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Crushed Fuel Tank (sort of)

Old 06-21-2019, 10:36 PM
Junior Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jun 2019
Posts: 1
Unhappy Crushed Fuel Tank (sort of)

Hi, all - I'm new to the forum. I'm posting about my daughter's 1997 Camry CE 2.2, 185,000 miles.

I was doing exhaust work on my daughter's 97 Camry CE 2.2 185,000 miles. I have the rear up on jackstands and did not know my jack had rolled back under the fuel tank. So I was wrapping up for the day and just started jacking up the back end - alot. When it felt weird and the car wasn't raising as it should I looked... the jack had rolled back a little and I was jacking up into the fuel tank.

The tank did not burst and isn't leaking but it definitely crushed in some. (Disclosure - cross-posted in another forum, but it won't accept my password every time I log in... apologies if you've seen this already. One guy said he has blown these out with compressed air before... I'd be afraid to try it but it would be GREAT if such a thing would work.)

I lowered the jack and corrected its location took out the jack stands and lowered the car.

Questions are...

* I'm afraid to start the car... fuel isn't leaking, but I don't know what internal damage I did, if any.
* Would you try to drive a car this way?

* I will have to get a guy to come to my house to replace the tank - Any parts I should assume I should order, along with a new tank?

Signed - Sickened Amateur Trying to Save a Few Bucks and Screwing Up

Old 06-22-2019, 11:54 AM
Super Moderator
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: PTW
Posts: 11,738

Based on your photo's my two cents is it's OK to drive the car, but first:

How much gas is in the tank. The tank is two stamped sections (like a stamped steel kitchen sink) welded together at the flange (top of sink that sits on counter). The seam if disturbed too badly can leak. Would check this seam area best one could for damage and gas odor.

The tank should normally be under some air pressure when driving from the design of the fuel system. If its leaking air as you drive you are going to get a check engine light for an air leak.

The tank has a fuel pump and fuel level sensor that extends into the tank. Remove the lower rear seat to find an oval removable steel plate in the chassis. Below this area is this unit. Look under the car at the tank in this area and determine if is crushed and with this possible damage the unit. The lower seat pulls up from the sides at the front then out.

There may also be a steel baffle in the tank to prevent fuel sloshing.

A pushed in tank bottom can have less volume and skew the fuel tank sensor to give an improper fuel level. The fuel level sensor is just a moving arm much like a toilet tank water level arm.

No 1 concern is leaks!!!! and No 2 is fuel pump damage which doubt is the case here.

Lowered the car slowly into the jack instead of dropping it on the jack appears to have just resulted in gentle reshaping the tank bottom.
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