What’s the Best Way to Increase the Fuel Capacity of a Land Rover Defender for Long-Distance Travel?

April 18, 2024

In the world of off-road vehicles, the Land Rover Defender holds a special place. It’s a vehicle that exudes ruggedness and durability, designed to conquer the harshest terrains with relative ease. However, for all its strengths, one key aspect often leaves enthusiasts wanting for more – its fuel capacity. The standard fuel tank of a Land Rover Defender may not be enough for those epic long-distance adventures. But what’s the best way to increase the fuel capacity? Let’s delve into this subject and help you find the most effective ways to enhance your Land Rover Defender’s fuel capacity for extended range traveling.

Understanding the Land Rover Defender’s Fuel System

Before we get into the solutions, it’s crucial to grasp how the fuel system in a Land Rover Defender operates. This understanding will aid you in making informed decisions when augmenting your vehicle’s fuel capacity.

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The Land Rover Defender uses a single-tank fuel system. The fuel tank in most Defender models has a capacity of around 60 liters, which, based on the vehicle’s fuel consumption rate, can limit its range significantly. Especially when you’re driving off-road or in low-gear situations, the Defender’s fuel efficiency can be quite low. This is where additional fuel capacity can give you the edge in terms of range and peace of mind.

Of course, the way the Defender’s fuel system works is much more complex than this basic explanation, but this should give you a good foundation for understanding the enhancements we will be discussing.

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Larger Fuel Tanks and Auxiliary Tanks

The first and most straightforward option is to replace your Land Rover Defender’s existing fuel tank with a larger one. Several aftermarket manufacturers offer larger fuel tanks designed specifically for Land Rover models. These tanks are typically constructed to fit perfectly into the Defender’s existing fuel system without requiring any major modifications.

A larger fuel tank can potentially extend your Defender’s range by a significant margin, depending on the capacity of the new tank. However, keep in mind that a larger fuel tank will also add weight to your vehicle, which could affect performance and driving comfort.

If you prefer not to replace your existing fuel tank, consider adding an auxiliary fuel tank. Auxiliary tanks offer the same benefits as larger fuel tanks but are typically installed in addition to the existing tank. This gives you the option of carrying extra fuel when you need it, without adding unnecessary weight for everyday driving.

Long-Range Fuel Tanks and Dual Tanks System

A long-range fuel tank is another excellent option for increasing your Land Rover Defender’s fuel capacity. These tanks are designed specifically for long-distance travel and can hold considerably more fuel than standard tanks.

Most long-range fuel tanks are designed to replace the existing tank, but some models can be installed as a secondary tank. The key advantage of a long-range fuel tank is that it can significantly extend your vehicle’s range without the need for frequent refueling.

Alternatively, you can opt for a dual tanks system. This involves installing a second fuel tank in your vehicle, effectively doubling its fuel capacity. The dual tanks system works by transferring fuel from the secondary tank to the main tank, ensuring a constant supply of fuel. This option offers the maximum fuel capacity increase but requires a more complex installation process.

Additional Considerations

While increasing your Rover Defender’s fuel capacity will undoubtedly extend its range, there are some factors to take into account.

The increased fuel load will add weight to your vehicle, which can affect the suspension system, and may require an upgrade. The cost is another factor to consider, with larger tanks, long-range tanks, and dual tanks system varying significantly in price. Furthermore, altering the fuel system may affect the vehicle warranty.

Lastly, remember to observe all safety regulations when modifying your vehicle’s fuel system. Incorrect installation of fuel tanks can lead to dangerous situations, hence it’s always recommended to seek professional help.


This post has discussed the various ways you can increase the fuel capacity of your Land Rover Defender for long-distance travel. Whether you choose to install a larger fuel tank, an auxiliary tank, a long-range fuel tank, or a dual tanks system, the key is to weigh the benefits against the potential drawbacks. Consider your specific driving needs, the type of terrain you’ll be tackling, and your budget. With the right modifications, your Land Rover Defender can become the ultimate long-range off-road vehicle.

Mild Hybrid Technology and Fuel Capacity

In recent years, Land Rover has introduced mild hybrid technology into some of their Defender models. A mild hybrid is not a full hybrid system; instead, it combines a small electric motor with a conventional engine to help reduce fuel consumption and increase power. The introduction of this technology can be a game-changer when it comes to increasing your Land Rover Defender’s fuel capacity.

To understand how a mild hybrid technology can benefit your vehicle, let’s quickly delve into how it works. The system recovers energy usually lost during deceleration and stores it in a 48V battery. This stored energy can then be used to assist the engine when accelerating and provide additional torque, reducing the overall fuel consumption.

Now, you may be asking, "How does this increase my vehicle’s fuel capacity?" Well, it doesn’t increase the actual capacity of your Defender’s fuel tank. However, by reducing the amount of fuel consumed, it effectively increases your vehicle’s range, allowing you to drive longer distances without needing to refuel.

Just remember, while this is an efficient method to increase the capacity of your Rover Defender, it does not provide the same dramatic increase in range as installing a larger fuel tank or adding an auxiliary tank. In addition, it may require significant investment as it involves more than just a simple tank swap.

The Role of Air Suspension in Fuel Capacity

The Land Rover Defender is equipped with an air suspension system. This system gives the vehicle a smooth and controlled ride, even in off-road conditions. But did you know your Defender’s air suspension system can also play a role in managing its fuel capacity?

The air suspension system can impact your Defender’s fuel consumption. This system adjusts the vehicle’s height based on the terrain and driving conditions. When driving on highways or flat surfaces, the air suspension can lower the vehicle to reduce air resistance, which subsequently improves fuel efficiency. Therefore, a well-maintained air suspension system can indirectly increase your vehicle’s range.

However, note that a failing air suspension can decrease the car’s fuel efficiency, leading to more frequent refuelling. Therefore, regular check-ups and maintenance are essential. Remember, while air suspension can help with fuel efficiency, this is a secondary benefit. The main purpose of this system is to enhance driving comfort and control, especially during off-road adventures.


Increasing the fuel capacity of your Land Rover Defender for long-distance trips requires careful consideration and planning. The options explored in this guide, such as installing a larger or auxiliary fuel tank, utilizing a long-range or dual tank system, embracing mild hybrid technology, and maintaining the air suspension system, all provide ways to enhance your Defender’s fuel capacity.

Always consider your specific driving needs, the type of terrain you frequently encounter, the impact of added weight on your vehicle’s performance, and your budget. With this information, you can make an informed decision on how to best increase your Defender’s fuel capacity. With the right adjustments and care, your Defender can become a more efficient long-distance travel vehicle, ensuring that you can conquer the toughest terrains without worrying about your next refueling stop. Don’t forget to follow all safety regulations when making modifications to your vehicle’s fuel system, and whenever in doubt, seek professional help. Happy adventuring with your Land Rover Defender!