How Do Chevy Dual Tanks Work?

The Chevy Dual Tanks system is a unique and innovative way to power your car. It has been around since the 1950s, but it continues to be a reliable solution for many drivers today. Have you ever wondered how this system works?

Chevy dual tank systems usually involve two separate fuel tanks with a switching valve, a fuel pump, and a selector switch. The valve controls which tank supplies fuel to the engine, allowing for extended driving range and flexibility. Drivers can toggle between tanks using the selector switch.

Understanding how these dual tanks function not only maximizes fuel efficiency but also ensures a smoother driving experience. Let’s explore the intricacies of Chevy’s dual tank mechanism and how it optimizes driving capabilities.

Key Takeaways

  • Chevy dual tanks allow for increased fuel capacity, providing a greater range of travel and less frequent stops to refuel.
  • The two tanks are connected by a crossover tube with an in-tank electric fuel pump that transfers fuel from the rear tank to the front when necessary.
  • Dual tanks also offer improved engine performance and better fuel economy as heavier loads can be balanced between both tanks for smoother acceleration and braking.
  • Regular maintenance is important for keeping Chevy dual tanks functioning properly; check hoses, clamps, filters, and connections regularly to ensure optimal performance.

Components of a Chevy Dual Tank System

A Chevy dual tank system is composed of several key components that work together to manage and utilize two separate fuel reservoirs. Here are the primary components:

Fuel Tanks

Chevy dual tank systems consist of two separate fuel tanks, typically located on opposite sides of the vehicle. Each tank is equipped with its own fuel level sensor, enabling independent monitoring of the fuel levels in each tank.

Switching Valve and Selector

Integrated within the cabin, a selector mechanism or switch allows the driver to choose between using fuel from Tank A, Tank B, or both tanks. This selection is managed by a switching valve that determines which tank’s fuel is directed to the engine based on the driver’s choice.

Fuel Lines and Transfer Mechanism

Fuel lines extend from each tank and converge at a common point, which is controlled by the switching valve. The valve directs the selected fuel line to a transfer pump responsible for transferring fuel from the chosen tank(s) to the engine.

Transfer Pump Operation

The transfer pump operates upon the driver’s selection of a specific tank or both tanks. It ensures a continuous and uninterrupted supply of fuel from the selected tank(s) to the engine, supporting the vehicle’s propulsion.

Fuel Gauge System

To assist the driver in managing fuel levels, the dashboard displays a fuel gauge system that provides real-time information about the quantity of fuel present in both tanks. This allows for informed decision-making regarding fuel usage.

Safety Measures and System Safeguards

The dual tank system often incorporates safety measures to prevent fuel overflow during refueling. Additionally, safeguards might exist to avoid drawing fuel from both tanks in situations where one tank is malfunctioning or completely empty. These safety features ensure proper and safe operation of the system.

Control Module or Computer (Depending on the Model)

In some models, a control module or computer is integrated into the system. This component manages the overall operation and coordination of the various components within the dual tank system, ensuring seamless functionality.

How Chevy Dual Tanks Work?

Chevrolet vehicles equipped with dual fuel tanks typically operate using a switching valve and a transfer pump to allow the driver to use fuel from both tanks.

The system enables the driver to switch between tanks or to draw fuel from both tanks simultaneously.

Here’s a general overview of how Chevy dual fuel tank systems typically work:

Fuel Tanks

Chevrolet vehicles equipped with dual fuel tanks feature two separate fuel reservoirs, typically located on opposite sides of the vehicle. Each tank has its own fuel level sensor, ensuring the driver can monitor the individual fuel levels for each tank.

Switching Valve and Selector

A switching valve, controlled by a selector mechanism inside the cabin, allows the driver to choose which tank’s fuel to utilize. The selector switch usually has positions for Tank A, Tank B, or Both Tanks. This choice determines which tank’s fuel is routed to the engine.

Fuel Lines and Transfer Mechanism

Fuel lines extend from both tanks to a common point, where the selected tank’s fuel is directed by the switching valve. From this point, the chosen fuel line is connected to a transfer pump responsible for moving fuel from the selected tank(s) to the engine.

Transfer Pump Operation

When a driver selects a specific tank or both tanks, the switching valve directs the fuel line connected to the selected tank to a transfer pump. This pump moves fuel from the chosen tank(s) to the engine, ensuring a continuous and uninterrupted supply of fuel.

Fuel Gauge System

The vehicle’s dashboard displays a fuel gauge system that indicates the levels of both tanks. This allows the driver to monitor the fuel levels in each tank, providing information for informed decisions on fuel usage.

