✓ SAVINGS TIP Learn if your motorcycle insurance is too expensive!
Compare quotes to save money
Enter your zip to get started.
Motorcycles are more vulnerable to the elements than other types of vehicles. Sometimes water will find it’s way into places on a motorcycle that it should never be in the first place.
It doesn’t take a scientist to know that water and fuel do not mix well; an engine simply cannot run properly when water is added to the mixture. You may wonder how to get water from your motorcycle’s gas tank, regardless of whether it was accidental or intentional.
How can you get water from a motorcycle’s gas tank? To get water out of a motorcycle gas tank, you can either completely dismount the gas tank and empty all it’s contents through the main hole or you can simply disconnect the fuel lines and let the gas drain from there. You’ll then need to add either some fuel stabilizer or rubbing alcohol to the tank, swish it around, and then drain it again.
There are many ways water can get into a motorcycle’s tank. Some motorcycles that had been left in fields for many years have seen water get in their tanks. I can explain exactly how to get everything out of the gas tank and discuss other things you’ll want to know about it.
How to get water out of a tank
Whether you’ve tried your best to prevent water entering your motorcycle gas tank or you were simply a little careless and water easily got it, just know that it happens to the best of us. As annoying of a problem as this is, it’s not completely unheard of to have a motorcyclist have this happen at least once throughout their motorcycle owning years.
A motorcycle’s fuel system is an essential part of its operation. If the motorcycle doesn’t get just the right amount of fuel and air mixture (with nothing else added), the motorcycle will get picky and not run exactly how it should.
There are steps to take if you suspect that there is water in your gas tank. To get rid of all fuel, you will have to empty the entire tank.
Another option is to remove the fuel tank completely from your bike, remove the gas cap, then flip it upside-down. This will allow all fuel to drain out. It is important to drain it in a container you can dispose of.
Another popular method to get rid of all fuel from a gas tank is to disconnect it from the fuel lines. The tank can still be connected to your bike. You’ll need to disconnect the fuel line(s) (some motorcycles have one, others have two; disconnect them all).
You’ll need to take off the host clamp and turn your petcocks to the “on” The tank will then allow fuel to drain out of it. Make sure the fuel is drained into a container that you can dispose of it later.
Plan on getting rid of the gas that has been drained; in other words, do not plan on using it for something else because water in fuel isn’t good for any machine. You can either take the gas to your local recycling center, or hazardous waste disposal centre. You can also dispose of it at an auto shop that will usually properly dispose of it.
Turn the petcock on once the gas has been completely emptied. “off” Add a bottle fuel stabilizer like “Heet” You can find them at any auto part store. Rubic alcohol can be used if you’re unable to find a fuel stabilizer. But this should only be used as a last resort. Use the alcohol to coat the entire tank. Then empty it completely.
Water dissolves in fuel stabilizers, such as “Heet” These stabilizers can be used in place of rubbing alcohol. They are also soluble in gasoline. These stabilizers can be used as a catalyst to mix fuel and water. Essentially, it will attract any water that’s left inside the tank and will take the water with it once it’s drained from the tank.
If you have one, it’s possible for water to get in the carburetor as well. Water is heavier than gasoline so it will travel through fuel lines first. It could also enter the carburetor prior to the gas.
If you suspect water got in the carburetor, you’ll need to empty the bowl at the bottom of the carburetor (where the fuel sits). You don’t have to remove the entire carburetor from the motorcycle. You can spray the bowl and the carburetor with some carb cleaner. After drying, reattach the bowl.
How much water is in a motorcycle’s gas tank
There are several reasons that water can get into the engine of a motorcycle’s gasoline tank. Most of the time it’s done unintentionally. It does not matter if the act was deliberate or not, but it is an urgent problem that must be fixed.
Because the gasket is defective, the most common way water can get into the tank through the gas cap. With rain, snow, sprinklers, car washes, etc., water will easily be able to get in if the gasket isn’t doing it’s job.
Gas caps can sometimes have a vent hole. A vent hole in a gas cap of low quality or old design can sometimes allow water to get into the tank. You should replace your gas cap immediately if you notice that the gasket is worn or your cap is getting old.
Water can also get in through third-party leakages, such as if the gas cap is not properly secured before a storm, or if it has been left open overnight and allowed condensation to form.
What Water in Fuel Can Do to A Motorcycle
Mixing water with motorcycle fuel can cause serious damage. That is why it’s so important to address the issue before it becomes an expensive fix for you.
Hydrolock in an engine can be caused by gasoline containing water. Water expands 1000 times when it goes from a liquid state to a gas. A single drop of water converted into steam can expand 1000 times in steam.
Gas expands when it transforms from a liquid state to a gas, but not nearly as much as water. Gas also ignites, while water/steam doesn’t. Because of the high pressure in the engine due to steam, it will not be able combust properly. This is when the engine hydrolocks. The engine will then become mechanically restrained.
It is possible for water to get inside the carburetor. Water can also get mixed with fuel inside the carburetor and turn to a gooey-gel substance. This can block the jets, which can cause problems such as sputtering and not being able the bike start at all. You can also read my article on other reasons why your motorcycle might sputter.
Water in the Gas Tank Symptoms
It can sometimes be difficult to see if there is water in your gas tank. You can’t simply look inside and see if there’s water in there. You can identify signs and symptoms if you suspect this is the case.
You may have water in your gas tank if your motorcycle has been sitting for some time. This problem can occur when a motorcycle is left unattended for too long without being used. This article explains what happens to a motorcycle if it is left unused for too long.
If your motorcycle has been running perfectly and suddenly stops starting, or you notice it sputtering while you ride, it could be because water has mixed with the fuel. These sudden changes are usually caused by water leaking from a water source.
How long does it take for gasoline to go bad on a motorcycle? In 30 days, unstabilized gas can cause a motorcycle to go bad. Oxygen can eventually change the chemical composition of gas, leading to varnish and gum deposits. If gas has been stored for more than six months, it should be thrown away. Stabilized gas should never be used for more than 6-12 month. For more information, see my article.
How can I stop condensation from building up in my gas tank Keep your tank full to prevent condensation from building up. You can also add fuel stabilizer to absorb the water so it doesn’t start mixing with the fuel.