How To Siphon Gas

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The knowledge about how to siphon gas can come in handy in a survival situation in 2023. The skill is especially useful if you get stuck with your car miles and miles away from the nearest gas station.You will only need a tube or a pipe and a bit of skill to pump the precious liquid out of the car tank. To learn how to rehabilitate your vehicle, using gravity and a bit of skill without poisoning yourself by applying the mouth method of siphoning, read our article.

Have you ever been on the road to suddenly realize that you had run out of gas? This feeling of misery and weakness sweeps you off your feet, especially if you are off somewhere you want or need to be as soon as possible, and then you are stuck in the middle of nowhere, with no pit stops nearby, and you thought you had a full tank.

We know that siphoning gas is considered an illegal activity in most states, but it is a survival skill worth learning. Mastering the skill will require some time, for sure, as with many other skills… but this one will never leave you, just like the skill to ride a bicycle. If you are still dubious, check the section to explain why you need to learn to siphon gas and then come back here to continue reading.

Before we move on to giving you tips, a small but vital reminder: we ask you to use this information for good and not evil. Petty crimes are not what we encourage you to do in any way, but in case of widespread emergencies with gas stations out of order, you may need this skill. And thanks to this small guide, you will know how to siphon gas in case you need it.

So… you are ready to delve into pouring some gasoline back into your car?

Siphon: Underlying Principle

Getting the gas flowing when you have some skills embedded in your brain and muscles is not a problem, though in some tricky cases, it might be useful to understand the physics behind the process. We highly recommend you to watch the video from the archives, categories of “how something works,” rather than simply reading a concise text explanation and grabbing tubes afterward.

3 Ways to Siphon Gas

Gas Canister

The basic working principle kind of underlines the whole idea behind gas siphoning, though in this section, we highlight three methods of how you can get gas with their pros and cons and health issues they might cause.



Method 1

The first method is the safest and the easiest method that implements a siphon pump and a receptacle. Many siphon pumps but does not try to buy the cheapest since you can get a siphon pump with some helpful features for a few bucks more. We will review the best gas siphoning kits below.

Step 1: The receptacle should be on the ground below the gas tank.

Step 2: Siphon pump tube has two ends. Put one end of the tube into the tank and the other into the receptacle.

These two ends of the pump might be attributed either to the gas tank or to the receptacle with special signs. If you have misplaced the ends, you will start blowing air into the tank. So check beforehand whether your pump has some markings, or you can interchange the ends of the tube.

Step 3: Start pumping. The gas should start flowing. Your pump might be a plunger or a bulb that your hand is squeezing.

Step 4: Stop pumping when you have enough gas. The end of the tube into the tank may be raised above the gas tank. This way, the gas flow stops, and any remaining gas returns into the tank.

How to use a simple hand pump you can watch in this video:

Method 2

This method comes second in a race for being the safest method. It requires long and short tubing, a receptacle, and a wet cloth.

Step 1: Insert the longer end of the tube into the gas tank and blow into it. You should hear the bubbles percolating. Then place the shorter end of the tube into the gas tank alongside the long one and seal the space between the ends with the wet cloth as airtight as you can.

Step 2: Now, insert the smaller length of tube into the gas tank. After that, you need to seal the space between them as tight (airtight) as possible. A peace a cloth should be sufficient ( it is advised to use a wet one rather than the dry one)

Step 3: Then, the long tube goes to the cistern (or any other container), which should be placed lower than the gas tank/

Step 4: Blow air into the short tube to increase the air pressure inside of the tank. You can use an air pump if you have one.

For gas to flow – blow some air into the short tube. That way, the air pressure inside the gas tank will go up. Note that you should avoid blowing with your lungs. Else you risk inhaling the gas.

Step 5: Observe the longer tube to see if the gas flows through it.

The pressure that builds in the tank will force the gas out, siphoning gas into your receptacle.

Step 6: When you feel that you need to stop siphoning gas, remove the long end of the tube, place your thumb over its end to stop the gas from flowing thought it, then lift it above you, release your thumb, and the remaining gas will go back into the tank.

