How to Check My Gas Tank Size by VIN Number (2024)

It's essential to know how large your vehicle's fuel tank capacity is for several reasons: foremost, the size of your car's fuel tank will let you know how many fills you have to do over what period, and secondly, you can just get to know how far your vehicle can go. This manual presents the following detailed explanation a reader may have about how one can know the gas tank size by VIN and many more different methods. You will be able to make informed decisions regarding the fuel consumption of your vehicle and maintenance.

What Is the Capacity of a Car’s Gas Tank?

Car capacity is the volume of its gas tank. The volumetric measure is typically in gallons. It varies for categories of vehicles, starting from compact cars up to SUVs and trucks; for example, from 12 gallons in a small sedan up to more than 30 gallons in a large truck. Knowing your car's fuel tank capacity helps one to plan out their trips and work better with their budget for fuel. It also helps in understanding the vehicle's range, which, with such information, you can easily tell how many times, or rather after how long a distance, one would have to make stops for extra fuel, hence very convenient for travel.

Can I Find the Gas Tank Size by VIN?

The VIN (Vehicle Identification Number) itself does not contain a specific digit that directly indicates the gas tank size. The VIN is a unique code assigned to every vehicle and contains information such as the manufacturer, model, year, engine type, and trim level. By using a VIN decoder, you can learn detailed information about your car, which can help you find the gas tank size. This process involves inputting your VIN into a reliable VIN decoder online, which then provides a comprehensive list of your vehicle's characteristics. While the VIN itself does not directly include the gas tank size, it helps access the necessary car information. This method is especially useful if you don’t have access to the owner's manual.

Where to Find Your Car’s Fuel Tank Size

How to Check My Gas Tank Size by VIN Number (1)

The size of your car's fuel tank can be found in several ways, but the easiest way is probably in the owner's manual. That document will have all the specifics about your car—the fuel tank capacity included. If you've misplaced the manual, you may also look up such details on the manufacturer's website under your car's make, model, and trim level. Moreover, the fuel tank size is typically posted on the sticker inside the fuel door, or it may be located on the driver's side door frame. A driver can quickly find this information by typing in their vehicle make and model number into a car-specific search tool online.

Average Car’s Gas Tank Sizes

The average gas tank size usually varies depending on the type of car. A compact vehicle usually has an average of 12 to 15 gallons within the tank. Generally, a mid-sized sedan has a fuel tank that has between 15 to 18 gallons of gasoline. An SUV will often carry tanks with capacities anywhere between 20 to 30 gallons or even more. These are pretty good averages to work from, but always check your specific vehicle's details to be sure. Understanding the average sizes helps when comparing different models. The fuel capacity also depends on whether the car has a limited bed size or a larger cargo area, which can impact the tank size.

Fuel Capacity vs. Size of the Engine

How to Check My Gas Tank Size by VIN Number (2)

Fuel capacity and engine size are often related, but they are not the same. Fuel capacity is the amount of fuel that the tank can hold, and engine size is pretty much the volume displaced by the engine, usually in liters. Concerning the fuel tank, the engine can also be massive, and the more massive it is, the more fuel utilization rate tends to be higher. However, this is not cast in stone; several factors would have a bearing on the size of the fuel tank. These may include features about the vehicle's design and what it is intended to perform. For example, a small but very fuel-efficient car may have a correspondingly small tank but even more range. In addition, trucks and SUVs designed for towing or going off-road would probably have larger tanks with a bigger fuel capacity. Other attributes affecting fuel tank size include weight, aerodynamics, and the intent of use. For instance, sports cars might prioritize performance and speed, leading to different fuel capacity considerations compared to economy cars focused on fuel efficiency.

