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Can't put fuel in tank

I have a 2003 Toyota Sienna. I am occassionally unable to put fuel in the car even though there is plenty of room in the tank. The gas backs up after only a quart or 2 is dispensed. After I drive the car for a while the problem disappears and I am able to fuel the car. Does anyone know what causes this problem.

The problem might be with the ORVR (On-Board Refueling Vapor Recovery} circuit. This part of EVAP system located at the gas tank.

There have been reports that spiders build nests in the ORVR circuit causing a restriction making it difficult to despense gas into the gas tank.


I don’t think so!!!

Okay! Don’t believe me!


grudnick, it is certainly possible that the problem is something else. However, just FYI, Tester is one of the regular posters to these boards and knows what s/he is talking about. I’d not brush off the advice.

“I don’t think so!!!”

You come here and ask for help. You get a response and you, who does not know the answer to your question, rejects the first answer you get! Sounds foolish to me.

Now add to the fact that the person who gave you that answer is a well respected member of this community and is certainly one of the most car knowledgable people I know.

Do you have any better ideas?

This forum is a valuable resource with some extremely knowledgeable contributors. Tester is one of them.

There have been many replies I’ve read where my first reaction was: “What are they thinking?”

Rather than replying with “I don’t think so”, I’ve learned to take the approach of: “Gee, that person either knows something I don’t or has had different experiences than me.”

I’ve discovered if I reply with: “Help me understand more about your reply and what you’re thinking”, I usually end up learning something.

If I can’t frequent this forum with an open mind, I hope the “regulars” will hit me hard and make me wake up.

Read this.


There is a really distressing trend in our society today that manifests itself in people asking for advice and then rejecting anything that does not conform to their preconceived notions.

How about if you tell us your preconceived notion of what the cause of your Sienna’s problem is? Then we can all tell you that you are correct–whether in fact your theory is valid or not.

Apparently you want affirmation, rather than new ideas, and I will be willing to ratify your theory if that makes you happy. That may not solve your car problem, but if it helps your psyche, so be it on our new Cartalk/Ego Preservation Forum.

If you’ve topped off your tank repeatedly(pumping more fuel in after the pump shuts off the first time), then you’ve likely caused damage to the charcoal canister, which will cause the problems you’ve described

Dear Tester and Forum Participants,
I apologize for my flippant response. I am new to this forum. I’ve been trying to find out the cause of this problem from other sources and have gotten some far out responses. Thank you all for setting me straight on the reliability of suggestions here. I will take suggestions I receive here more seriously in the future.


This subject has been covered many times in this forum. Use the search feature to find these past discussions. Try “slow fill”, “gas fill”

Basicly, there is an anti-spill roll-over valve that can stick closed, blocking the filler tube…

If indeed, you damaged the charcoal cannister, it can’t be repaired, 0nly replaced…expensive!

All fuel delivery systems are not the same. There is one pump at my regular gas stop that just will not work in my Honda Civic. All the other fuel noozles work fine at that and every other station I use. Perhaps the issue isn’t so much with the Sienna, but just a particular fuel pump that is incompatible. Next time try a different fuel pump and see what happens.