Removing debris from the gas tank

The Kids Did What?!?

courtesy of Bob, The Auto Answer Man

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Hi Bob,
Some kids (yes, I still love them) were trying to get some gas out of my Windstar's tank by using a paper towel and a stick (the idea was they'd let the paper towel soak some gas, pull it out, and everybody would be happy).

Well, to make a long story short, they didn't get the gas, but they lost the paper towel and stick in the tank. So, I have two questions for you:

  1. What's the best thing for me to do at this point? Keep the tank filled at half capacity or more so the pollutants keep floating? Get everything changed and deprive the kids of their college fund?

  2. What's the worst thing that could happen if we just let things stay in there?

I bet nothing is actually in the tank. If you look at that hose from the underside of the car, you will see that it makes several 90 degree bends. I bet that your rag and stick are stuck in the first bend. Now, you could take the filler hose off the tank and remove it from the car and clear out the debris or bring it to a dealer to have it done. As for the college tuition, I'd spend it to buy a lock for that gas tank!
Good Luck!
Drive Safely!
Bob, The Auto Answer Man

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