Blogs Car Info Our Show Deals Mechanics Files Vehicle Donation

Gas filling issue / could the dealership be misinforming me?

When I fill my 2002 VW cabrio, the fuel nozzle keeps clicking off. I took it to the service department at the dealership and the service manager told me that there is no vent tube to clean out, no carbon filter and the sensor for the ORVR is at the inside bottom of the tank and the only POSSIBLE solution would be to replace the gas tank (at a cost of $2,600). This doesn’t feel right given the other discussions on this board. Could the dealership be misleading me?

Yes. Find an independent VW mechanic in your area (click on Mechanics Files above). Is this a new problem, or did it always do this? It must have some kind of evaporative control system.

I’d stay away from that dealer. Incidentally, $2,600 is insane to replace a gas tank. Are they going to hand carve you one from soapstone?

Pretty much everything you tell us you were told is wrong and a ripoff. Don’t go there again.

Enter “slow fill” into the search window and read all about it…

Some fuel tanks don’t have a serviceable fuel tank overfill check valve, it may be molded in on the tank.
The fuel tank overfill check valve is a float/vent device used on many late model cars.

However the fuel tank retails for $318 and takes 2 hours to replace. There must be more repairs included in that quote. Timing belt? Axles? Ball joints?

Run a flexible switch down the fill-pipe…Sometimes you can dislodge a stuck check-valve. One of those fiberglass flag whips you see on bicycles works good…So does a light-weight drain snake…Then stop over-filling your tank…

I will try the flexible switch (should the tank be full or empty to do this?).

Nevada_545 - There was nothing else included in this price. I was told that the “closed system gas tank” costs $1,800 and that it was $800 for the labor to replace it. Good to know the mark up the dealership is adding to the pricing. Not that I would ever accuse a dealership of sexism …

I have a mechanic out of state that I trust - I’m going to take it to him.

The Alldata parts and labor guide lists the tank at $318 but an online VW catalog shows the tank price at $1500.00, Ouch. Perhaps used would be reasonable or owning a more ordinary car (Ford, GM, Toyota).

I used to pump gas when in high school. Yes I was a petroleum distribution engineer. Lol.

Any way flip the fuel nosil upside down (so you pump with the handle up) and i bet it fills just fine.

Thanks Nevada_545. I used to own a more ordinary car (Buick skylark, Ford Explorer, Ford minivan, Toyota Camry, Honda Civic) and they were much more maintenance and repair heavy than my VW (they were in the shop an awful lot more). On my VW (not including tires and oil changes), I have spent approximately $1,500 (brakes, timing belt, exhaust, check ups, water pump) in repairs and preventative maintenance in the 8 years I have owned it (and it is a 10 year old car). I believe the gas tank replacement is unreasonable but I don’t believe the overall maintenance of the car is unreasonable. The Honda Civic rusted out before it was 6 years old, I had break through rust on the Camry in year 4 - this car has no rust at all. I’ve owned 4 VW and if I spent more than $200/year in maintenance - it was an exceptional year.

grragtop - your advice worked perfectly!! I will still take it to my out of state mechanic and see what he says.