Safety Measures and System Safeguards

To prevent fuel overflow or spillage, especially during simultaneous refueling of both tanks, safety measures may be integrated into the system.

Additionally, safeguards might prevent the system from drawing fuel from both tanks if one is malfunctioning or empty, ensuring proper and safe operation.

Benefits of a Chevy Dual Tank System

The Chevy dual tank system offers several benefits to vehicle owners, providing increased fuel capacity and flexibility in managing fuel usage. Here are some of the key advantages:

Extended Range and Increased Fuel Capacity

The primary advantage of a dual tank system is the increased fuel capacity it offers. With two separate fuel reservoirs, the vehicle’s overall range between refueling stops is extended. This is especially beneficial for long trips or when driving in areas where gas stations might be scarce.

Flexibility in Fuel Management

Drivers have the flexibility to select between tanks or use fuel from both simultaneously. This feature enables drivers to balance fuel usage, switching between tanks as needed. For instance, they can choose to use one tank until it’s nearly empty before switching to the second tank. It allows for strategic fuel management based on the driver’s preference or situational needs.

Redundancy and Reliability

Having two tanks provides redundancy and increased reliability. If one tank malfunctions or encounters issues, the driver can switch to the alternative tank, ensuring the vehicle can continue operating without being entirely dependent on a single fuel source.

Versatility for Different Driving Conditions

The dual tank system can be particularly advantageous in varied driving conditions. For example, when towing heavy loads or driving through challenging terrains, the additional fuel capacity can be crucial, offering more range and reduced worry about running out of fuel.

Improved Efficiency in Commercial and Work Vehicles

For vehicles used in commercial or work settings, such as trucks or utility vehicles, the dual tank system can be highly beneficial. It allows for longer operation without the need for frequent refueling, potentially enhancing overall productivity by reducing downtime for refueling stops.

Strategic Fuel Utilization

Drivers can take advantage of different fuel prices or qualities. For example, they might choose to use one tank for regular gasoline and the other for premium fuel, or even alternate between different fuel types based on availability or pricing.

Troubleshooting Common Issues with Chevy Dual Tanks

If you drive a Chevy with dual tanks, it’s important to understand how they work and how to troubleshoot issues that may arise. While dual tanks are designed for convenience, they can also be the source of problems if not properly maintained. Here are some common issues and tips on how to troubleshoot them:

Fuel Pump Problems

If your vehicle is having trouble starting or running smoothly, it could be due to an issue with the fuel pump in one of the two tanks. To check which tank has the problem, switch between them using the manual selector valve located near the gas pedal. If there’s no difference in performance when switching between tanks, then you should replace both pumps at once.

Leaking Gasoline

A leaky fuel line can cause gasoline to escape from either tank and lead to a hazardous situation. Check all lines for signs of wear or damage and replace any parts as needed. Additionally, make sure that all connections are tight so that no air can get into the system and cause pressure fluctuations that can lead to leaks.

Tips for Maintaining Your Chevy Dual Tank System

Maintaining your Chevy Dual Tank System is essential for ensuring that it runs smoothly and safely. Here are some tips to help you keep your system in top shape:

  1. Check the tanks regularly – Inspect both tanks frequently for any signs of corrosion or leaks. If you find any, contact a mechanic as soon as possible for repairs.
  2. Replace filters – Make sure to replace the fuel filter every 12,000 miles or so to ensure your engine is getting clean fuel and running efficiently.
  3. Monitor fluid levels – Regularly check the fluid levels in both tanks and make sure they’re filled up properly with the right type of gas or diesel fuel, depending on your vehicle model.
  4. Clean connectors – Be sure to clean all electrical connectors regularly with an approved cleaner such as CRC Heavy Duty Degreaser & Electrical Contact Cleaner Spray to prevent corrosion buildup which can lead to poor performance and even safety issues down the road.


What are the benefits of having dual fuel tanks in a Chevy vehicle?

Dual fuel tanks in a Chevy vehicle offer extended range and flexibility, allowing drivers to switch between tanks for prolonged drives. It ensures increased mileage before refueling, convenient for long-haul journeys and reduces the frequency of refills.

How do you switch between the two tanks on a Chevy with dual fuel tanks?

In older Chevy models with dual fuel tanks, a selector switch or dashboard-mounted control allows drivers to manually switch between tanks. Typically, this involves flipping a switch to choose which tank supplies the engine’s fuel.

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