Hard-to-fill fuel tank [2001 Hyundai Elantra]

I’m having difficulties fueling my vehicle. The fuel pump will shut off every few seconds indicating the tank is full, but it is definitely not full at all. With this, I have to carefully insert the pump into the tank only a little way and generally I can hear the gas bubbling up and everntually spilling over onto the ground, and me. This method takes about 10-15 minutes to completely fill the tank.

I have replaced the vapor canister vent valve and was given another part with two ends connecting by two wires (see attached) that I couldn’t locate on the car to replace, so I still have it in my tool box. After replacing the one item, it did not fix the problem.

I have no idea what to do and it’s causing a serious headache at the gas station!

The tank vents through the charcoal canister. If you’ve been “topping off” you tank in the past, I urge you to discontinue the practice. The charcoal bed may be saturated, preventing the tank from breathing out. Unfortunately, the only way I know of to definitively test this would be to bypass the canister (if possible) ONLY as a test. I say “if possible” because the design may prohibit this.

Stop at the dealer’s parts window and request an “exploded view” drawing of the EVAP components and of the fuel tank assembly. Perhaps a factory troubleshooting protocol too. Ask nicely and most parts guys will print one for you. Having that should go a long way toward helping troubleshoot the problem. You’ll be able to see the various valves, tubes, and pipes involved.

Post back. We do care.

It is possible the filling station nozzle is the problem

In my neighborhood, there are several filling stations that don’t allow you to fill up in a timely manner. They’re so sensitive, they click off every few seconds

I avoid those filling stations, because it’s not worth the hassle

the other part looks like it could be an evap purge solenoid. If it is, it’s in the engine bay for most vehicles

Remove the vent valve hose, and check the inside of the hose to see if a spider laid egg sacs causing a restriction.


Did this just start? Or does this happen only at certain times of the year? With certain gas stations? Or is it doing this all the time? Some filler necks are badly routed and the splash-back and foaming shut the pump off.

My truck (and many like it from forum complaints) does this to a maddening degree but only at certain times with certain brands of fuel. The transition from summer gas to winter blends was the worst. For the first few weeks I just couldn’t fill the tank from more than a dribble. I think it is when the 2 blends get mixed in the underground tanks because it always goes away in about a week.

If this isn’t just a change-over problem, you may have a loose baffle in the filler neck causing the problem.

I forgot about the spiders. Tester hasn’t been watching too many SciFi movies, this is a real problem. I urge you to visit the attached link and some of the subordinate sites.

Sounds like the fuel fill shut off valve is stuck. It is located on top of the fuel tank and shuts off the vent when the tank is full. You have to lower the tank to replace it. Replace the two-way valve also while you have the tank down.

The part in the picture looks like the purge control solenoid, look between the intake manifold and the firewall.