When SHTF, one of the most valuable tools you can own as a survivalist is a vehicle. Whether it’s an old beater or a new car, it doesn’t matter when calamity strikes. With a car, you’ll have a storage place for your necessities and even a shelter if you wish. Its best use, however, is as a mode of transport.
There’s nothing worse than being stuck in one place and not being able to escape danger, so having a car will drastically improve your odds of survival. However, when gas stations become inoperative and you run out of fuel, what can you do?
Desperate times call for desperate measures, and you’ll have to get gas for your car from other sources. Siphoning gas from other vehicles can make the difference between life and death. Fortunately for you, we’ve done extensive research to show you how you can siphon gas safely.
Benefits Of Knowing How To Siphon Gas
When disaster strikes, knowing how to siphon gas can be your last line of defense against being stranded in an unknown or dangerous location.
There may not always be any gas stations around—or worse, they could have been raided, destroyed, or otherwise rendered inoperative. When this happens, running out of gas is the worst thing that could happen to you.
Having a static car parked in an unknown location can be like guarding a huge treasure chest. Looters and other hostile people can spot it and attempt to raid it, which can put you in grave danger.
Siphoning gas is also a vital skill to have if you live in a remote location and need to winterize your vehicle. Moreover, it’s useful when you don’t have access to technicians and need to repair your car on your own.
With cars being almost ubiquitous nowadays, you’re way more likely to find another vehicle close by than you are to locate a safe and working gas station. So, if you want to survive, you will have to know how siphoning gas from another car works.
Is It Legal To Siphon Fuel From Cars?
Taking gas from cars you don’t own is illegal in all 50 states, as gasoline counts as personal property. Depending on your state, siphoning gas from other vehicles counts as petty theft if the total cost of the gas you’ve taken is under $400. Getting more than that will result in more severe consequences.
If you are found guilty of siphoning gas from other cars, you may face jail time and hefty fines. However, in a dire emergency and in the midst of a calamity, this can be your final lifeline and your only option if you need to get away from danger.
3 Ways To Siphon Gas From Other Vehicles
Siphoning Gas Using Air Pressure
This is a relatively safe technique that does not require professional tools. In this method of siphoning gas, you will need:
- Two 1-inch diameter tubes or hoses; one should be longer than the other
- A wet cloth
- A gas canister or any safe receptacle for gasoline
Once you have your materials, you must follow these steps:
- Step 1: You will have to insert the longer tube into the vehicle’s gas tank. The end should be fully immersed in gasoline. You can blow into the tube to check for bubbles.
- Step 2: You can then insert the shorter tube or hose into the tank. Take the cloth and use it to close the space around the tubes. Because it should be a wet cloth that allows for little air passage, this will make the tank airtight.
- Step 3: Take your gas canister and place it on the ground. It must be at a lower level than the tank.
- Step 4: Insert the other end of your long tube to the canister. Then, blow some air into the short tube. Doing so will create air pressure within the chamber. As a result, the forces will push the gasoline toward the longer tube, and you’ll begin to fill your canister with gas.
- Step 5: Stopping the siphon can be quite straightforward. Just pull out the end of the longer tube from your gas canister and stop the gas flow with your thumb. Then, raise that end above the gas tank and take your thumb off.
If you need to learn this visually, here is a video demonstrating this method for you.
Using Professional Siphoning Devices
Professionals often use siphoning devices to conduct maintenance in vehicles. Although this method may require you to get special tools, it may be worth it because it is the safest, quickest, and most efficient option you have.
This is the most useful method if you need to repair or winterize your own vehicle. New car models can be resistant to other techniques as well, so this will be your best bet.
Here are the materials you will need:
- Gas siphon
- Gas canister
To do this, you will have to follow these steps:
- Step 1: Get your gas canister (or other gasoline-safe receptacles) and place it on the ground. Ensure that it’s at a lower level than the gas tank so that gravity will do its job well.
- Step 2: Insert one end of the siphon tube in the tank and one in the canister. Note that some professional siphons have specific ends for the tank and the receptacle, so double-check that you’ve placed them correctly. Otherwise, you’ll be wasting your precious time.
- Step 3: Use the siphon pump as instructed. Check your canister if you’ve gotten the amount of fuel you need for your car.
Siphoning Gas With Your Mouth
This method is highly dangerous, and we do not recommend it unless you have no other options left. For this method, you will only need a 1-inch diameter tube, a gas receptacle, and a lot of caution.
Here are the steps you must take:
- Step 1: With the gas canister leveled below the tank, place one end of your siphon tube into the gas tank so that it’s submerged in the fuel.
- Step 2: Gently suck the other end of the tube. Exercise caution here because the fuel can travel through the tube quickly—you don’t want to have a mouthful of gas.
- Step 3: Stop the gas flow by crimping the tube with your hand when the fluids are around six inches away from your mouth.
- Step 4: Place the end you’re sucking from into the receptacle to let gravity work.
Again, it needs emphasis that inhaling the fumes and the gasoline itself is dangerous. Only do this if you’re in dire situations and need to get out of the place as soon as possible.
Here’s a video to better visualize the process.
How To Siphon Gas Without Getting A Mouthful Of Fuel
Siphoning gas with your mouth is highly advised against because not only will it taste bad, but it can also harm your health. You wouldn’t want a mouthful of gas. Still, if you’re in a life-or-death situation, it calls for desperate measures.
If you have no other choice, make sure you’re safe from gasoline poisoning by using a longer tube. This provides more leeway for you to stop the gas before it reaches your mouth. Also, place your hand near the end you’re sucking from to readily crimp the tube and stop the gas from entering your mouth.
How To Bypass Anti-Siphon Valves In An Emergency.
Anti-Siphon Valves: What Are They?
Even if you know the procedures for siphoning gas, there may be some literal barriers stopping you from taking gas from other cars. Most new cars have anti-siphon valves to stop people from gas theft. These devices typically consist of anti-siphon screens and rollover valves that will prevent you from inserting solid objects in the tank.
2 Ways To Bypass Anti-Siphon Valves
If you need to repair, winterize, or get fuel from your car, you may find that anti-siphon valves are common in newer vehicles. They may be frustrating to deal with, but it’s not impossible to bypass them.
Bypassing The Anti-Siphon Screen
In this procedure, you will need copper tubing to break the anti-siphon screen. Never use steel because it may cause a spark, which is never a good idea when working with gas. Use the copper pipe to break and push through the mesh.
Working Against The Rollover Valve
If the car has a rollover valve in addition to the anti-siphon screen, taking gas from it will be much more complex. You will need at least 8 feet of flexible yet stiff tubing. Polyethylene tubes may be suitable for the job. Then, follow these steps:
- Step 1: Trim one end of the tube to make a narrow tip. Then, insert it into the gas tank.
- Step 2: Once you feel the rollover valve, twist and push the tube to bypass it. You can then insert a thicker hose or begin siphoning. However, the process will be slow because of the narrow opening.
This process can actually be challenging, so you may want to order a rollover valve to learn how to navigate around the device.
Can You Siphon Gas From A Capless Gas Tank?
Capless gas tanks are much more complicated to navigate around, as they have numerous systems in place to protect against siphoning and losing fuel. This makes them nearly impossible to siphon from with traditional means.
Siphoning gas from cars is a valuable skill to have when SHTF. It may mean the difference between life and death if you can’t operate your vehicle and cannot get out of a dangerous location. This skill is also incredibly useful if you need to winterize or repair your vehicle on your own. Hopefully, this guide has armed you with life-saving knowledge that may come in handy.