How to Fill a Capless Gas Tank without a Funnel – Can It be Done?

Updated: | Author: Tyler Hilgeman | Affiliate links may be present.

Are you stuck on the side of the road only to find that your once convenient capless gas tank has become your worst nightmare? Or, are you simply trying to add some additives to your tank but you don’t have a funnel? Well, you’ve come to the right place!

You can bypass your capless gas tank with two flathead screwdrivers! By pressing the tabs on both sides of the “throat,” you will unlock the latch. Once the latch is unlocked, you can add gas or additives to it. Furthermore, if you want to get a funnel for future use, it will only cost you anywhere from $2 to $18!

How to “Hack” Your Capless Gas Tank

A capless gas tank has a latch that locks into place to prevent gas spillage and a would-be gas thief from siphoning out your gas. However, it does not take much to bypass a locked latch.

There are two tabs on both sides of the “throat” that unlock it when they are pushed in. The nozzle at your local gas pump or specialty funnels automatically pushes both tabs in as you insert it into your gas tank.

So, in order to unlock the latch, you must push in both tabs on both sides of the “throat.” Luckily for you, all you need is two flathead screwdrivers.

After you have two flathead screwdrivers or something of equivalence, follow these steps:

  1. Move your finger along the edge of the “throat” that leads to the latch. You should feel two horizontal tabs that are directly across from each other.
  2. Use your screwdrivers to press on both tabs.
  3. As you press on both tabs, push on the latch with the screwdrivers to open the latch.
  4. Lastly, keep the latch open with one screwdriver and use your other hand to insert your gas can’s nozzle.

That’s it!

How to Fill Your Gas Tank

While it may seem like an easy task to fill your gas tank with a gas can, looks can be deceiving. I have been the victim of overfilling and the mess that ensues.

Gas stations equip their gas pumps with an automatic shut-off valve when your gas tank is full. As you may have realized, your classic gas can is not so technologically advanced.

So, you will have to be extra careful about overfilling. The best way to prevent overfilling is to estimate how much gas it would take to fill your tank. Once you get within a couple of gallons of that estimate, start to go a lot slower and periodically check your gas levels.

If you want to “play it safe,” I recommend not filling your gas tank all the way up with a gas can. It is never fun to clean up any gas spills, so, “When in doubt, stop.”

Where to Get a Specialty Funnel

If you don’t want to have to “hack” your capless gas tank every time you add additives to your gas or fill up your tank using a gas can, then you can use a specialty funnel. Not all funnels will automatically press both tabs, so, you will need to buy a specialty funnel.

Thankfully, a specialty funnel will only cost you $2 to $18 depending on how much “pazazz” you want your funnel to have.

You should be able to find a specialty funnel at your local gas station, or you can order one online. While these funnels are “special,” they don’t have a special name. When you are searching for one, simply ask for a capless funnel and your wish will be granted.

How to Use a Specialty Funnel

Even when using a funnel, you should take the proper precautions so that you don’t spill any gas. Spilled gas can result in a fire hazard and if you do end up spilling gas on your car, make sure to clean it all up before you start your car.

In order to “play it safe,” hold a rag under your funnel as you take it out of the gas tank. The rag will help catch any excess gas left in the funnel.

If you accidentally overfill your gas tank and gas is spilling out, you can use sawdust to soak up the resulting gas puddle.

Lastly, if you get any gas on you, wash it off immediately as the gas fumes can make you dizzy — and no one wants a dizzy driver!

Final Thoughts

While the capless gas tank system has its benefits, it also has its inconveniences. However, you can never underestimate the human will to creatively bypass such a system. So, if you have two flat head screwdrivers or something like it, then you too can creatively bypass the latch on your capless gas tank.

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About Tyler Hilgeman

Tyler is an automotive and DIY research writer. He revels in saved money from DIY jobs and screeches at “cheap” estimates from auto body and mechanic shops. Part of his life’s work is to create a better world where automobiles are more understood and appreciated for who they are (R.I.P. My Beloved Toyota Camry — “Betsy” 1998-2021).

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