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1994 Corolla Hatchback Leaking Fuel Tank

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Hello all, Just thought I'd report this for the benefit of anyone else. A few weeks ago I noticed a smell of petrol from the rear. Took it to garage who had a quick look but not properly and said I needed a new petrol tank quoting at least £200 for tank and £150 fitting. Tried a tank repairer but they said I'd need to remove tank and get to them and they didn't know whether it could be repaired, but they could get a tank for about £100 and a garage they knew would fit for about £90 but the tanks if they came would not be available for two months. Another garage said they could get tank for £50 and fit for £80 but then found no tanks were available. By now there was petrol dripping on ground and I was getting very worried.

No-one was interested in repairing it.

Tried main dealer who quoted about £350 for new tank (not fitting), so out of the question.

Tried breakers and internet for second hand one but no joy.

So decided to investigate myself and attempt to fix before I scrap the car.

I located the leak which was at the back just under the seam, and was a tiny pin hole and was more of a slight weap than a drip. But obviously over time built up and dripped onto exhaust heat cover and onto ground. The area around the weap was quite rusty and all along the back.

I decided to repair in situ as I was not confident in removing the tank myself and needed the car for work anyway.

After some research I discovered some two part epoxy putty specifically designed for repairing fuel tanks holes and leaks, would stick on and harden even underwater and impervious to fuel, which I bought for about a fiver on-line.

A bit sceptical I cleaned up the area as per instructions and pressed some mixed putty onto the leak and smoothed down. Well it stuck on well, hardened overnight and no leak! It worked.

Just to be sure for the future I applied hammerite anti-rust undercoat and overcoat two coats each over the putty and all over the rusty area at the back and along one side. Then I applied a good thick coat of underbody sealant.

After three weeks it's looking good with no leaks and hopefully repair will outlast the car.

So, I've saved the car and saved money too even if i could have located a cheap new or second hand replacement tank.

Photos of prior to repair and with hammerite brown undercoat.

Has anyone had similar experience.




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I had this issue with my old polo but was on the filler neck. Nothing ever stuck to it.....i replaced the tank twice! Ok maybe i was too low to floor and may have hit the neck !! oooops but still couldn't find any solution even stuff like you have described and even after cleaning it up nice. So top marks mate looks like you have fixed it.

I know in Africa they use a certain soap bars to fix the very well too, random or what!!

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I did try rubbing soap in and it did work but for a few days only. You can see some of it on the first photo. I didn't think it would work but gave it a go. Okay for emergency I guess but not a long term solution in my experience.

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