One of the weirdest things that can happen is that you find sugar in your car’s gas tank. Though it might seem impossible, you can accidentally pour sugar into your gas tank.
Symptoms of sugar in the gas tank include engine hesitation, loss of power, black smoke from the exhaust pipe, and more. Remember that sugar in the gas tank is a serious problem and should be fixed immediately.
If you’ve mistakenly put sugar in your gas tank, this blog post will discuss the symptoms you cannot miss and how to solve the problem.
What Happens When You Put Sugar in Fuel Tank?
We all know sugar is bad for our health, but did you know it can also be bad for your car? If you pour sugar into your fuel tank, it can cause a lot of problems for the fuel system.
Let us systematically analyze what will happen if you pour sugar into a fuel tank.
The Reaction Between Sugar and Gasoline
Sugar is insoluble in gasoline, so when you pour it into the tank, it doesn’t dissolve. Instead, it falls to the bottom and coats the inside of the tank.
If you take a glass of gasoline, put some sugar in it, and shake it, you’ll see that the sugar doesn’t dissolve. After the gasoline evaporates, you’ll be left with a sugar coating on the glass.
Your Car Isn’t Going to Blow Up
This is a common urban legend that has been around for many years. The story goes that if you put sugar in a car’s gas tank, it will cause the engine to explode. However, this is not true, and no evidence supports this claim.
Sugar does not dissolve in gasoline, so it would not be able to clog up the engine. So, don’t worry if you have accidentally spilled some sugar in your gas tank – your car will not explode.
Components of Fuel System Get Contaminated
While sugar may not blow up your engine, it can still cause some damage. Sugar is a very fine powder, and when it is poured into the gas tank, it can get into all the nooks and crannies of the fuel system.
The first thing that will take the hit is the fuel filters. These filters are designed to remove fuel impurities before reaching the engine. But if they are clogged with sugar, they will not be able to do their job properly.
Sugar can also contaminate the fuel injectors. Fuel injectors are responsible for spraying fuel into the engine at high pressure. If they get clogged with sugar, the engine will not receive the proper amount of fuel and run lean. This can cause a decrease in power and efficiency and lead to engine damage in the long run.
The Sugar Would Not Alter the Combustion Process
There are several filters and blockades in a car’s fuel system that would prevent any sugar from actually reaching the engine. Even if some sugar did manage to get into the engine, it would not alter the combustion process. So, sugar in the gas tank won’t kill the engine.
Gasoline is made up of hydrocarbons – molecules that are made up of hydrogen and carbon atoms. When gasoline combusts, the hydrocarbon molecules break apart and form new molecules of carbon dioxide and water vapor. Sugar granules remain inert during this process and do not react with the other gasoline components.
What are the Symptoms of Sugar in Gas Tank?
Now that we’ve answered the question “what happens when you put sugar in a gas tank,” let’s talk about the symptoms you will experience if you accidentally pour sugar into your gas tank.
The most common symptoms include:
- Sluggish Acceleration
- Power Surges
- Engine Stalls
- Engine Stutters and Weird Noise
- Car Won’t Start
Now, let’s discuss each of these symptoms in detail.
1. Sluggish Acceleration:
One of the first symptoms after putting sugar you’ll notice is that your car is not accelerating. This is because the sugar is clogging up the fuel filters and preventing the proper amount of fuel from reaching the engine.
As a result, the engine will not be able to produce as much power, and it will take longer for your car to reach high speeds.
If you have sugar in your gas tank, you’ll probably notice that your car takes a little longer to reach highway speeds, and it doesn’t have the same pep as it used to.
2. Power Surges:
Another symptom of sugar in the gas tank is power surges. These occur when the car’s engine suddenly gets too much fuel, and it causes the engine to rev up unexpectedly.
This can be dangerous because it can cause you to lose control of the car. It can also damage the engine if it happens too often.
3. Engine Stalls:
Another common symptom of sugar in the gas tank is engine stalls. This happens when the car’s engine suddenly stops running.
Several things can cause it, but one of the most common causes is clogged fuel filters and bad fuel injectors. When the fuel filters are clogged with sugar, they can’t properly supply fuel to the engine, and it will eventually stall.
4. Engine Stutters and Weird Noise:
If you have sugar in your gas tank, you might also notice that the car’s engine starts to sputter and make weird noises.
This is usually caused by clogged fuel injectors. When the injectors are clogged with sugar, they can’t properly spray fuel into the engine, and it will start to run rough.
The engine may also make weird knocking or pinging noises due to the improper mixture of fuel and air.
5. Car Won’t Start:
One of the most common symptoms of sugar in the gas tank is that the car engine won’t crank or it won’t start at all.
The major reason behind this is the clogged fuel filters or injectors. If the fuel can’t reach the engine, it won’t be able to start.
Another possibility is that the sugar has eroded some of the electrical components in the fuel system. This can prevent the car from starting even if there is enough fuel.
How to Remove Sugar From the Fuel System?
If sugar has somehow gotten into your fuel system, it’s important to remove it as soon as possible. Sugar can cause all sorts of problems in a car’s engine and can even lead to catastrophic failure. Here’s how to remove sugar from your fuel system completely:
Replacing the Fuel Filter:
Replacing the fuel filter in a car is not very difficult and can be easily done at home with some basic tools.
Here are the steps to replace the fuel filter in a car:
- First, locate the fuel filter. Please take off the gas cap; it is usually located near the fuel tank or along the fuel line.
