When backing out of our driveway, I noticed a fuel spill where the car had been parked. Went to the dealership and they reported that it is a cracked fuel tank and needs replacing. They stated that it was caused by road hazard. All the days before this, my wife and I had not noticed anything happening under the car. The fuel tank is made of plastic and it is exposed under the car. It is not shielded at all, so stones and other debris can hit it at any time. Even once it is replaced, this could happen on a continual basis to us or anyone with this make/model. If we had not discovered this when we did, it could have caught fire and/or exploded. This definitely sounds like a design flaw! Is there any way to have a shield installed to prevent this happening again?
Hello there, this is an uncommon issue. With the exception of a few vehicles, fuel tanks in vehicles are made from plastic and unshielded. In almost all circumstances there is no adverse effects from this. The fuel tanks can crack over time if something hits it in the road, while unlikely this can happen. If you want a second opinion on this, a qualified technician, like one from YourMechanic, can diagnose the damage done to your fuel tank firsthand.
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