Fuel Tank Size Terminology

Understanding the terminology associated with fuel tank sizes is crucial. Common terms include fuel capacity, fuel volume, and fuel tank size, all of which refer to how much fuel a tank can hold. Specifications often mention the number of gallons a tank can hold. Knowing these terms helps when reading your vehicle’s specifications or discussing your car’s fuel needs with a mechanic. It’s also useful when comparing vehicles, as different models may use varying terminology. Below is a table of key terms related to fuel tank sizes:

GallonsA unit of measurement for liquid capacity; one gallon equals approximately 3.785 liters.
Usable Fuel CapacityThe portion of the total fuel tank capacity that can be used by the engine, excluding reserve.
Reserve FuelA small amount of fuel is typically left in the tank to prevent running empty.
Fuel EfficiencyA vehicle's ability to convert fuel into distance traveled often impacts tank size needs.
Fuel RangeThe estimated distance a vehicle can travel on a full tank of fuel depends on efficiency.

Why Do You Need to Know Your Gas Tank Size?

How to Check My Gas Tank Size by VIN Number (3)

Knowing your gas tank size is important for several reasons. It helps you estimate how often you’ll need to fill up, which is useful for budgeting fuel costs. It also allows you to plan trips more effectively, ensuring you won’t run out of fuel unexpectedly. Additionally, understanding your tank size can aid in maintaining your vehicle’s health, as it helps in choosing the right fuel and managing your vehicle’s fuel system efficiently. It's also crucial for safety, preventing you from running out of gas in inconvenient or dangerous situations. Furthermore, knowing your gas tank size can assist in optimizing fuel stops, especially during long journeys or in areas with limited refueling options. It can also be helpful when comparing different vehicles, as it allows you to evaluate their fuel efficiency and range capabilities. This knowledge can even impact your insurance rates, as vehicles with different fuel capacities may have varying risk profiles.

Cars with the Biggest and the Smallest Fuel Tank Capacity

Cars vary significantly in fuel tank capacities. Large fuel tanks are usually attached to full-size trucks and SUVs, with the capacity often going above 30 gallons. For example, a Ford F-150 might carry up to 36 gallons in its tanks, depending on the model. On the other side of the equation, compact cars like the Mini Cooper have far smaller fuel tanks—usually between 10 and 12 gallons. These differences arise from the varying needs and designs of these vehicles, either for long-distance driving and heavy use or city driving. That calls for large tanks in such vehicles to have fewer stop-and-go refills when going on a long trip or a car that is doing very hard work. Fuel-efficient small tanks are usually found in cities where stops for refueling stations are handy. This diversity in fuel tank sizes also influences the overall design and weight distribution of the car, impacting performance and handling.


In summary, understanding your car’s gas tank size is essential for effective vehicle management. Whether you use a VIN decoder or check the owner's manual, knowing this information can help you plan fuel stops, budget for fuel, and maintain your car better. Different cars have varying fuel tank capacities, so knowing your specific vehicle’s characteristics is important. This knowledge is not only practical but also enhances your overall driving experience, ensuring you’re prepared for any journey. Being aware of your gas tank size can help you compare vehicles more effectively when making a purchase. It can also aid in calculating potential fuel costs and assessing the vehicle's suitability for your travel needs.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Check the fuel tank size specified in your owner's manual to determine how many gallons your car needs. It will state the maximum capacity in gallons—that is, the total amount of fuel that your tank can hold when full. A way of estimating would be to fill up your tank and track how much was needed to reach total capacity.

A big gas tank is not always advantageous. This allows for a more extended driving range between fill-ups, but it does bring along that much more weight, which can affect fuel efficiency. Larger tanks are also usually more expensive, and not all drivers need the extended range that a big tank would provide. The best tank size depends on your driving habits and needs.

Fuel efficiency does not regard tank size directly. Fuel efficiency regards the distance that a vehicle can cover, while tank size refers typically to the volume that a given tank can hold. It could be that a small car is fuel-efficient but has a small tank, and a large truck has a big tank but is not fuel-efficient. The understanding of the two terms will help make an informed choice regarding a car.

How to Check My Gas Tank Size by VIN Number (2024)


How to Check My Gas Tank Size by VIN Number? ›

By using a VIN decoder, you can learn detailed information about your car, which can help you find the gas tank size. This process involves inputting your VIN into a reliable VIN decoder online, which then provides a comprehensive list of your vehicle's characteristics.

