Filling the gas tank

I have 2 cars a 1998 mercury sable and A 1999 pontiac grand am on both cars It takes about 20 minutes to fill the tank with gas because I have to stand there and hold the nozzle and pretty much let the gas just dribble in. If I set the nozzle on automatic or try to fill it to fast the pump shuts off instantly.Can someone please tell me what this problem is and how to and how much it will cost to solve it? Thank you .

have you been in the habit of putting more gas into the tank after the pump clicks off the first time?

We had a post yesterday stating that cars made before 2000 were not affected by topping off. No one challenged it.

Yes I have topped it off after the pump clicks off

Enter the words “Gas fill” into this boards search feature. This subject has been covered many times…

I had a Taurusable once that didn’t take fuel well unless I turned the filler nozzle upside down. Thus the handle was above the filler door. For some reason this allowed the fuel to flow into the tank at a normal rate. Have you tried that yet?

I also had a full sized GMC van that clicked off every five seconds. Its problem was that there was a baffle in the filler that had been pushed down into the pipe by repeated nozzle insertion. A stiff wire with a 1/4" hook bent into the end pulled that baffle back into position. I figured that out long after the Taurusable was gone so it was too late to try that fix. See what you might find in the filler pipe of both of them by exploring with a wire. DO NOT use your cigartette lighter for illumination. (Some local idiot actually did that last week. The explosion made the paper. He could have gotten a Darwin award, but lived through the experience.)

It can be many things. Many modern cars (I don’t know for sure what years it started with by your may be included) have a vapor recovery system that reduces pollution. Topping off the tank can damage the system (it damages the charcoal filter part) and that causes a vent problem that can cause what you are experiencing. Most if not all of these cars have warning stickers somewhere telling you not to top off the tank. If this is the problem, it will require a repair to the system.

In addition any car can have problems with things like a crimped hose or a anti-spill valve that can cause like problems. 

Finally it may be that your car and the fuel station you are using just don't get along.  You may try another pump at that station, play around with the way you hold the nozzle or try a different station.  

 How long have you had the car and has it always don it?

This 18 page article of how the EVAP system handles fuel vapors, and how it may slow tank refilling, may help those who want to understand the causes of the problem.
Though the article is Toyota, the system is similar to those used by other car makers.

I use diferent gas stations all the time and I move the pump handel around I guess its some kind of baffle or filter thats clogged thank you so much for your reply.I have had the car almost 10 years it has 228,000 miles so I should just count my blessings.

Thank you I took a look at the evap diagrams looks kind of complicated maybe I will talk to my mechanic see what he says problem is he always just wants me to bring the car in.He wont just tell me what the problem is over the phone.

he always just wants me to bring the car in.He wont just tell me what the problem is over the phone.

Well maybe he wants to be able to see the car before coming up with an answer. If all questions could be answered over the phone, then all problems would be solved here, but many of them end up being solved by the mechanic with hands, eyes, ears and nose on the car.