I can't pump gas into my tank

Hi! I recently thought of you when I had a problem with my 2006 Ford Escape XLT. I live in New Jersey, so I am not allowed to pump my own gas. The last few visits to the pump brought on an odd thing: When the attendant put the nozzle in and set the automatic fuel on the handle…it immediately clicked off. Then he reset it and it added fuel for about a half gallon, and clicked off. Then again. And this continued to happen until my tank was finally full. The attendant had to manually hold the handle on the nozzle the entire time. Is there something wrong with my car? Thanks for your time!

The attendants at the other stations probably have the habbit of topping the tank off(pumping more fuel into the car after the first click). this has likely caused problems with the charcoal canister in your gas tank, not a cheap fix

Is it a priority…meaning, does it matter if I get it fixed, or is it just more of a hassle?

On a Ford, it is very unlikely to be the canister. It is more likely to be the roll-over valve at the bottom of the filler tube. No harm will come of not fixing it, but it might get so bad that you have to fix it just to get gas in.

If the Evaporative Emissions System has been damaged by overfilling the tank, then you will probably not be able to pass your state inspection the next time. On that basis, you should repair the problem before inspection.

Incidentally, I also live in NJ, and there is no need to tolerate attendants who overfill the tank.
Most of the time, I commandeer the pump in order to make sure that there are no screw-ups, and most attendants have no problem with me doing their job for them. In the rare cases where I cannot pump the gas myself, I stand there to monitor the fill-up process, and as soon as the pump clicks off, I tell the attendant, “Bastante–No mas!”.

This was an easy fix, luckily. Took my car in to my mechanic, and the fuel vapor hose was clogged…with cobwebs! He said he’d never seen anything like it. Strange.

Actually, I have heard of similar reports.
Just as your backyard gas grill can be knocked out of commission by spiders building nests in the venturis, it does appear that the evap system on a car can be KO’d by spiders.

I’ve had two vehicles come in with spider nests in the EVAP system. And of course both owners had difficulty refueling the vehicle.