Step-by-Step Guide on How to Safely Drain Your Subaru Fuel Tank: Avoid Damage and Unnecessary Repair Costs

Subaru owners may occasionally find themselves in a situation where they need to drain their fuel tank. Perhaps they filled up with the wrong fuel type or need to do routine maintenance. Whatever the reason, it’s important to know how to drain your Subaru fuel tank safely to avoid damage to your vehicle and unnecessary repair costs.

In this article, we’ll provide a comprehensive guide on how to drain your Subaru fuel tank while ensuring your safety and avoiding potential damages. We’ll cover the necessary safety precautions, tools and equipment needed, and step-by-step instructions on how to drain your fuel tank properly.

Safety Precautions and Warnings

Before you begin draining your Subaru fuel tank, it’s crucial to take precautionary measures to ensure your safety and avoid any potential hazards. Here are some important safety precautions to keep in mind:

  • Do not smoke or bring anything that can produce flames near the fuel tank, as gasoline is highly flammable.
  • Make sure your Subaru is parked in a well-ventilated area, with the engine turned off and the keys removed.
  • Wear protective clothing, including gloves, goggles, a face mask, and a fire extinguisher in case of emergencies.
  • To avoid accidental spills, ensure that all electrical devices within the vicinity of the fuel tank are turned off.
  • Be aware of potential hazards such as sharp edges and slippery surfaces, as well as the fumes produced during fuel draining.
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Tools and Equipment Needed

To drain your Subaru fuel tank, you’ll need the following tools and equipment:

  • A suitable container for storing the drained fuel
  • Line wrenches or a fuel line disconnect tool
  • A pair of pliers
  • A screwdriver or socket wrench
  • Rags or absorbent pads
  • Fuel gauge or dipstick to check for remaining fuel levels

Steps on How to Drain Your Subaru Fuel Tank

Below are the step-by-step instructions on how to safely and properly drain your Subaru fuel tank:

  1. Locate your Subaru fuel tank. The fuel tank is usually found beneath the rear of the vehicle, between the rear wheels. In some Subaru models, you may have to remove the rear seats or lift the vehicle to access the fuel tank.

  2. Disconnect the fuel lines. Use line wrenches or a fuel line disconnect tool to loosen the fuel lines from the fuel tank. If your Subaru has a plastic quick-connect fuel line, use a pair of pliers to release the locking tabs and pull off the fuel lines.

  3. Remove the fuel pump fuse. To avoid fuel pump activation, locate the fuel pump fuse in your Subaru’s fuse box and remove it.

  4. Drain the fuel. Place the container beneath the fuel tank and remove the fuel tank drain plug or disconnect the fuel line. Wait for the fuel to drain completely. Use rags or absorbent pads to wipe any fuel spills.

  5. Check for remaining fuel. Use a fuel gauge or a dipstick to check for any remaining fuel in the tank. If necessary, tilt the fuel tank to drain the remaining fuel.

  6. Dispose of the drained fuel properly. Since gasoline is harmful to the environment, it’s essential to dispose of the fuel and fuel tank residue properly. You can either recycle the fuel or take it to a hazardous waste disposal facility.

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Precautions After Draining Your Subaru Fuel Tank

After draining your Subaru fuel tank, ensure to follow these precautions:

  • To prevent contamination or damage to the fuel system, clean the fuel lines and replace the fuel filter before refilling with the correct fuel type.
  • If the wrong fuel type was mistakenly poured into the tank, it’s essential to flush and clean the fuel system to avoid damages to the engine and other parts.
  • Before refilling, consult your Subaru owner’s manual or contact a Subaru dealership to identify the correct fuel type suitable for your vehicle.

Possible Damages to the Vehicle and Fuel System

If the incorrect fuel type is used, it can cause costly damages to the vehicle and fuel system. Some of these damages may include:

  • Damage to the fuel pump or fuel injectors due to clogging caused by the wrong fuel type.
  • Damage to the engine and other components due to misfiring and poor performance caused by the wrong fuel type.
  • Fuel system damage due to corrosion caused by the wrong fuel type.

To avoid these damages, it’s crucial to drain the fuel tank and clean the fuel system properly.


Q: Can I use the same container to store the drained fuel for future use?

A: No, it’s not advisable to reuse the container to store fuel. Gasoline can degrade and break down over time, leading to potential hazards and damages. It’s recommended to dispose of the drained fuel properly.

Q: How often should I drain my Subaru fuel tank for maintenance purposes?

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A: It depends on the recommendations in your Subaru owner’s manual. However, if you suspect fuel contamination or experience engine problems, it’s advisable to drain and inspect the fuel system for potential damages.

Q: What happens if I put diesel in my gasoline-powered Subaru or vice versa?

A: If diesel is mistakenly poured into a gasoline-powered Subaru, it can cause damages to the fuel system due to the thicker consistency of diesel. Similarly, putting gasoline in a diesel-powered Subaru can cause damages due to the lack of lubrication and high pressure required for diesel. In both cases, it’s crucial to drain the fuel tank and clean the fuel system promptly.

In conclusion, knowing how to safely and correctly drain your Subaru fuel tank is essential to avoid damages to your vehicle and costly repairs. By following the necessary safety precautions and step-by-step instructions provided in this guide, you can avoid potential hazards and keep your Subaru in top condition.

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Billy Covington

With a passion for all things automotive, Billy is our go-to expert on Subaru performance upgrades and modifications. He's been featured in several car magazines and blogs, and his extensive knowledge and expertise make him a valuable member of our team. When he's not working on cars, he enjoys playing guitar and writing music.

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