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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Dear voltarians after 1 decade and millions of miles with over 100.000 Volts, has someone installed a fuel tank drainage /plug or petcock? The harsh reality is that petrol sometimes is contaminated with solids and or water, that combined with the stagnation of the fuel in the tank will produce a layer of dirt at the bottom of the tank. In the Chevy Volt you have to remove the whole tank to inspect or change the fuel filter and to remove the tank, you have to remove the rear axle (in the chevy cruze part of the exhaust pipe). In most of modern cars you could reach the pump and filter through an opening under the rear seat, not in the Volt, that's why a kind of Fumoto valve at the bottom of the tank will be very helpful. I am aware of the fuel explosion danger, a drilling will have to be manual, low rpm without electricity or sparks, some threads mention the fuel tank is hard polyurethane (plastic?), other said is made of stainless steel. I know a less invasive approach will be to use a siphon system. In any case, I remember changing the fuel filters in the past, and all of them were black and many with huge amount of water. What is your opinion about this issue? Has anyone changed the fuel filter or placed a tank drain plug? Thank you, Voltspain.
 

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The Volt fuel tank is always pressurized except when filling. The tank is indeed made of stainless steel. I haven’t heard of anyone complaining about a layer of dirt or fuel pump failures. The tank is designed to keep the fuel fresh for 1 year, then the computer forces the engine to burn it off.
 

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I suspect that if the Volt gas tank had a drainage plug, lots of Volt drivers who use little gas would use it to drain their tank soon after a Fuel Maintenance Mode starts. Emptying the tank and then adding fresh gas provides the maximum interval (nearly one year) until the next FMM. Ending the FMM by adding enough fresh gas to double the existing quantity postpones the next one for only around 6 months.

That would seem to be a practical use for such a plug, but there’s also a good chance many of those drivers experiencing the FMM would drain the tank of this "12 month old" gas, and, soon after, would just open the gas cap and pour it back into the tank in hopes that the computer would think it is new gas.

...and if the Volt’s system is pressurized, what would happen if you forgot to remove the gas cap and depressurize the system before you opened the drainage plug?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Of course it could be misused, with risk of fire, leaks etc., however the exhaust pipe is far enough away for fire and I do not expect very high PSI pressure inside the fuel tank considering a gas leak through the drain plug. In the past century many cars had fuel tank petcok valves with non pressurized systems.
 

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Drain plugs simply aren't common practice here. No car I've ever owned had one, but that's only going back to the 1960s. Only place I've heard of them being used is in airplanes. There might even be a regulation against them for all I know.
 

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Drain plugs simply aren't common practice here. No car I've ever owned had one, but that's only going back to the 1960s. Only place I've heard of them being used is in airplanes. There might even be a regulation against them for all I know.
Water in fuel in an airplane is a much more urgent problem than in an automobile, too.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Smarti " a regulation against them for all I know." I am not sure about it...but many Japanese, British and Australian cars had fuel tank drainage. Since the total volume of fuel used in the life of the Volt is low, probably is an unnecessary luxury, but it will be nice to drain the tank once a year. When I got the car in 2014 , I finished in the dealer for misfire after taking ethanol free gas that was apparently contaminated with water, probably it was old fuel used occasionally in boats.
 

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Never had a car with a drain plug to drain water. I had a drain plug welded into the gas tank on my fuel injected TR7 but that was in the upper corner, not to drain fuel but to drain the sealer used to seal the gas tank (which failed). Came in handy when I had to strip and reseal the tank as the sealer won't cure if it's not properly drained (tank turned upside down). The reason it was sealed was because the tank isn't available anymore (just the more common carb version) and you don't want it rusting out.
 

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Smarti " a regulation against them for all I know." I am not sure about it...but many Japanese, British and Australian cars had fuel tank drainage. Since the total volume of fuel used in the life of the Volt is low, probably is an unnecessary luxury, but it will be nice to drain the tank once a year. When I got the car in 2014 , I finished in the dealer for misfire after taking ethanol free gas that was apparently contaminated with water, probably it was old fuel used occasionally in boats.
I've never had to drain a fuel tank even in a vehicle with 100k miles. The most I've had to do is put a can or two of dri-gas in the tank. The Volt employs more than usual measures to preserve the fuel and makes you burn it off in a year anyway. The risk seems low enough that going through the trouble of installing a drain plug isn't worth it.
 

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The Volt fuel tank is always pressurized except when filling. The tank is indeed made of stainless steel. I haven’t heard of anyone complaining about a layer of dirt or fuel pump failures. The tank is designed to keep the fuel fresh for 1 year, then the computer forces the engine to burn it off.
If you don’t use 9 gallons of gas in a year you don’t need a volt, you need an uber
 

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A solution in search of a problem, I think. If there were any problems or concerns, surely someone would have sounded off by now. Even if there were one or two, or a dozen, what would that mean? 10 years, 100000+ Volts, and millions of miles, indeed.
 

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If you don’t use 9 gallons of gas in a year you don’t need a volt, you need an uber
Eh... Not too many years ago, there were a bunch of owners who traded ego on how high a percentage of EV miles they were maintaining in their Volts. Then Chevy finally rolled the Bolt out nationwide and ... that game kind of ended, and now all the noise is how critical it is to be able to stop only for 30 minutes in a day of driving instead of 120.
 

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My last car before Volt was a Saturn SL2. I put 286k on that car...Loved it. Had to replace the fuel pump exactly one time... There was virtually no contamination in the tank...I just rinsed it out with gas and put it back in.

I don't think there is much to worry about here.
 

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I think putting in a valve for draining could easily cause more problems that could possibly be solved. Pressurizing the tank eliminated the casual exchange of atmospheric moisture to the tank from changing temps. Besides, if one is worried, the alcohol in gas should take water moisture with it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Thank you all for your reassurance and confidence in the quality and cleaness of the Volt fuel...however some one must have had water in their fuel, or a very old fuel like I had myself. It will not make any sense to burn that poor fuel to get rid of it. What about if some lost soul got diesel instead of gas ?. Has anyone used a siphon for extraction?.
 
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