Sooner or later, as a driver, you’ll get in a situation where knowing how to pour gas from a gas can into a car will come in handy.
The most common situation is when you run out of gas and the only way to refuel is from a gas can. Sometimes there might be other reasons.
Whatever it may be, this article should help you do that task in an easy and simple manner and without spilling any fuel on yourself or on the car.
If you don’t feel like reading, there’s a video tutorial at the end of the article. You can also watch it on our YouTube channel.
Also, if you’re interested, you can read a related article on how to increase your car’s fuel efficiency by clicking here.
WHAT WILL YOU NEED TO POUR GAS FROM A GAS CAN?
The two most widespread types are metal and plastic.
Metal ones (also known as jerry cans) are more cumbersome and heavy but more durable and much more resilient to outer factors (like sudden blows for instance).
Also, they have a patent stopper making it almost impossible for the lid to accidentally come off.
The other, more used and widespread are the plastic ones. They come in various sizes and shapes and most of them come complete with a funnel.
They are lighter and made from very resistant plastic. It has to be as fuel is a very aggressive substance towards plastic materials.
As a recommendation, for more frequent usage, plastic cans are much more convenient while for longer storage, metal cans are the best.
Also, if for some reason, you have to keep the gas can in the car for some time, make sure to have good lids so you avoid spilling and the odor of gas getting into the passenger cabin.
Make sure the funnel is the right size in terms of diameter. If its’ too small, you’ll almost certainly spill fuel around.
Also, most of these funnels have a detachable pipe. Make sure the pipe has the proper length so it gets deep enough into the filler neck of the gas tank.
Otherwise, you won’t be able to pour gas.
There’s one more useful hack you can use regarding the funnel, but more on that lower in the article.
Secure the area where you’re going to pour gas
The most important safety precaution is to make sure there are no open flames or sparks in the vicinity. Not even remotely.
So, if you so much as see someone with a cigarette, open flame, working with a power tool, working with a grinder, cooking on an open flame, or else don’t even begin.
If you can’t start the car and move it, then push it over to a safer place, and only after this start pouring gas.
Always remember that gas is highly flammable and if not careful, you can cause a serious accident.
This is perhaps the most important information when learning how to pour gas from a gas can into a car.
Make sure you have the right type of gas
Although it may seem obvious, mistakes do happen (like from borrowed cans of gas, for instance).
Mixing diesel and gasoline is the most common mistake. If you’re not sure what kind of fuel is for your car, look at the inner side of the gas tank door. On almost all cars the fuel type is stated there.
If you’re not sure about the gas in the can, best take a brief smell from the gas can itself. Diesel and gasoline both have their distinctive odors and you’ll surely be able to tell the difference.
Take your time
Whatever the situation may be, take your time when pouring gas.
Doing all of this in a hurry usually results in spilling gas on the car, on yourself, or causing other kinds of damage.
If needed, let someone help you
This is especially a good measure if you don’t have experience with pouring gas or the gas can is bigger and heavier.
An inexperienced person pouring from a heavy gas can on their own will almost certainly lead to spilling and making a mess.
Rather, if the circumstances allow it, ask someone to either pour or hold the funnel. You can even ask a passerby as it takes only minutes to finish the whole job.
It will be much quicker and easier and spilling will be avoided.
Regarding this matter, smaller cans with adequate funnels are much more convenient.
Use protective gloves
If possible and available, use protective gloves when pouring. Not that there will be any harm if you don’t but you’ll avoid the nasty odor that stays on your hands for days if you accidentally spill gas.
HOW TO POUR GAS FROM A GAS CAN INTO A CAR?
1. OPEN THE GAS TANK DOOR
The two most common ways of opening the gas tank door is with a lever or button located somewhere near the driver’s position or unlocking the gas cap with a key.
If, by any chance, you’re not certain how to do it (like if you use a rental car for instance), look in the driver’s manual or, of course, Google it.
2. OPEN THE GAS CAP
For more inexperienced drivers, always turn the gas cap to the left to open the tank.
On most cars, you can hook the cap onto the gas tank door if it’s not already held by a tether.
Useful tip on this part: avoid leaving the gas cap on the roof of the car. It’s a common mistake that people do that easily ends in forgetting it there.
This is one of the main reasons a tether was invented.
3. INSERT THE FUNNEL
When inserting the funnel make sure to insert the pipe deep enough into the filler neck.
If you look inside of the filler neck, you’ll see a small metal swing door (valve).
The pipe has to be pushed through it for the gas to get into the tank.
Stick the funnel pipe inside as deep as possible.
