Dealer Says That I Need a New Fuel Tank

I took my car in for a rattle and apparently the Dealer said that a baffle or baffles have broken off inside the fuel tank. I didn’t get the sense that the young man at the dealership knew if this was something that was dangerous or annoying.

Any thoughts? The Dealer would like $1,500 to replace the gas tank on a 2013 Mazda3 with 127k miles.

Why would you go to the dealer for an 8 year old car? Any competent independent auto repair shop could do the job for less.

If the baffles have come loose, a replacement tank is likely your only option, though. Take it elsewhere.


Huh? An 8 year old car isn’t “old” by any stretch. It’s still new enough and valuable enough to have it serviced by the dealer with genuine OEM parts.

I would think a rattle would more likely would be a heat shield on a car with that many miles I don’t think you would be able to hear a rattle from inside the fuel tank while driving. As Mustangman said take it to an independent shop for a lot less $$$ than the dealer.


How much gas was in the gas tank?

Because, if there’s a lot, nothing can rattle in the gas tank.



I had an AMC Pacer that had a baffle break loose inside the gas tank. It also affected the gas gauge. The baffle would make noise when I would go around a corner. I did have to replace the tank.

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The tank itself is about $500 from Mazda, Check with an independent shop if that’s really where the noise is coming from, we trust our independent Mazda shop a lot more than the dealer. Aftermarket tanks for this car aren’t that much cheaper than the OEM.

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But it is no longer under a factory warranty, indie shops charge less and still use OEM parts. That’s why.


You made a lot of invalid assumptions with that statement.

#1 - A GOOD independent mechanic is as good or better then 90% of dealership mechanics.
#2 - Many mechanics use OEM parts. Some parts are dealer only.
#3 - Gas tanks (any many other parts) are made NOT made by the manufacturer.
#4 - Many aftermarket parts are BETTER then OEM parts.

To think that a dealer is the only place you can get good quality service is just WRONG.


Take the car in for a second opinion, preferably at an independent, non-dealer mechanic.

Not only might they diagnose a different problem, I’m sure they will be quite a bit less expensive than the Mazda dealer.


A new fuel tank is $700, plus new straps and heat shield, 3.3 hours labor and shop supplies. Shop around, you could save $100.

I agree with a second opinion. Any expensive repair should get a second and possibly third opinion.


If second and third opinions start to really catch on, they will soon need to pay for them with the cost applied to the repair if that vendor is selected. It’s not like brain surgery. If I can replace a tank, any shop should be able to do it.

$1500 for the dealer to replace the gas tank seems pretty reasonable. As mentioned above you can probably save a little by shopping around but if you’re satisfied with the dealership’s prior work, suggest just use the dealership shop and be done w/it. The baffles are metal surfaces inside the tank that prevent the fuel from sloshing around as you go around turns, over bumps, etc. Maybe just turning up the radio’s volume is all you need to do.

I wouldn’t think that this is a safety issue. If the noise doesn’t bother you, I would probably just live with it. It might be possible to save some money by having the broken part removed from the tank and going without it.

I’m not familiar with what baffles are in a small fuel tank, but baffles in general are meant to avoid sloshing of the liquid. A few years ago a milk truck was involved in a fatal accident in town. Milk trucks can have no baffles where the mile is stored due to the need to clean the tanks. So he hit the brakes hard and the milk sloshed forward propelling the truck into the car. Not likely to happen in a car though.

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I can live with the sound; just more concerned if there’s a safety issue. The dealer didn’t really have a good explanation on this as he was unsure if the baffles were metal or not. The dealer was speculating on whether having a metal baffle (he wasn’t even sure if it was metal) rattling around in the gas tank could spark and cause an explosion.

While I doubt (but don’t know) that an explosion would happen, I’d just get it fixed. One less rattle and thing to worry about.

I’d think a 2013 would have a plastic fuel tank. If so, this is not a safety issue.


It has a steel gas tank.


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