaping into the atmosphere. The EVAP system collects and temporarily stores the fuel vapors in the charcoal canister. The charcoal canister is filled with activated carbon pellets that can absorb the fuel vapors. When the engine is running, the fuel vapors are purged from the canister and burned in the engine. The vent control valve (solenoid) controls the flow of outside air in and out of the charcoal canister. The vent valve is controlled by the engine computer (PCM). Normally the vent valve is open. It closes when the engine computer tests the EVAP system for leaks. If a leak in the EVAP system is detected, the Check Engine light will illuminate on the dash and the trouble code related to the problem will be stored in the engine computer. When an air leak is present in the EVAP system, the MAP sensor will not be able to determine the air density, and the MAF sensor will not be able to determine the volume of air, entering the engine correctly. This will lead to an over fueling situation or an under fueling situation depending on the size of the air leak and engine operating speeds and load. This may eventually lead to catalytic converter problems as well as misfiring problems. I would recommend having an expert from Your Mechanic come to your location to diagnose and inspect your vehicle.

Was this answer helpful?
The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details
  1. Home
  2. Questions
  3. Fuel spills out when fueling, even if the tank is near empty. What's happening?

Get an instant quote for your car

Our certified mechanics come to you ・Backed by 12-month, 12,000-mile guarantee・Fair and transparent pricing

Get a quote

What others are asking

Q: Where is the purge valve located on a Mazda 626

Hey there. On a 2000 Mazda 626 2.0L it is in the passenger side of engine compartment on the firewall. If it is a 2.5L, then it is under and near the brake master cylinder.

Q: Why am I having trouble getting fuel to go into my tank?

This is likely related to your EVAP emissions system and something called a purge solenoid. The EVAP system prevents fuel vapors from the fuel tank from escaping into the atmosphere. The EVAP system collects and temporarily stores the fuel vapors...

Q: Squeaking when you hit a bump in the road

You should check the sway bar bushings and links. You can do so by having someone bounce the car up and down and have the other person feel them by hand. You will be able to feel squeaking part. ...

Related articles

How Long Does a Distributor O Ring Last?
The distributor is part of the ignition system in your vehicle and its purpose is to route high voltage from the ignition coil to the spark plug. The spark plug then...
How Long Does a Heater Control Valve Last?
Keeping the right amount of coolant in a car is essential in keeping the engine at the right temperature. Failing to have the right amount of coolant or even bad elements...
What are the Car Pool Rules in Hawaii?
Hawaii is widely regarded as a land of vacation and relaxation, and as such, its scenic roads and routes are far better known than the state’s freeways. But, as with all...