How to Drain a Gas Tank in a Snowmobile

How to Drain a Gas Tank in a Snowmobile
For a healthier snowmobile, drain the gas tank at the end of each riding season. As gas sits in a fuel tank, it can become harmful to the vehicle. Over time, gas slowly loses its volatility, a term used to describe how easily it vaporizes for combustion. Even worse, hydrocarbons in the gas react with oxygen, changing the chemical makeup of the fuel. Gum and varnish deposits in the fuel system often result. Bad gas---or even water in the fuel---can be hard on an engine. Protect your snowmobile by siphoning out the gas.

Instructions

Difficulty: Moderately Easy

Things You’ll Need:
  • Hand-operated siphon pump or about 5 feet of clear plastic hose Shop towel Two 5-gallon buckets Floor jack Wood or concrete blocks
  • Hand-operated siphon pump or about 5 feet of clear plastic hose
  • Shop towel
  • Two 5-gallon buckets
  • Floor jack
  • Wood or concrete blocks
Step 1
Remove the gas tank cap.
Step 2
Raise the rear of the snowmobile 1 1/2 to 2 feet with the floor jack. Set the rear of the snowmobile on wood or concrete blocks. This will move all of the gas to the front of the tank. As you raise the rear, monitor the level of the gas so that it does not pour out of the gas-filler hole.
Step 3
Put the designated end of the hand-operated siphon pump into the gas tank and the other into the 5-gallon bucket. If you use a clear hose, put one end inside the gas tank and hold the other end with your hand.
Step 4
Pump the siphon as directed--different pumps vary. The gas should begin to flow from the tank to the bucket. If you are using a clear plastic hose, form the free end into the shape of a "U" by letting most of the hose hang over the tank and onto the ground and bending the free end upward so that the very end is above the tank. Use your mouth to suck on the free end of the hose. Watch carefully as the gas begins to fill the tube. Fill the tube until the fuel is even with the gas in the tank. Close the end of the tube with your hand or thumb to hold the gas in place. Stick the free end of the hose in the bucket along with any sagging hose. Make sure the other end is still submerged in the tank and let go.
Step 5
Watch the gas as it flows freely into the bucket. Transfer the hose to another bucket if the first bucket becomes full--most snowmobile tanks hold 8 to 10 gallons. Use the shop towel to wipe up any spills. Make sure the end of the siphon or hose is positioned toward the front of the tank, because this is where the last bit of gasoline will collect.
Step 6
Remove the siphon or hose when the gas has stopped flowing. Put the gas cap back on. Lower the rear of the snowmobile back to the ground. Start the engine and run it until it stops. This will drain the tank of any remaining gasoline.

Tips & Warnings

 
Some snowmobile enthusiasts add a fuel stabilizer to the gas instead of draining it.
 
Some snowmobile enthusiasts add a fuel stabilizer to the gas instead of draining it.
 
Always use caution when working with flammable substances by removing all open flames from the work area.
 
Always use caution when working with flammable substances by removing all open flames from the work area.

Article Written By Jacob Maurer

Jacob Maurer began his career as staff writer for his college newspaper, "The Witness" (Wilmington College), in 2006. A year later, he was promoted to assistant editor of copy. After graduating from Wilmington College with a double major in journalism/public relations and graphic design, Maurer took his writing talents to NewsUSA Inc. where he has served as managing editor since February 2008.

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