Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

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

asked by on

Fuel not going into fuel tank, like vapor lock. this has been happening for the last several fill-ups.

My car has 175000 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

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 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.

When this is not working properly, you may experience the gas pump shutting off prematurely causing it to take a very long time to fill up your fuel tank. This is due to the excess fuel vapor that is present when the purge solenoid is not working properly by releasing these vapors. The gas pumps at the fuel station have automatic sensors on them (for safety reasons) that shut off automatically when too much fuel vapor is present.

I would recommend having an expert from YourMechanic come to your home to take a look at your car to diagnose the issue and service your EVAP purge solenoid if necessary.

Was this answer helpful?

Need advice from certified mechanic? Get help now!

Over 1000 mechanics are ready to answer your question.
The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details

Ask a Mechanic
(100% Free)

Have a car question? Get free advice from our top-rated mechanics.

Ask A Mechanic
Over 10,000 questions answered!

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: I have just bought a 2005 bgeetle convertible and when I unlatch the top and press the button the back windows go down halfway tha

Hello, thank you for writing in. The windows should be rolled down when the convertible top is put down. Some models do this automatically so that the top does not scrape down the windows when moving. However, Beetles in this...

Q: having trouble putting gas in car

Premature shut off of the pump nozzle means that the filler neck and tubing will have to be inspected. Additional sources of the problem could be that the neck or rubber hose to the tank are partially collapsed. There could...

Q: Won't start after filling gas tank

The most common cause of hard or no start after getting fuel is due to a leaking purge valve leaking vapors into the engine when refueling. This will flood out the engine causing problem. Have the purge valve checked for...

Related articles

How Do Power Car Windows Increase Passenger Safety?
Power windows are responsible for approximately 2,000 emergency room visits every year. When a power window closes, it exerts enough force to bruise or break bones, crush fingers, or restrict an airway. Though...
What Causes Hoses to Leak?
While the largest part of your engine is mechanical, hydraulics plays a significant role. You’ll find fluids at work in a number of different areas. Your car's fluids include: Engine oil Transmission...
P0240 OBD-II Trouble Code: Turbocharger Boost Sensor B Circuit Range/Performance
P0240 code definition Turbocharger Boost Sensor B Circuit Range/Performance What the P0240 code means P0240 is an OBD-II generic code triggered when the Engine Control Module (ECM) detects the intake boost...