Signs of Rusting in Your Land Rover’s Fuel Tank
When it comes to four-wheel-drive vehicles, the Land Rover is definitely ahead of its peers because of the seamless manner in which it combines luxury and impeccable performance especially while off-roading. Over the years, the Land Rover has lived up to its name as a leader in four-wheel-drive models. While the vehicle’s manufacturer assures its occupants of extreme comfort coupled with state of the art designs that can withstand just about anything, Land Rovers are still susceptible to issues just like other cars.
A common problem that many Land Rover owners have experienced in the course of their driving stems from rust in the fuel tank.
Causes of Rusting in the Land Rover’s Fuel Tank
The rusting in the Land Rover’s fuel tank occurs specifically in the metal sheet that goes around the fuel tank, effectively acting as a shield. This shield prevents small rocks and twigs from hitting on the fuel tank directly, especially when you are driving off road where the terrain is unpredictable. This sheet of metal is sturdy enough to withstand the impact that arises from hitting all kinds of surfaces, including the rocks that bounce off the wheels while in motion. This kind of impact would have devastating effects on the engine itself, hence creating the need for this shield.
The major reason why this shield is highly prone to rust is because of the external factors that it is often exposed to, especially while driving off road. Land Rover drivers will never shy away from driving over shallow streams, creeks, or even water filled potholes on poorly maintained roads. This kind of environment presents exposure to moisture and air, effectively creating the perfect conditions for the metal to start rusting. Road salt and snowy conditions also promote rust formation.
When the underside of the vehicle is not cleaned out thoroughly after an off road session and moisture finds its way into other parts of the shield that may take longer to dry out, heat from the engine will then hasten the rusting process. The rust poses a challenge to the integrity of the shield, and this means that your fuel tank is left exposed to harm. If you went driving off-road in your Land Rover while the fuel tank shield is rusty, the rocks that may bounce off the wheels could easily bypass the compromised metal sheet and hit the fuel tank with a large enough force to cause a dent in it.
Signs of a Rusty Fuel Tank
Since rust compromises the quality of the metal shield around the tank and opens it up to the impact of rocks and pebbles, the one obvious sign that you have this problem is a fuel leak from the tank. If you notice a puddle of dark brown fluid under your car after having parked it for a while, then chances are that rust has affected the metal shield and debris has knocked a crack into the fuel tank. Once there is a fuel leak, then all the other symptoms associated with that will begin showing up — poor fuel economy for instance.
What to Do
The Land Rover may have been designed to perform in the most extreme conditions, but this does not mean that these conditions will not take a toll on the vehicle’s parts. This is why Land Rover drivers need to be extremely keen on regularly servicing their vehicles. During these servicing visits, the mechanic needs to pay extra attention to cleaning out the metal sheet protecting the fuel tank. This way, the metal sheet is dried out completely and all the salt from the dirty water over which the car may have been driven is removed, and the rusting process may be hampered completely.
However, if you notice a reddish substance on the fuel tank shield, it is safer to seek help from a professional auto mechanic, as the process of cleaning rust out of the fuel tanks can be a messy affair. Moreover, a certified professional will have the manufacturer recommended replacement parts that are up to Land Rover standards.
At Complete Automotive Systems, we offer exhaustive service and repairs on Land Rovers in and around Beverly Hills, Culver City, Brentwood and Santa Monica, CA. We are available to help you prevent rust in the fuel tank through our servicing routines, and in case it has already occurred, we’ll gladly offer solutions as soon as you give us a call.
* Land Rover Discovery 4 image credit goes to: Snap2Art_RF.