Whether it is a utility failure in the dead of winter or a zombie apocalypse, you and your family will have two choices: know how to siphon gas out of a car or perish dramatically at the hand of certain death. Of course, our lawyers want to remind you that siphoning gas is illegal from someone else’s tank and should only be used in the most extreme of situations where life and death may be at risk.
Gas prices are already high, topping $4 per gallon in much of the country. So, what happens in the event of a massive power grid failure in your city? If gas pushes above $10 per gallon and lawlessness rules, will you have enough gas to bug out of your neighborhood? Without the availability of electricity, the gas pumps at your local gas station will not work, credit cards can’t be processed, and your “SHTF” plan will have to be activated. With a full tank of gas, your ability to run a gas engine, power a generator, cook dinner, or fire up your space heater has increased.
While technology has evolved in most modern cars, the process for siphoning gas remains the same. Please remember that the oral version of this process is dangerous, so we recommend you find an electric pump-like device to facilitate the method described below. For your sake, find one on your favorite online drop shipment service. Beyond the manual method and the electric pump method, there are not many options available to you in an emergency.
Without getting too technical on this topic, understand that air pressure and gravity are the main forces at play when siphoning gas from someone else’s gas tank, regardless of your equipment configuration. By creating a negative pressure (more commonly referred to as a “vacuum”), you can transfer liquid from a higher reservoir to a lower reservoir.
To successfully siphon gas from an available tank into your own gas container, you must follow these instructions:
Your success will depend on gathering the following items:
One 1” diameter clear plastic hose, at least 5-10’ long, depending on the distance between the available tank and your container.
A disposable cloth rag, t-shirt, or towel
One or more gas collection containers of any type. By “any type,” I mean to be resourceful. If you do not have a certified gas container (usually one of those red containers at your local hardware store), consider alternates. Empty milk containers, large-capacity water bottles, mason jars, etc.
If the vehicle has an “Easy Fill Capless System” for its gas cap, you may need to find a narrow funnel to access the vehicle’s tank.
Feed the hose into the gas tank. Be sure one end of the hose is fully submerged in the tank while the other is readily available.
Use your disposable rag, t-shirt, or towel to create a seal surrounding the hose. It is imperative that the material used for this step create a tight seal to avoid any leaking air or liquids, so consider using a damp towel versus a dry one, if necessary.
Place your gas collection device near the other end of the hose. You will want to transfer the hose from your mouth to the device in rapid succession, so keep the two within proximity of each other.
Remain covert. During the day, avoid detection by refraining from conducting this operation in heavily populated areas. At night, utilize shadows and other dark corners to mask your activities.
Using short bursts of air, suck small amounts of air from the tube, which will force draw the gasoline towards you. Think of it like drinking a thick gasoline milkshake. By sucking these small amounts of air, the tube will become an area of low pressure for the gasoline to flow into.
Once the gas starts flowing, you can see it in the line. If your mouth is caught between the crossfire, aggressively rinse it out with water immediately. There is always the chance that you may inhale gasoline fumes, so take that to heart if you think your respiratory condition is in a degraded state.
It sounds obvious, but everything that sucks must end. You will eventually have enough fuel flow into your gas container. When it comes to that point, stop sucking. Gravity and air pressure will do all of the work for you.
Pinch it off. The only way to cease the gravity-fed flow of gasoline into your container is to sever the flow of gasoline and raise it above the entrance of the gas collection device.
Shake it off by allowing the remaining gasoline in the line to reach the collection device.
Of course, the easiest plan would be to drill a hole in the bottom of a vehicle’s gas tank and collect the liquid profits. However, this article assumes that overt gasoline theft is not an option.
Your survival during an actual “SHTF” scenario may rely greatly on whether or not you know how to siphon gas out of a car. Always have an escape plan, and always plan for contingencies.