Where to store a gas can.

Dear Car Talk

Dear Car Talk | Dec 01, 2004

Dear Tom and Ray:

I have a question that I just can't find the answer to, no matter how much I scour the Web. I need to know how to properly store an (empty) gas container. The most logical place, to me, would be in the trunk of my car; that way, if I ever run out of gas, I'll have it handy. However, I was told by someone that it would be dangerous to store it in my car. If I store it at home, can I store it outside in the heat? In a closet? Please help me, as I'm having visions of fumes igniting and burning down my apartment! -- Heather

RAY: Well, if you have an empty, used gas can that you need to store, we'd recommend storing it outside, with the cap off.

TOM: That lets any remaining gasoline evaporate and disappear, rather than build up vapor pressure inside the gas can. Then, once the inside of the can is truly dry, you can put the cap back on loosely, and it should be fine.

RAY: You're right, Heather. We don't recommend storing gas cans of any kind inside an apartment. Several of my brother's old landlords are still after him for his previous unintentional three-story neighborhood barbeques.

TOM: But I assume you want a gas can in case your car runs out of gas, Heather. For that purpose, we recommend something called Gas-O-Haul. It's a disposable, one-time-use, cardboard gas container that you can toss in the trunk of your car. It comes folded flat, and it's lined with some sort of foil that holds gasoline and doesn't allow it to leak. And it costs less than 10 bucks.

RAY: If you ever run out of gas and have to use it, you throw it out afterward and buy another one. Best of all, since it stores as a flat piece of cardboard, it takes up almost no space in the trunk, so you can have more room in there for your gas grill and its propane tanks!

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