Fixing Up a Used Motorcycle: Cleaning the Fuel Tank

silver and black motorcycle against blue sky
  • 2-4 hours
  • Beginner
  • 25-50
What You'll Need
Phosphoric acid
Baking soda
WD 40

A used motorcycle may just be sitting around somewhere in your house or you may have purchased a second hand model. Whatever your situation is, there is still a lot of use that you can get from the motorbike. You only need to fix up a few things here and there and you can get it running like new. One of the parts that you should give particular attention to is the fuel tank. If it is rusty, it will corrode until there are holes in it. Not only is it dangerous, it is also expensive since you will be losing gasoline through a tank hole. Prevent such risks by cleaning out the gas tank. Not only will it prolong the life of your tank, it will also aid in the smooth and efficient running of your motorcycle engine.

Step 1 - Removing Old Gas

If your used motorcycle still has some gas in its tank, take it out by removing the gas tank from the bike and dumping it safely.

Step 2 - Rinsing the Tank

After taking out any remaining gas in the tank, rinse its insides with water. After ensuring that it has been properly rinsed, turn the tank upside down to dump the water. Shake the tank to make sure that all the water inside is removed. You should then put 3 to 4 cups of phosphoric acid into the tank and shake it. This will ensure that the inside walls of the tank are coated with the acid. Allow the phosphoric acid to sit inside the tank from overnight up to 24 hours.

Step 3 - Removing Deposits inside the Gas Tank

After the prescribed period, you should then dump the phosphoric acid out of the tank. Because this type of acid is commonly used as a household cleaner, you can safely dump it down your drain. Rinse the tank afterward with clean water. If you see that there are still deposits that are clinging on the inside walls of the gas tank, you can drop in a few bolts, coins or washers inside the tank. When shaken, the loose metal inside the tank should loosen up the remaining deposits that are still clinging tenaciously on the inside walls.

Step 4 - Treating the Tank with Baking Soda

To give your tank a baking soda treatment, dissolve around ½ cup of baking soda in about a couple of liters of water. Pour the resulting mixture inside the tank and allow it to stay there for 2 hours. Drain the tank after a couple of hours and rinse it again with fresh and clean water.

Step 5 - Preventing Further Rusting

Once you have ensured that you have taken out all the water out of the gas tank, get your can of WD 40 and spray the inside walls of the tank. This will prevent further rust from corroding your tank again. You can now get the tank back to the motorcycle. Be sure to periodically clean your motorcycle tank to ensure that it will stay clean and functional.