Method 3

This method is, by far is the most dangerous one since you will use your own mouth instead of a fuel pump to take the gas out of the tank. Gas poisoning will surely happen if you will not be cautious enough while practicing siphoning the fuel with your mouth from the gas tanks.

A clear tubing and a gas canister – are the only tools you need to siphon gas using that method. If you are out of options – a hose will do. Basically, this method should be used when there are no other options left, no gas station nearby, and no other tools that can help you siphon gas in any other way. In that case – your mouth is your only option, but remember not to swallow gas or inhale gas fumes in the process.

The first step is to put one end of the tube into the gas in the fuel tank. To test if it is submerged into gasoline – blow into the tube. You will hear some bubbles if you are in.

Step 2: Place the gas canister on the ground near the vehicle (as always – it should be placed below gas tank level, since if it is not – the gravity will work against you, and you will not be able to get any gasoline out of the vehicle)

Step 3: Suck on the end of the tube with your mouth to draw the gasoline up and out of the tank. Now, to pump gasoline out of the car, start sucking on the end of the tube. Remember that your own body will act as a pump, so you are in a threat of inhaling gasoline fumes! Asking a friend or two to watch over you while you were doing this is a good option to stay safe. Place your personal health, above all, folks!

Step 4: When the gas comes near the end of the tube, crimp it to stop the gas flow.   Then, you should place the end you were just sucked into the receptacle, and the gas should flow into it, thanks to the power of gravity.

Step 5: You should watch out for bubbles in the tubing. This is a common issue when you siphon gas that way, so you will have to deal with it most likely. If you notice bubbles in the tubing, that means that the gravity flow is broken, and the siphon is about to stop working. We advise you not to try sucking those bubbles out since there is a chance that gas can get into your body. Instead, drain the gas back into the vehicle, and restart the whole process.

Step 6: When you’re satisfied with the amount of gasoline in the receptacle, remove the end of the tubing.

Again, if it’s possible to switch to any other method (Maybe there is a general store nearby), you should resort to siphoning gas with your mouth since it’s hazardous. Don’t rush it, and the gas can wait. Here’s an example of what can happen with this method:

Anti-Siphon Technology

This technology is a nice emergency feature to save your life if a car accident grows into a fire. Even though it serves a noble goal when it comes to gas siphoning, it may cause a few problems that you could overcome, though.

Sometimes you will need to use a screwdriver to have the fuel tank open while you do the tubing. It is a bit risky, though, since you might damage your car’s fuel tank while doing so.

The other times a butterfly flap valve (or butterfly valve) or a ball valve can be overcome by simply inserting a smaller siphoning tube with a drawback of significantly slowing the process down.

More or less, the efficiency of siphoning gas also depends on a car: if it is old, then chances are you will need more time, but since it is more likely not to have the anti-siphon system installed in comparison to the newer cars, the siphoning will be easy.

Best Siphoning Kits on the Market

Being prepared – is the best solution for any road hazards. There are plenty of tubing options on the market, as well as a variety of fuel pumps and gas siphon devices, and your internet browser will help you find them. If you are a hard prepper – you can put together your own gas siphoning kit; visit the hardware store for some tubes. Most of the commercial options come with either a hand pump or an electric pump. That is a lot safer and better than making a gas pump yourself.

Gas Tapper kit

Gastapper-Gasoline-Transfer-Equipment-Vehicles The professional version of a gas siphon is a gas tapper kit. One of its benefits is that the gas tapper can bypass the leak/siphon prevention system (both a butterfly valve and a ball valve). It’s a big thing since this technology is a common thing. The gas tapper fuel is electricity and can be plugged in almost any vehicle (or you can use a generator if you have it). If you’re really into learning how to siphon, then the gas tapper – is a solid investment.


ABN Siphon Kit

Abn Siphon Kit If an inexpensive, effective, and user-friendly tool is something you are looking for, you should consider an ABN siphon kit. There you can find a 51″ hose (two pieces) and two tubes: for oil siphoning and an air-pressure tube with a snap-shut valve with rubber flap connectors and an inflation valve. This siphon kit comes with a hand pump and can be used to siphon any of the most common substances (gasoline, water, and oil).

