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October 14, 2012

Car Talk

Gas-can spout in gas tank can be left alone

Syndicated columnists

Dear Tom and Ray:
I have a 1964 Mercedes 230 SL. While I was adding gas, the detachable plastic spout from a five-gallon gas can fell into my car's gas tank. I asked our mechanic how to find and remove the spout; he said I'd have to empty the tank and he'd have to remove the entire tank from the car. This option seems expensive and like overkill to me. Do you know of some kind of grabber with a camera or light that can be used to find the spout and remove it? Or do you have any other suggestions? Thank you for any help you can give. — Cathy

Tom: Yes. My suggestion would be to forget all about it. I don't think it's going to hurt anything.

Ray: I agree. It's obviously not going to dissolve in the tank. How do we know that? It used to be part of a gas can.

Tom: It's probably just going to float around in there, so it won't block anything. After all, it's open at both ends, so any gasoline that gets into one end will flow out the other.

Ray: And it's unlikely to interfere with the pickup at the bottom of the tank where the gasoline gets pumped out. So I'd pretend it never happened.

Tom: And if it does create a problem someday, deal with it then. By that time, if that day ever comes, you may have already traded up for a '65.

(Car Talk is a nationally syndicated column by automotive experts (and brothers) Tom and Ray Magliozzi. Write to them at the Car Talk website.)

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