How to Drain Your Civic’s Gas Tank

Do you need to empty your gas tank and don't have the time to race around your neighborhood?

There are a few occasions when this happens:

- The car isn't running and you don't plan to drive it anytime soon (gasoline gets bad after a while)

- You want to reanimate a car that has been sitting for a while and you don't know how old the fuel is

- The tank is leaking but doesn't drain fully

Let's explore some of the options we have:

Option #1 - Remove the drain plug

Quite obvious, isn't it?

Unfortunately, only the older generations of Civics (before 2001) are equipped with this drain plug.

The process is simple - place a container underneath the tank where the drain plug is located and loosen it. Double-check how much gas is left in the tank to determine how much container volume you need.

When no more gas comes out, just jack up the right side of the car a bit so that the remaining fuel finds its way out.

To accelerate the process, remove the fuel filler cap.

On the '96 and '97 models, you first have to remove the gas tank cover before you can access the drain plug.

'91 Civic EG fuel drain plug

Option #2 - Bypass the fuel pump relay

If you can't find a drain plug on your car, there's another route you can take.

The fuel pump is mounted inside the gas tank and delivers the fuel to the engine.

When you turn your ignition switch twice without firing up the motor, you can hear the pump humming for about two seconds.

At this point, it stops operating because the engine isn't running yet.

We want to make it run constantly so that it pumps all the fuel out of the tank as long as the ignition is turned on.

To achieve this, we need to bypass the fuel pump relay so that it doesn't stop running after two seconds.

On '01 - '05 Civics, the fuel pump relay can be found behind the glove box:

Fuel pump relay (blue) on a 2001 Civic

Once you've removed the bracket with the two relays from the mounting, connect terminals 30 and 87 of the blue relay with a jumper wire or something similar to bypass the relay.

The image below just illustrates which terminal is which. You don't have to unplug the relays.

Relay terminal identification
Bypassed fuel pump relay

Now, before we turn the ignition on, we have to disconnect the fuel feed pipe from the fuel rail and run it into a container to catch the gas.

Make sure to release some fuel pressure by removing the filler cap before you pull the line off.

Also, wrap a rag around it since there will fuel coming out.

Fuel feed line of a D17A8 engine

Now you can run the line into a container and turn the ignition on.

The fuel pump will start emptying the tank:

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