How do I find out what size my gas tank is? ›

You can find the fuel tank capacity of your vehicle in the "Capacities and Specifications" section of your Owner's Manual. Tip: To search the owner's manual a computer, press CTRL+F on your keyboard to open a search box in your browser. You can then enter any term, such as "Fuel Tank Capacity," to search in the guide.

How do I find out my fuel tank capacity? ›

To do this, simply get the owner's manual of your vehicle and flip through the pages until you find the vehicle specifications section. In this section of the manual, you can be sure to find out just how much fuel your vehicle can hold in gallons or liters.

How do I know how much my gas tank holds? ›

Find out the capacity of your gas vehicle's gas tank. This information can be found in your vehicle's owner's manual. Most vehicles gas tank capacity ranges from ten gallons for small compact cars to forty gallons for large trucks or SUVs.

Can I look up the specs of my car with a VIN number? ›

By using a VIN decoder--like the one found here - you can learn what each character of a VIN reveals about the unique vehicle in question. Can I look up my vehicle specs by VIN number? Yes. Enter a VIN here to discover vehicle specifications, options, and more.

How many gallons is my car tank? ›

Most vehicles' average fuel tank capacity is between 10.5 and 18.5 gallons. Smaller vehicles like subcompact crossovers and other hatchback models generally hover somewhere around 12 gallons. However, subcompact models, like the Chevrolet Spark, yield a 9-gallon tank.

Where can I find my fuel capacity? ›

Typically the owner's manual provides a reasonable estimate of your vehicle's fuel tank capacity. Some manufacturers estimate that the capacity of a fuel tank may vary by as much as three percent from the actual tank capacity.

How do I know the capacity of my tank? ›

Let length be L, Breadth be B, and Height be H. So, if we take: L = 8ft B = 6 ft D/H = 5 ft Then the volume of the tank will be 8 x 6 x 5 = 240 ft³ We all know that 1ft³ is equivalent to 28.31 liter Therefore, the total volume of tank in liters will be 240 x 28.31 = 6794.4 liter.

How do I figure out how much gas I need for my full tank? ›

First, divide the distance of the route by your miles per gallon figure to discover how many gallons of gas you will need, then multiply the number of gallons by the price of gas.

How big is the fuel tank on a car? ›

Automotive fuel tanks

The average fuel tank capacity for cars is 50–60 L (12–16 US gal). The most common materials for fuel tanks are metal or plastic. Metal (steel or aluminium) fuel tanks are usually built by welding stamped sheetmetal parts together.

Can my VIN number tell me what features my car has? ›

The VIN number tells you when and where the car was built. It tells you the manufacturer, year, make and model, and the trim level including unique features and specifications. Your car's VIN number can be used to track recalls, registrations, warranty claims, thefts and insurance coverage.

How to find vehicle information with VIN number? ›

Step 1: Go to and enter the full VIN into NHTSA's VIN decoder, then click Decode VIN. Step 2: Refer to the field at the bottom of the page result, which expressly lists the build plant and country for the searched vehicle.

Can I look up car parts by VIN number? ›

Using your VIN to find parts for your vehicle is the best way to can locate the correct parts that will fit your specific vehicle, especially if you're not familiar with the features of your vehicle or what options it may have had when it was built.

How do I know what size gas bottle I have? ›

Cylinder Gas Content and Sizes

The easiest and safest way to determine the contents of a gas cylinder at your business is by checking the label. The cylinder labels will tell you everything you need to know about the gas specifications inside the cylinder, the potential hazards and safety warnings.

How do I know what size gas line I have? ›

To determine the size of piping used in a gas piping system, the following factors must be considered: (1) Allowable loss in pressure from point of delivery to appliance. (2) Maximum gas demand. (3) Length of piping and number of fittings.

How do I know how many gallons of gas I have left? ›

Newer vehicles have a low fuel light that illuminates and often come equipped with technology that informs you on how many miles you can proceed before running out of gas. Further explanation: If the gas tank on a car holds 20 gallons of gas, and the gauge read "1/2", you have 10 gallons of gas.

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