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Problems filling gas tank

Hello my friends,
I receieved this query recent directly and felt I should post it here. I’ll re replying directly as well, and referring the writer to the forum.

Maur sent you a message.

Hi TSM (Hopefully you aren’t my son;-) Maybe he sold his mountain bikes. Anyway. I NEED HELP!! My elantra suddenly refused to ‘take’ fuel like a normal car. It literally takes me about ten minutes to put three, yep three gallons of fuel in the tank. The nozzle is receiving messages (I guess that’s how it’s done) that my tank is full. It isn’t ever full because I will not stand and hold a fuel nozzle for 20 minutes to fill up my tank.

The nozzle clicks off about every 3-5 seconds. I have tried putting the nozzle all the way into the tank; pulling it out inch by inch to see if there is a secret spot that will allow fuel to actually just flow into the tank. I very carefully squeeze the trigger on the nozzle and perhaps there have been times that I have had ten seconds of fuel fill before it clicks off. I have had gas spray back at me though the nozzle is inserted normally. I don’t know what is wrong.

I will admit that part of me (don’t ask which part please) that fears I may be in danger of blowing myself up. I have visions of excessive air in the tank that is causing this problem. I would really like to know if what is happening is dangerous or not. It’s dangerous to my car (see last statement in this paragraph). I usually only buy three or four gallons of fuel because after ten minutes my back hurts, my finger is sore and I want the take the nozzle and beat my car or at least put some dents in it.

I noticed that this began a while after I accidentally drove through a ‘lake’ during a major rain storm in San Antonio. I couldn’t see the road very well, had taken a wrong turn, no high water signs were up and I had to keep driving or I would have stalled in the water-filled access road. So perhaps there is a connection between the water-ride and the refusal to take fuel normally.

Since you, the same mountainbike, seem to have a great ‘record’ answering questions and I truly hope you are on line, I selected you in the hopes that you could 1. Tell me what is causing this; 2. Is it dangerous; 3. How do I solve this? I can’t buy another car just because it is a major process to put fuel in my tank.

My son is a biking fanatic and I trust him, so I trust you. (Kinda like illogic,huh?) He doesn’t know the answer though. He told me to take it to a mechanic but didn’t offer to pay for the visit.

As I said, I hope you are online and I get an answer quickly. I am almost out of gas and just the thought of fighting with the nozzle makes me drive past gas stations when I should be stopping and putting fuel in the tank.

Any and all help would be appreciated.


PS: Admitting to my ignorance with blogs, computers, cars, etc., how will I receive the answer to this question? So, my face is red.

Hyundai Elantra

Model-Year ?

Sometimes common problems are Make, Model, Model-Year specific.


Maureen, I am humbled by your having sought me out. But I’m only a regular guy (admittedly a former long-time mountainbiking addict) in a room full of really knowledgable people. I transferred your email to here so that other minds can join in. I hope that’s okay.

When you fill your tank with gas, the air in the tank bsing displaced by the gas is allowed to escape through a bed of activated charcoal. The charcoal catches the hydrocarbons in the fumes and prevents them from escaping.

The system contains some diahgragm operated valves to open and close the path. I’ve posted a sketch of one exampled to show how that works.

If the charcoal is saturated (which can happen on some old cars from “topping off” when filling up), or of the valves aren’t working or the line is kinked, the tank cannot breath out. The sensor on the gas spout will react as if the tank is full and click off.

It is only dangerous if you lose control and actually beat your car with the nozzle. Sparks and gas fumes do not get along well together. And it’s danagerous in that it aggrivates arthritis.

If you have a car built after 1996 you have an OBDII diagnostic system. Most parts stores will read stored fault codes that can help in daignosing this kind of condition.

Oh, and as flattered as I am, I could not be your son. My mom passed some years ago. And I miss her terribly.

Post back with the codes.

Now, the link

I See That Hyundai Changed The Location Of The Fuel Delivery Pipe Pulsation Damper On Elantra And Enantra Touring Models, February 22 of 2009. They Don’t Interchange.

I don’t know why they changed it, but found this curious after reading the complaint.