Dear Car Talk:

I removed the gas tank from my 1995 Ford Ranger extended cab so I could replace the fuel pump. The old fuel pump inside the tank has two hoses running from it that are not connected to anything. When I install the new fuel pump, what do I do with those hoses?

I've looked at repair manuals and on YouTube, and no one mentions these hoses. -- Robert

Fortunately, I haven't seen the inside of a '95 Ford Ranger gas tank in many years, Robert. So, if nothing else, your letter has served to remind me of my good fortune.

There are only two hoses running from the pump. One is the high pressure line, which sends fuel to the injectors. The other is the return line, which dumps fuel that the injectors don't use back into the tank.

If you're seeing any additional hoses in there, you've either been breathing too many gasoline fumes, or you're looking at an emissions hose that someone may have attached to the fuel pump by mistake.

Fuel tanks are designed to allow gasoline vapors to escape the tank and be stored in a nearby charcoal canister. The vapors are stored there until the next time you start the car, when they're sucked into the fresh air charge and burned in the cylinders.

So maybe one of those hoses goes to the fuel vapor line, where vapors exit the tank on their way to the canister. Or maybe, when you bought your previous fuel pump, they were having a buy-one-get-one-free sale on hoses that go nowhere. I really don't know.

My advice would be to get hypnotized and forget you ever saw two hoses hanging off the old pump. As long as you follow the instructions for the new pump, and hook up the lines that are provided properly, I suspect everything will work correctly, Robert.

Got a question about cars? Write to Ray in care of King Features, 628 Virginia Drive, Orlando, FL 32803, or email by visiting the Car Talk website at www.cartalk.com.

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