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Toyota Corolla gas tank removal

Gas tank

In our forums this week, user Ken Lord asked about removing the gas tank from his 2003 Toyota Corolla in order to inspect it for possible repairs as he believes it is leaking. While mechanic Big Block 409 quizzed him for further information, the idea of dropping the fuel tank to check it for leaks is not unusual and removal of a fuel tank is a relatively common repair/replacement concern.

On most small vehicles and many large ones, removal of the fuel tank is roughly the same no matter the make or model. So while these instructions are specifically true for a Corolla, they can apply, with a little common sense variance, to other vehicles as well.

Begin by safely raising the car so you have clearance to get underneath and to remove the tank once it's down (imagine the tank is on a jack or stands to guesstimate the amount of clearance required.. Use either jack stands or a lift on the car.

Remove the tank shield (four bolts, one at each corner), if equipped. Drain the tank safely into a bucket or container using the fuel plug on the bottom of the tank - vehicles without a fuel plug will require siphoning or attaching a hose to the fuel rail and draining with the pump. With a plug, the tank should drain quickly due to the fuel's weight, so use a rag to surround the plug and keep it from spraying before it's removed the same way you would an oil drain plug in a large vehicle.

Next you'll see there are two straps holding the tank up (larger vehicles, FYI, will have a third or even fourth strap). Loosen those with a wrench at one side (loosen each on the same side, but ONLY one side). Break loose but don't loosen the other bolts on the opposite side.

Place a stand, floor jack, or similar tool under the tank and lift it to fit snugly with the fuel tank, holding it in place and out of the way of the straps.

Remove the straps, keeping the tank balanced on the jack. You may need an extra pair of hands here. Slowly lower the tank until the plugs/wires and fuel pump are accessible. Unplug all of the wiring, filler tube, and fuel lines; remove the tank.

Installation is the reverse of this.

That is basically all there is to removing a fuel tank from your vehicle.