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Help! Screwdriver fell in gas tank

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Oh no! I was winterizing & adding stabil to gas and had the screwdriver holding the flap open and it slipped out of my finger down into the gas tank. What do I do? Not sure if it fell all the way in or is inot the line.

 

Please any suggestions on what to do?

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Ouch. Whatever you do, be aware that gas and fumes are highly flammable. Don't blow yourself up. 

Remove the filler hose from the tank  maybe you will get lucky. But my guess is it is in the tank. This might be a job best left to the pros...

brick

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All depends on the handle material. If rubber the gas may dissolve it. I go with the approach of pulling the filler hose to see if it dropped in the tank or is stuck in a bend in the hose. 

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5 minutes ago, Girraf said:

I'm an engineer and "leave it" was my first thought.  Then again, no one said I was a good engineer ;)

:D

Seriously though, good luck without pulling the tank. Also stainless isn't magnetic if that's what the screwdriver is made of...

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I dont think it went down to the tank.

If it did take off your sender unit and fish around.

 

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Either stuck or in the tank could be an issue on the handle material.  It could soften up and get gummy in the filler hose.  Most screw drivers are tool steel with chrome or nickel plating.  But if the handle is facing the out, a magnet isn't going to work.  If its in the tank, I'd pop the sender and use a magnetic pickup to get it out.  If it stays in the tank, it could dislodge any sediments which could cause early replacement of filter.  Plus the handle material issue again.  You could use an electricians fish tape to at least see how far down the line it went.  If stuck in the line, undo the other end and use fish tape to push it out.  The one I have is flexible enough to make bends but rigid enough to be able to push a bit.

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Pull the hose off the tank and it maybe its in the hose. If not, get your self a very long needle nose pliers and hose you can grab it in the tank.   

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Take a USB CAM and see how far down it is - then fish it out.

Or, disconnect the fill hose from the tank - push it all the way through with a wire...

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31 minutes ago, RoyR said:

Take a USB CAM and see how far down it is - then fish it out.

Or, disconnect the fill hose from the tank - push it all the way through with a wire...

Is a USB camera ignition protected? Whatever you cram into a gasoline vapor space had better be intrinsically safe. My vote is for a magnet on a length of flexible hose.

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2 hours ago, drewm3i said:

Would it be bad to just leave it? Asking the engineers here...(Static?)

If it made it all the way into the tank, it will damage the fuel gauge sender in time. If it's in the hose, then fuel filling will be compromised. W

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37 minutes ago, Wingnut said:

If it made it all the way into the tank, it will damage the fuel gauge sender in time. If it's in the hose, then fuel filling will be compromised. W

Agreed if it stays in the hose it could limit you fuel fill to only a trickle, hard to pump 80 gallons at the pump with a line of boats or cars waiting. :angry:. Most likely didn't drop to tank. What boat do you have?

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I have a 2004 204. I'll try the fish line. I have one that's pretty stiff but flexible too. I used it to wired the leds. That way I can see where it is. Hopefully still in the line and not in the tank. If its in the tank I'll take it to our mechanic and deal with his falling over laughing. Maybe he will only charge me an arm and not a leg along with it.  

If it's in the line I'll come back here looking for ideas on how to get it out of the hose. I'm pretty sure the handle is up. It's a regular hard rubber white and clear handle with metal tip.

It may be later this week or next before I can get to it. You it will be OK for a few days to a week?

 

I could kick myself.

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If it's in the fill line just disconnect it at the tank and stretch it out straight and it should drop right out. Careful when disconnecting the hose to not wiggle it too much causing it to drop into the tank.

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The most important thing is PLEASE be SAFE...as others have mentioned, its a dangerous area to be working and you can't afford any ignition sources.

Getting a qualified Marine Mechanic to fix is a #$^% of a lot cheaper than getting your face glued back on your head after an explosion!!!

Please be safe....

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I'm betting that it's hung up in the filler hose. Without a straight drop, it would be tough to get it to the tank even if you wanted to get it there on purpose.

Don't feel bad; stuff like this happens. An aviation friend of a friend dropped the plastic top from an oil bottle into the oil filler port on the aircraft engine and couldn't retrieve it. The teardown of the engine was over $8k.

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3 hours ago, Mi3sons said:

Agreed if it stays in the hose it could limit you fuel fill to only a trickle, hard to pump 80 gallons at the pump with a line of boats or cars waiting. :angry:. Most likely didn't drop to tank. What boat do you have?

2008 256 SSX

 

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8 hours ago, Wingnut said:

2008 256 SSX

 

Thanks, my question was directed to the OP. I see he said a 2004 204

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The 204 probably has a pretty tight 90 degree inlet fitting at the tank and if it isn't a little screwdriver, I doubt it made that turn. As others said, disconnect the fill hose from the tank (cover the tank inlet fitting after disconnection) and I would try to snake a piece of fuel line (or section of old garden hose) up the inlet hose to push screwdriver back to where it came from. Who knows, the screwdriver might be right at the fitting and easy to retrieve.

If it did get to the tank, there are magnetic retrievers at the auto parts stores that are made of aluminum, with a magnet on the end. I have had one for many years that was designed for fishing in a gas tank. Was a pain using it on an old steel tank. The screwdriver will be carbon steel and easily grabbed with a magnet.

PITA, but better leaving things to chance, especially where fuel is concerned.

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I have same boat.  You should have access to fuel fill line at top of tank.  I can see mine.  At worst disconnect and remove whole line.  After you Disconnect ,retrieve screwdriver.  Be careful, as others have stated vapors are very explosive. 

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2 hours ago, Mi3sons said:

Thanks, my question was directed to the OP. I see he said a 2004 204

I know. I have a demented sense of humor. Thought you knew. Ha...  W

 

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