4. POUR THE GAS FROM THE GAS CAN
When pouring, the most important thing to do is to turn the can properly.
Lots of people turn the can upright but as you’ll see this is both uncomfortable and will, in most cases, cause spilling.
A better way to do this is to turn the gas can sideways. Hold the handle with one hand and the bottom of the can with the other.
Bring the can as close to the funnel as possible and slowly raise the bottom.
Also, when pouring, don’t flood the funnel with gas as this will cause spilling for sure.
Pour a bit slower and you’ll see a small vortex forming in the funnel which will cause the gas to flow faster and at an even rate.
If you’re going to empty the whole can then, when finished, turn the can upside down and shake it from side to side to get every last drop out.
Once you’re finished pouring, take out the funnel. Shake it a bit before removing it from the filler neck to avoid drops of gas falling on the car.
5. RETURN THE GAS CAP
Make sure to properly tighten the gas tank cap. Tightening is done to the right, clockwise.
On most cars, there is some sort of security system that assures you that the gas cap is properly tightened.
The most common one is that the cap starts clicking after being fully tightened.
So, if you have a system like this, tighten the cap to the end and then turn two or three clicks more to be sure.
Another common option is that the gas cap, after tightening, just stays stiff.
6. CLOSE THE GAS TANK DOOR
For the final step of learning how to pour gas from a gas can into a car, close the gas tank door.
Most cars have some sort of locking mechanism so make sure the door is returned properly.
One more tip on this part: to avoid accidentally leaving the gas tank door open, take a glance in the rearview mirror before you start driving.
It happens pretty often, especially when pouring in a gas station.
HACKS FOR POURING GAS INTO THE GAS TANK
Here are a couple of hacks and tips that will hopefully help:
1. PUT A WOMEN’S STOCKING OVER THE FUNNEL
In order to avoid filth getting into the gas tank and possibly causing problems with the fuel intake, you can use a stocking as an additional filter.
This hack is especially recommendable if you frequently use cans for refilling. Over time, filth can start accumulating at the bottom of the can and if it gets into the fuel intake, can cause problems.
Also, this is good if you doubt the cleanliness of the fuel or the funnel doesn’t have a built-in filter already.
Doing this is very easy: take an old stocking and simply spread it over the funnel. As you’ll see, It will be a tight fit but will hold firmly over the opening.
If you like, you can leave the stocking on the funnel for future usage.
2. MAKE A FUNNEL FROM A PLASTIC BOTTLE
One of the usual problems when pouring gas from a gas can into a car is not having a funnel at hand.
A simple and easy way to solve this problem is to use a plastic bottle and make a funnel.
All you’ll need is a knife or box cutter and a plastic bottle.
Two ways you can do this, at least from my own experience:
- Cut the bottle in half, not straight but make a curve. The point is to get a „lip“at the end of the bottle. This makes pouring gas much easier and with less spilling.
- The other, perhaps better solution is to cut out a rectangular opening on the body of the bottle. As you’ll see, this way, you’ll both get a bigger opening for pouring the gas and it will flow at a quicker rate. Also, the possibility of spilling is even less than with the first method.
3. USE THE GAS TANK DOOR TO HOLD THE FUNNEL
For the final hack: you can use the gas tank door to hold the funnel.
When pouring gas from a can, it comes in handy if you have someone to hold the funnel so it stays upright, doesn’t slip or fall out.
But if you’re alone, pouring and holding the funnel at the same time might prove to be a challenge.
In this case, insert the funnel pipe as far as it goes and then close the gas tank door under the funnel and over the pipe.
The point is to use the gas tank door as support and holder for the funnel.
In the example shown here the door is round-shaped. If it’s like this on your car, you’ll have to be careful that the funnel doesn’t accidentally slip and you don’t spill fuel on the car and yourself.
To be honest, this hack works better on a rectangularly shaped gas tank door.
As you’ve hopefully concluded, learning how to pour gas from a gas can into a car is very easy as long as you pay attention to a couple of simple things.
Again, the most important thing is to assure a safe environment for doing all this and avoid spilling around and making a mess. Also, take your time when pouring.
If you have to keep a full gas can in the car, make sure the lid is tightened properly and best keep the can in an upright position to reduce the possibility of spilling.
In the end, knowing how to pour gas from a gas can may be considered obligatory for a driver.
It may well mean the difference between getting out of a tight spot quickly and without problems and being left helplessly on the side of the road, without gas in the tank.
Written by: Sibin Spasojevic
Former car technician, life-long car and DIY enthusiast, author for Despairrepair.com
HOW TO POUR GAS FROM A GAS CAN INTO A CAR? YOUTUBE VIDEO