4 Cylinder Fuel Tap Fix

4 Cylinder Reserve Fuel Tap Leak

Richard asked that I post this as a sticky Last November, Sorry for the delay.

For a 4 cylinder car with a leaky fuel tap, replacing the O-ring can be a fairly easy fix.
Make sure you get a fuel resistant O-ring or you will be doing this again!
On these cars, the reserve is in the engine bay and fairly accessible.
I siphon out the fuel tank and with the car on a level floor, don't lose a lot of petrol during the procedure.
Be sure to have a bucket handy to place under the car to catch any fuel that does spill.

There are three fittings in the pic (red, yellow green arrows) that you will be using.

I start by loosening the screw of the attachment at the yellow arrow to release the control cable. Don't unscrew it all the way as the small screw can fall out.
Loosening the nut at the green arrow, you can get enough give to pull the control cable out of the attachment. Get ready to catch the attachment as it is not held in place.
Then, loosen and remove the small screw at the red arrow. Keep a finger or two on it as it to will fall under the car and can be easily lost.
Now the arm can be pulled out.

Heres a pic of the arm out of the tap.

Here you can see the channel the top screw sits in.

Replace the O-ring, replace the arm and top screw. Ensure the top screw is sitting in the channel.
Reattach the control cable, test and adjust so it stops in the right spots.


This reminds me - my reserve tap seems to have seized in the reserve position - the arm will not budge. I have tried dismantling it as shown - I first tried WD40, and tried using a screwdriver to lever the arm out; I even resorted to using a toffee hammer to try and get the arm to budge out of reserve mode, but it was not having it. I'm not going to risk using a larger hammer, as I don't wish to break it. For now, I have left it as is, because it still lets fuel through the reserve side. I don't mind it being in the reserve position, as it enables all the fuel tanks capacity to be used, and other car makes made do without the reserve, so it isn't an absolute necessity. But seeing as she is a Rover, I think it would be nice to have a working fuel reserve system. I have even been considering a new tap, there was even one on ebay the other day; but I had to kick myself because I forgot about it and the auction ended 10 mins before I remembered. :oops: Any other suggestions?

Cheers, Adam.
If you can take the tap out of the car, you can apply heat and then penetrating oils a few times to free it up. This worked on mine. I do not recommend doing this with the tap in the car though!
my tap is on bulkhead-moved it to fit buick-however am thinking of taking it out completely-as it is restricting my fuel flow :(


Staff member
Unless you like running the car to empty, then to my mind the only real function of the reserve tap is so that the button in the car actually does something....
I find the reserve tap extremely useful, generally using it every third or fourth fill. Saves queuing if the petrol station's busy - I know I'll have enough to get home and back tomorrow.
Easy enough to take off and it's solid brass, the little grub screw holds the sleeve in place with the o ring on, boil in the pan or penetrating oil usually gets it moving