How To Drain The Fuel Tank Of A Ford F-150

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Ford has done a marvelous job with its half-ton truck, the F-150. It has excellent power and gets efficient gas mileage. However, your gas mileage might suffer if you happen to get unlucky with bad gas in your tank. If this happens, how do you drain the fuel tank? In this article, we have taken the time to research the steps to drain the fuel tank in a Ford F-150.

If you need to drain the fuel tank from your Ford F-150, then there are two methods you can use. The first method is to siphon the fuel out of the tank. This method will work on any F-150. The second method, however, is to drain the fuel tank from a drain plug and only works on certain F-150s. So, here are the steps to draining your fuel tank through the siphon method:

  1. Buy a siphon kit.
  2. Run your F-150 until it is almost entirely out of gas.
  3. Now, run your siphon hose into the fuel tank until there are only 1-2 feet left before the pump.
  4. Proceed to pump the hand pump on the hose until gas fuel starts to come out.
  5. Dispose of the gas and refill the tank with fresh gas.

As you can see, once you have the siphon kit, the process of draining the gas from the truck isn’t too bad! However, there are some things to note when doing this process. That’s why in this article, we will discuss draining the fuel tank in a Ford F-150 in closer detail. In addition, we will discuss what happens if you use the wrong fuel in your gas tank, so read on!

A big red colored Ford F-150 Raptor parked near a dock, How To Drain The Fuel Tank Of A Ford F-150

How To Drain The Fuel Tank Of A Ford F-150

If you happen to get water in your fuel tank or there is bad fuel inside, then you may need to drain it before it causes damage to your Ford F-150. To do this, follow one of the two methods below.

A mechanic removing the drain plug of the oil tank

Method 1: Using a Siphon Kit

Since most Ford F-150s won’t have a drain plug, then use a siphon kit, and follow these steps below:

Purchase a Siphon Kit

If your F-150 doesn’t have a fuel drain plug after check, then you will need to find a siphon kit. This is a clear hose that has a nozzle on one end and a hand pump on the other end. It’s not too expensive, and who knows, you or a friend might need it again in the future, so it is worth the purchase!

Run The Tank Almost Empty

You want to make sure you run your gas tank almost empty before doing anything. This will ensure less fuel for the fuel siphon to draw from the tank, making it easier to get the harmful gas out.

Pump The Fuel Out Of Your Tank

Now, you can run your siphon into your F-150’s fuel tank until there is only a foot or two left on the other end of the siphon hose before going into the fuel tank. Once you do this, proceed to pump the air pump on the siphon hose until gas starts flowing out of the other end into a container.

Dispose Of The Gas And Refill Your Tank With Fresh Gas

After you have your siphon kit and siphoned all of the harmful gas from your F-150’s fuel tank, you are good to go. However, it’s not a bad idea to dispose of your fuel if it has harmful contaminants that can damage your engine. Also, make sure you refill your gas tank with fresh gas.

If there is a large amount of water in your tank after draining it, consider using a fuel cleaner to eliminate any leftover particles that can clog up your engine.

Following these steps should completely drain your Ford F-150 fuel tank and solve your problem. Now, let’s take a look if you happen to use the wrong fuel in your vehicle, so read on!

Method 2: Drain the Fuel Tank Using the Drain Plug

If your F-150 has a drain plug, then using it on a truck is probably the easiest method for draining the fuel tank. Note: More than likely, there will only be a fuel drain plug if someone puts one in the aftermarket for ease of use. 

This is because trucks are higher off the ground, so you shouldn’t need to jack the vehicle up to reach the drain plug. Plus, you won’t need to buy a siphon kit for this method. Instead, it would be best if you had a socket wrench and a pan for this method.

Here is the breakdown of steps for the drain plug method:

  1. Run the F-150 until it is almost entirely out of gas.
  2. Locate the drain plug under the vehicle at the bottom of the fuel tank.
  3. Place a bucket or container under the drain plug opening to catch the fuel.
  4. Use a socket wrench to remove the drain plug.
  5. Let the fuel drain until the tank is empty.
  6. Put the drain plug back on and make sure it is tight.
  7. Refill the fuel tank with fresh gas.
  8. Dispose of the old gas in a safe place.

What Happens if you Use the Wrong Fuel?

Well, if you use the wrong fuel, bad things can happen! For example, you will be okay to use the same octane level in most cases but not all cars and trucks. In addition, some vehicles can’t handle higher octane fuels, and using this type of fuel may cause damage or even engine failure.

It’s best to refer to your owner’s manual if you are unsure what type of fuel is recommended. Also, check the sticker on the gas cover for this information since it should be listed there. If you use a different octane level than recommended, the vehicle will likely run poorly and not at peak performance. It may even damage sensitive engine parts due to using fuel that doesn’t have the same octane level.

Also, not all vehicles can handle being filled with E85, an 85% ethanol fuel type. Some engines can’t handle this high ethanol content, leading to engine damage or failure.

For example, the Ford F-150 is not designed to work with E85. So, if you are trying to fill your gas tank with this type of fuel, then it’s best to avoid doing so for this specific vehicle and others like it.

What if You Put Diesel in a Gas Vehicle?

If you put diesel in a gas vehicle, well, simply put, your car will stop working. If you are not sure what type of fuel is in your gas tank, it’s best to drain it before this occurs.

Putting diesel in a gasoline vehicle is bad for the engine because diesel contains more lubrication than standard gas. Gasoline engines are not designed for this type of oil consistency, and running standard gas in a diesel vehicle can cause all sorts of damage to the engine.

Also, if you put gasoline in a diesel vehicle, this will clog up the fuel filter leading to your car’s malfunction. You need to avoid doing this at all costs!

Where is the Fuel Drain Plug?

Most gas tanks have a drain plug located on the bottom of the tank. Unfortunately, this is usually covered with a screw cap and sometimes even glued into place, so you may need to use some force when opening it to get it out.

A beautiful gray colored Ford F-150 raptor photographed at golden hour

How Much Does it Cost to Drain a Fuel Tank?

According to JD Power, the cost of draining a fuel tank can range from $200 to $500. That’s why using one of the methods above is less time-consuming and cost-effective. However, if diesel has entered the gas fuel lines, the fix to drain the whole fuel system can range from $1,500 to $2,000!

Can Bad Gas Mess Up your Car?

Yes, bad gas can damage your vehicle’s engine and fuel system. However, the major downside is that it will lead to costly repairs! For example, putting bad gas in your car can cause:

  • Rough idle
  • Engine knock or detonation
  • Loss of power
  • Poor fuel economy

In addition, if you use dirty water-contaminated gas from a station that doesn’t have a gas treatment system, this can cause rust buildup in your engine. This will lead to increased wear on the components due to metal-on-metal action, which will reduce fuel mileage and may even lead to costly repairs at some point.

How Long Can Gas Sit in a Car?

Typically, gas can sit in a car on average for three to six months. It also depends on the storage temperature and whether the vehicle is being driven during this time period. However, if you leave your car sitting longer than that without driving it, you should consider draining the fuel tank before using it in your vehicle.

Final Thoughts

A Ford F-150 isn’t precisely an inexpensive vehicle, so if it isn’t performing correctly, it could be due to bad gas in the tank. To drain the fuel isn’t too challenging, and if you feel comfortable enough around a vehicle, you can do it yourself. Doing it yourself will not only save you time but will save you quite a bit of money!

For more information about the Ford F-150, then check out these articles:

How To Add Fuel Additive To Ford F150 [A Complete Guide]

14 Gorgeous Ford F150 Seat Covers That Can Transform Your Truck

Ford F150 Platinum Vs. Limited: What Are The Differences?

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