- Once you have located the fuel filter, disconnect the inlet and outlet lines from it.
- Now, remove the old fuel filter from its housing and install the new one in its place. Make sure that you securely tighten all the connections.
- Finally, reconnect the inlet and outlet lines to the new fuel filter and start the engine to check if everything is working properly.
If this solves the problem for you, then great! If not, you will have to move on to the next step.
Cleaning the Fuel Injectors:
If the sugar has clogged up the fuel injectors, they must be cleaned. Fuel injectors are very delicate and need to be handled with care.
Here are the steps to clean the fuel injectors:
- First, disconnect the negative battery terminal to avoid any accidents.
- Now, locate the fuel injectors and disconnect the electrical connectors from them.
- Next, clean the outside of the fuel injectors using a special cleaner.
- After that, using a fuel injector cleaning kit, clean the inside of the fuel injectors.
- Finally, reconnect the electrical connectors to the fuel injectors and start the engine to check if they are working properly.
If this doesn’t work, you must flush the fuel lines.
Flushing the Fuel Lines:
If your car has fuel intake lines that need to be flushed, you can do this at home with some simple steps.
You will need to have a few supplies on hand, including a catch basin or similar container, rags, and gloves.
- Make sure to work in a well-ventilated area, as gasoline fumes can be dangerous.
- Disconnect the negative battery terminal to prevent any sparks.
- Open the gas tank cap.
- Place the catch basin beneath the fuel line that needs to be flushed.
- Using the rags, carefully disconnect the fuel transmission lines from the fuel pump or other components. Be sure not to let any gasoline spill out onto yourself or your work area.
- Once the fuel line is disconnected, use the catch basin to collect any gasoline that may drip out.
- Start the engine with the fuel line disconnected and let it run until it stalls. This will help to clear any remaining gasoline out of the line.
- Now take the flushing chemical and insert it into the fuel line. Connect the other end of the fuel line to a garden hose and turn on the water.
- The flushing chemical and water will run through the fuel line, helping to clean it out. Let the process run for a few minutes before turning off the water.
- Reconnect the fuel line to the fuel pump or other components, being careful not to let any gasoline spill out.
- Reattach the negative battery terminal.
- Start the engine and check for leaks. If there are no leaks, you have successfully flushed your car’s fuel lines!
Removal and Cleaning of Car’s Gas Tank:
The sugar must be removed and cleaned if it has made its way into the gas tank.
Here are the steps to remove and clean a car’s gas tank:
- First, disconnect the negative battery terminal to prevent any accidents.
- Drain the gas tank completely by disconnecting the fuel line at the tank and placing it into a fuel container.
- Disconnect any electrical wires or hoses attached to the tank.
- Support the tank with a jack and remove the bolts holding it in place.
- Carefully lower the tank and remove it from the vehicle.
- Now, flush out the inside of the tank using a garden hose. Be sure to remove any sediment or debris that may be in there.
- Once the tank is clean, dry it off and reinstall it in the vehicle.
- Reconnect any electrical wires or hoses and attach the fuel line to the tank.
- Reattach the negative battery terminal and fill up the tank with fresh gasoline.
Your car’s gas tank is now clean and free of sugar!
Though sugar in the gas tank is a serious matter, if you act quickly, you can easily get rid of it. The best thing to do is to take it to a mechanic and have them remove it. Removing it yourself can be dangerous, and you’ll likely just end up making the problem worse.
Once the sugar is removed from the fuel system, you should have your car serviced so any damaged parts can be replaced. This will help prevent further problems down the road.
We hope this article has helped you understand what happens when you put sugar in a gas tank and how to fix it.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can you drive with sugar in the gas tank?
While you can continue to drive your car with sugar in the gas tanks, it’s not recommended. Sugar in the gas tank can ruin the car’s engine if it’s not removed quickly.
Sugar can clog fuel filters cutting the fuel supply, damage electrical components, and corrode metal parts. If you have sugar in your gas tank, you should take it to a mechanic so they can remove it and service the car.
Is sugar in the gas tank destructive?
No, while there are several downsides to having sugar in your gas tank, it’s not destructive. The main issue with sugar is that it can clog fuel filters and damage electrical components.
How much sugar is too much for the engine?
The amount of sugar that’s too much for the engine depends on the car. Some cars can tolerate a small amount of sugar, while others will have problems with just a little bit.
What is more destructive for your car, sugar or water?
Water in the fuel tank of your car is more harmful than sugar. Sugar does not dissolve in gasoline, so it will not clog up your fuel lines or harm your engine. Water, on the other hand, can cause serious damage to your car’s engine.
When water mixes with gasoline, it can form a corrosive mixture that can eat away at metal parts, causing them to break down and fail.
While the engine components run on an air-fuel mixture, if water gets into the mix, it can cause the engine to “hydrolock” or seize up, potentially causing serious damage. So while sugar may not be good for your car and fuel pump mechanisms, it’s not nearly as harmful as water.
How much does it cost to fix the problem of sugar in the gas tank?
The cost to fix the sugar problem in the vehicle’s gas tank depends on the extent of the damage. If the sugar has just clogged up the fuel filter, then it will be a relatively inexpensive repair. You can get your fuel filter replaced for less than $80.
The repair will be more expensive if the sugar has damaged electrical components. Depending on the part that needs to be replaced, you could look at a bill of several hundred dollars.
In general, the complete fuel system cleaning will cost between $200 and $400. This process will include flushing the fuel lines, removing and cleaning the gas tank, and replacing the fuel filter.