Town car evap catastrophe!



Unbelievable as to what happened to me. And by the looks of things I may be the only one!.. I have a 2000 Lincoln Towncar 95k mi and the evap canister self destructed internally and fed the powdered carbon back into the fuel tank creating gasoline that appears to look like oil (obviously not as thick). Has anyone ever heard of this happening!?


Yes, I have seen a EVAP canister rupture internally and send little bits of “charcoal” either up into the fuel supply system to the engine or feed it back into the tank.

Has the check engine light been on anytime recently?

Generally a failure like yours is caused by the canister getting flooded with gasoline, either by a EVAP system failure or by topping off the fuel tank after the nozzle first shuts off.


Unfortunately yes the check engine light has been on I just ignored it because it said that it was in EVAP system leak and there are no emissions here. I guess that’s what I get for not caring about the environment LOL…



If it was caused by topping off it wasn’t me. I usually get about 1/2 tank at a time unless I’m traveling far. Could’ve been the previous owner though… What do you think would be the best remedy to get all that out of the tank? I’m assuming that I’m going to have to drop the tank and wipe it all out of there by hand and flush it.


Before driving the vehicle any more, talk to your shop about getting that gunk out of the gas tank and a new fuel filter. It’s bad enough there, but it can cause you very expensive problems if it ever makes it past the fuel filter. We hear of this problem here every once in a while. Usually it is discovered b/c the grit makes it into the engine’s fuel system and clogs the injectors.


Thanks for the advice…I originally, before I knew exactly what was going on, was going to change the filter. Upon pulling the line off of the filter on the tank side, I saw the black death pouring out of the line. That’s when I put that white trash can under the fuel line and cycled the pump. Much to my surprise/dismay, there it was the tar pits that the dinosaurs feared lol…I’m dropping the tank tomorrow after work. I unhooked everything tonight and it’s ready to go. I’m pretty certain I won’t be putting the evap system back into service. I’m going to vent it the old fashioned way. I’m way to paranoid that this will happen again. What a pain!!!


Sound like you have it under control there OP. Make sure you have a big fire extinguisher on hand that you know works for the gas tank clean-out job.


How old fashioned? Gas tanks have been vented through a charcoal canister since the early 1970’s.


I had a 77 f250 highboy and it wasn’t.


Just curious, how was the tank vented before charcoal canisters? The gas-cap wasn’t an air tight fit?


That is exactly correct. It was vented. But it’s been a long, long time since that was allowed.
For the record, crankcases used toe be vented into the atmosphere too. There used to be a mushroom-shaped cap on each valvecover that vented the fumes to the outside.


Ah, the good ol days :roll_eyes: