If rust covers the lid over your fuel tank, take steps to repair it now. A rusty gas tank lid effects the performance of your car's engine, transmission and other critical parts if rust particles spread into the car's fuel lines and tank. To prevent these issues, here are simple steps you can follow to repair your vehicle's fuel tank lid now.
Get Your Supplies
You'll need to purchase or gather a few supplies to repair your rusted fuel tank lid:
- 3 large cleaning cloths in chamois or cotton to avoid damaging the frame during the cleaning.
- 1 large piece of sandpaper, which you can cut into small pieces later.
- 1 large bottle of rust remover that comes with a small nozzle or cap you can use to squeeze or wet your cleaning cloths with easily.
Once you have all three supplies, park the car beneath an uncovered carport or shady tree to keep down the smell of gas fumes as you work on the gas tank's lid. Heat from the sun or an enclosed garage can mix with the car's gasoline fumes and make them smell worse.
You also need plenty of fresh air circulating around the car to keep down the effects of carbon monoxide, which is a strong and powerful invisible gas. Even if you don't have the car's engine on during the tank repairs, the fumes can still harm you if you inhale them.
Remove the Rust
Use scissors to cut your sandpaper into about four equal pieces, then follow the directions below:
- Use one piece of sandpaper to remove the rust from over the gas tank lid, then discard or exchange it for a new piece as needed. Don't apply too much pressure on the gas tank lid with the sandpaper, or you can create holes in it. Instead, use small light circles to get rid of the top layer rust.
- Squirt a generous amount of rust remover on one of your cloths, then apply it directly to the rusted areas. If the rust remover irritates your hands, wear vinyl gloves to protect them.
- Use large circular motions with your cloth to wipe away the rust. The rust should begin to fade away during this step.
- Repeat steps 2-3 until the rust completely disappears. Replace the soiled cloths with clean cloths to avoid smearing rust over the tank's lid as you clean it.
Allow the cleaned gas tank lid to dry for about 30 minutes to one hour. Apply a clear coat or sealer over the lid, then cover it with a color that closely matches your car's paint.
If you need additional help with removing the rust from your fuel tank lid, contact an auto body repair shop, such as High Point Body & Paint, for services.