Jim Grant's Tech Tips
‘00 Toyota Camry LE, Gas Filling Problem
Q: My 2000 Toyota Camry LE 4 cyl with 160K miles runs great. However, since I bought it 2 yrs ago, I am unable to fill the tank at any fast rate except for a trickle. If I squeeze the nozzle to increase the rate of flow into the tank, the nozzle shuts off. There is an obvious venting problem as I can hear the fuel bubbling and a gurgling sound as air is trying to escape through the filler pipe. Any suggestions on what the problem might be and how to fix it would be greatly appreciated. By the way, there are no fault lights illuminated on the car and no engine check lights.
A: There are a couple of possibilities that come to mind with your fill problem. Your Toyota has what is called a late type onboard vapor recovery system. This means your vehicle has a way to collect fuel vapors while the gas tank is being filled. This system reduces the loss of gas vapor to the atmosphere while refueling. While pumping gas into your vehicle’s tank, the air (gas vapors) in that tank have to move out to allow room for the gas. New vehicles don’t allow these gas vapors to escape. Instead they pass through a valve called an onboard recovery valve (fill check valve is another word for it) and are directed to a charcoal canister for storage, to be used later by the engine. I suspect that the fill check valve is sticking or the vapor hose from the valve to the charcoal canister is blocked or pinched. A good part of the hose can be inspected without removing the tank. If there’s a problem with the fill check valve the gas tank has to be removed for inspection.