Gas Tapper Siphon Pro XL

Gas Tapper Siphon Pro Xl If you need to siphon a huge amount of liquid or gas, then think of a Gas Tapper Siphon Pro XL as your main choice. This siphon kit has a hose clip that applies to all surfaces. Moreover, you do not have to use any additional devices or your mouth to start the siphoning.



Original Safety Siphon

Original Safety Siphon If you need something that will fit in your sidebar – then you can think of an Original Safety Siphon. Basically, it is just a hose with a simple valve pump (with a rubber flap) at the end. Double-check that you have no liquids in the hose before using it, then position the tube lower than the tank enabling the gas to flow. It is the simplest tool you can find on the market.


Grounds for Gas Siphoning

Anything can be a survival skill, and the same goes for gas siphoning. But why do people do it? Well, here we outline the reasons that people name:

No Gas in a Tank and no Pit Stops Nearby.

People face this problem all the time. If your car ran out of gasoline, and there are no means to fuel it, the only thing you can do is to wait for a vehicle to pass by and ask people for help. If they agree, grab a hose (or a fuel pump, if you have it).


It might be hard to believe, but gasoline is prone to freezing in freezing temperatures. This is an issue if you live in a cold environment. Some cars have cold-protected fuel lines, but those are rare. So when you are preparing for a harsh winter to come, it might be a good idea to invest in the tubing, fuel pump, or proper siphon devices.

Lazy Refueling

Ok, that one is not a “survival” type cause. But it sometimes just happens with people. If you have more than a single vehicle, and one of them lacks fuel to run on- you may consider siphoning instead of driving to a gas station to refuel. Your second car will play the role of a spare fuel canister, enabling you to get the gasoline flowing into your other car.

Post-Apocalyptic Traveling

Remember the wasteland in the Mad Max movie? It is the blueprint of the land after the apocalypse. Cars left mid-roads with a few drops of fuel on the bottom of the gas tank are still enticing for looters. In such settings, gas siphoning is a way to go because it can be tough to get around without sufficient fuel storage.

Bottom line

Here, we have covered why it is important to know how to siphon gas. And it turns out you will need this skill far more often than just in case of a natural disaster. Roadside emergencies are always here.

Though, I must add that if you are using this skill to save up a few dollars, shame on you.

Anyway, any prepper should master this skill and probably get a commercial siphon kit for extra preparedness.

Have a look at our total survival prepping guide and and raise your awareness of survival techniques! Find out about the first-class survival tools to buy, and important survival skills to acquire as a real prepper, awesome homesteader, and creative survivalist!


What can I use to siphon gas?

Basically, to siphon gas or liquids, you will need a hose (a garden hose will do just fine, but it is better to have a tube with a pump valve) and two containers: one empty and the other is full or containing some gas or liquid. If you put one end of the hose into the full container and the other end into the empty container, the gas can be stored there, then due to gravity, the gas or liquid will start to flow in these interconnected vessels.

How to siphon water?

The basic principle for siphoning water is the same as for gas siphoning. The liquid siphon tools you will require are the same. You will need two connected containers and a tube (or tubes). Fill the tube with water, put the container with water above the empty container, and the work is done.

How to siphon gas out of a car?

We recommend using a special device, like a gas trapper for such purposes, to avoid occasional gas poisoning. If you did swallow gas, then immediately call the first aid services.

How to use a siphon pump?

A siphon pump is a device that eases the process for you. You either squeeze it or place a foot on it to start the pressure arising.

How to drain the fuel tank easily?

If you want to get the fuel tank empty as fast and effortlessly, you will need any siphoning kit available on the market and an idea of the basic methods covered in this article.


A former USA Army sergeant and a highly educated survivalist and prepper with a degree and interest in Engineering and Electronics, Mike Millerson applies his extensive expertise in survivalism, homesteading, backpacking, hiking and hunting, spreading his deep knowledge about handling emergencies and prepping for them reasonably and effectively.




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