So on Saturday, I went to fill up my tank at a gas station. I put the nozzle into the tank, choose the correct gas and went back into to my car to fiddle around. I got out of the car a few minutes later to realize that the nozzle had never shut off. I saw the gas volume on the pump was at 10.9 gallons and my tank was initially only half empty. I grabbed the nozzle and pulled it out of my tank, only to have a huge amount of gas erupt out of the tank. Right before I pulled the nozzle out I heard a loud pop noise from the fuel tank. My tank only holds about 12 gallons when its completely full, and since my tank was half full when I went to fill up it probably had about 3-5 extra gallons of gas shoved into it. When I turned on the car a loud rattling noise comes from the back of the car. It increases with RPMs, and settles down once the car hits fourth or fifth gear. My engine is still receiving gas, and no indicator lights have come on. I’m taking it to the mechanic tomorrow, but has anyone heard anything like this?
There may be an expansion chamber in the top of the gas tank. You could ask a “service representative”, or a mechanic, at the Toyota dealer to look in the picture book, for confirmation. The overfill may have damaged the expansion chamber, or another part of the gas tank.
You need to notify the gas station manager and/or the appropriate State Agency, that the fuel nozzle did not automatically shut off, as it’s supposed to, and that that damaged your fuel tank. [ A pump not automatically shutting off is a safety hazard.]
You probably knew this was coming from someone, so it might as well be me. Given that pumps do fail to shut off from time to time–I can think of at least three times it’s happened to me in the past few years–it’s really not a good idea to be fiddling around in the car instead of paying attention. In fact, I’m pretty sure it’s illegal in some states to leave it unattended like that, for good reason.