Blogs Car Info Our Show Deals Mechanics Files Vehicle Donation

Frustrating to fill gas tank

I have a 1999 Ford Taurus with about 150k miles

When filling with gas, I can only pump in one, maybe two gallons before the lever clicks. I then need to pull out the nozzle and let the tank sit for 4-6 seconds before putting it back in and filling a little more. If I don’t pull out the nozzle and let it sit, it won’t continue to fill.

The car has some other little quirks due to age, but this one is the most annoying. Any ideas would be appreciated.

The fuel tank inlets have been getting smaller for years. I use the “first” click on the fuel nozzle and let the tank slowly fill. Most people want to use the fastest setting but that’s almost impossible to do. You can also pull the nozzle back a couple of inches and that will sometimes help. You may have a problem with the roll-over valve in the fill tube but it’s not likely. I have 3 vehicles spanning 2000-2006 and they all have the same problem when filling the gas tank.

The problem might be with the Onboard Refueling Vapor Recovery system.

When filling the gas tank the fuel vapors are forced into the carbon canister in the EVAP system so they can be collected before the gas tank vents into the atmophere. If there’s a restriction in the EVAP system the fuel tank can’t vent properly when being filled. This builds pressure in the fuel tank and the gas nozzle keeps shutting off.

The carbon canister is located next to the fuel tank. Have someone disconnect all the hoses from the carbon canister so they can be inspected for any blockage.


You can use the search feature of this board to read MANY threads on this subject…Try “slow fill” and see what comes up…Problems usually have to do with the fuel tank vapor recovery systems used on modern cars…

Tester is on the money i think

Often times us cheap people look for stuff that works before replacing parts, try filling on the slowest fill speed, see if it works and deal with it or spend the bucks and get it fixed.

slow speed for sure … some stations pumps are worse than others

Check or have the EVAP vent solenoid valve checked. I have run into them going bad on GM trucks. They make a relocator kit for the GM due to it sticking due to road dust accumulation. When it is bad it will slow a fillup to enough time you could go in and do some Christmas shopping.

I’ve attached a sketch of a typical vapor recovery system. When gas is pumped in, the rising fuel in the tank raises pressure beneath the diaphragm of the Refueling Valve, the valve opens, and the tank is able to breath out through the charcoal canister. If the refueling valve (which includes the restrictor orafice), the charcoal canister or the evap valve are malfunctioning, the tank will be unable to breath out.

Two things to note: (1) this system is not yours epceifically, but they all operate similarly, and (2) on some older vehicles, “topping off” can allow the charcoal canister to get saturrated, and if that happens the tank will not be able to breath out and refilling problems such as yours can develop.

I cannot diagnose your car from here, but this’ll give you an idea of what’s wrong.

Problem solved.
I have had the same problem with my 99 ford Taurus. Go to fill and shut off after 1 1/2 gallons and painful from there on. There is no so,lenoid as referred by one person. However, today I found that there is a vent line that comes down from the fill opening, and this vent line is connected to several things including the tank and the line from the tank is not metal, it’s some kind of plastic and it was completely kinked preventing any air to get to the tank. I used a pair of channel locks to open it up. I have not tried to fill yet, but I am absolutely sure that this was the problem. Ford should be ashamed of themselves.

@markz12345 I have a few questions for you.

Why are you hijacking a 3 month old thread?
Why did you write that the problem is solved if you haven’t yet verified that fact?
How do figure that “Ford should be ashamed of themselves” for a problem on a now 14 year old car?

The final step of any successful repair is a verification that the problem is resolved.
You haven’t yet done that.