why won't my gas tank fill?


Asked by Jul 31, 2016 at 04:58 PM about the 1964 Buick Skylark

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

I have OEM gas tank. Can't normally get it to take more than 12 gallons from empty before nozzle shuts off. Although  have gotten as much as 18.5 when pumped very slowly. Could the vent hose be clogged? I was able to put a large hose against the filler neck for a seal and got total resistance when I blew into it. There is no self-serve gas in Oregon and I'm getting tire of arguing with attendants. Could a lack of ventilation keep the tank from filling? Thanks.

8 Answers


yes...you can probably take the canister filter out and shake it up and reinstall it.. also out blow out all the lines


Yes, but your gas tank is vented to the atmosphere. Look at the front of the tank for the vent tube. It'll be a rubber hose shaped like a "U" and clamped to the underside of the car. 1969 and older does not have a ELS (EVAP) system with a charcoal canister, etc. They weren't required until 1970 (California Only) or 1971 (Nationwide). HTH. -Jim


Yes, I know there's no charcoal canister. Should I pull the vent hose and check for obstruction? Would it even have an effect on filling? I've had 2 Skylarks of this vintage ('64 &'65) in the past, but never a problem like this. I'm open to any and all suggestions. Thank you!

1 people found this helpful.

Yes, most likely the vent hose is clogged with years of road dust and dirt. The gas pump shuts off because of back pressure as the tank fills up. So a clogged up vent tube will cause excessive pressure and shut off the pump prematurely. HTH. -Jim

Best Answer Mark helpful

Thanks for verifying what I suspected. I will check it out ASAP. Thanks again!

1 people found this helpful.

You're welcome. Glad to help. Thank you for the best answer click. -Jim


hummm i did not notice the year...that buick is an A BODY ...you can blow out with air the vent lines...your fill neck is short ! have you taken the clamp/rubber coupler apart and looked also..... the vent tube runs inside the car behind the rear seat also...ive been building these A bodys for 45 years...theres really isnt much to cause it to do that...

1 people found this helpful.

Yes, I just pulled the vent hose and blew it out with virtually no resistance (damn!), just to make sure, I ran a small zip-tie into the vent flange and, of course, found no obstruction. When I pull the gas cap and put a chunk of foam rubber (from a swimming noodle) against the filler neck and blow, THAT'S when I get resistance and it puffs back at me, when I remove it. Maybe the filler nozzle with the boot on it creates the same sort of seal, when trying to fill. I've actually seen the nozzle jump out of the neck a couple of times when left, and trying to fill, so I think pressure building up, IS the cause. BUT WHY? Is there a way to create more ventilation? I'll get a new tank if needed, but I'd like to know why. before I do.

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