Home Diagnosis and TroubleshootingFuel Systems Sugar In Gas Tank – The Myth Gets Debunked

Sugar In Gas Tank – The Myth Gets Debunked

by Jordan Harris
Sugar In Gas Tank

Have you ever wondered what it’s going to happen if you or someone else pours sugar in your gas tank? You probably think that it’s going to ruin the car. And to some degree, you are right about that but that isn’t always the case. More about sugar in gas tank and its method of action we are going to cover in this article.

Adding sugar and other things that are not gasoline in your gas tank is not a smart idea. The fuel tank is designed to use only fuel and nothing else than that. But there are maleficent people that want to do harm to other people and they will pour some sugar in the gas tank or something else in order to do harm to you and your car. Just don’t be like that. That it’s the lowest point any human being can fall and it’s really frustrating for the owner.

The repairs when these things are done can cost thousands of dollars and could sometimes ruin the engine on the car. This will mean that the owner will also lose their car for a long time as the repairs will last forever. Even if the insurance covers the damage. You will probably get a lot of frustrations and will lose a lot of money. But that’s how things go. That’s why in this article we are going to help you out with your problem.

In this article, we will learn if sugar in gas tank can blow up the engine. Then we will learn the possible damage it could make. Later we will see which substances could really damage your engine and total your car. So, let’s get started.

What Is Sugar?

White sugar or also called granulated sugar is a condiment that we use on a daily basis to sweeten up things. This white sugar is produced by beets or cane sugar through the process of refining.

This process of refining is completely removing the molasses and gives the sugar that white coloring. As we can see, sugar has wide use and it basically sweetens up our lives. But some people want to use this condiment to do some harm to other people and try to damage other people’s property.

And this involves pouring sugar into other people’s gas tanks. Which is a criminal act to be honest and should be punished severely.

The people who want to harm you and your car think that this sugar will make your engine blow up and you will pay thousands in repairs. But are they right or, maybe not? Let’s see in the next chapter what will happen if you pour some sugar in gas tank. What kind of reaction it will cause and what could you expect if someone pours sugar into your gas tank? Also, we will learn what actions can you take when you notice that something is seriously wrong with your car. So, let’s get into the topic.

Can Sugar Blow Up The Engine? Truth Or An Urban Legend?

This story is somewhat a legend in the car community that if someone pours a whole bag of sugar can make your car engine blow up.

Many evil thinkers that done this to people were thinking that if you pour sugar in the tank the car will stop running forever. This isn’t the case, but it’s also not completely the opposite and your car will run forever if you have a whole bag of sugar in your gas tank.

The real truth is somewhere in the middle. Sugar in gas tank is not the thing that you need in reality. It can do harm. But it will not total your engine.

Many of these maleficent people think that sugar will dissolve inside the gas tank and will create a gooey mess that will be almost impossible to clean off. And when it mixes with gas will make the whole engine a really big mess.

This is not quite true. Sugar will not dissolve when mixed with gas. That’s something strange to believe. But it is true, sugar will not dissolve inside the gas tank.

But it will stay at the bottom of the gas tank and possibly enter your system. Which can result in possible damage to your car as well. Since the car doesn’t like to run on anything that isn’t gas.

Some people even tested the sugar myth and back in 1994. More precisely at the University of California. They mixed sugar and gas, then spun the concoction into a centrifuge, and at the end, they have measured the level of sugar that was dissolved. The conclusion was made that only less than one teaspoon was mixed with the gasoline which was roughly 15 gallons. This myth was then busted.

Possible Damage To The Car From Sugar In Gas Tank

Although many people still believe that sugar in gas tank can make the car not run. There are still people that are evil enough to do this practice and make harm to other people who have nice cars.

You should still be aware that some damage could be done and also this damage will require some extensive repairs and cleaning of your fuel system if the sugar is sucked by this system.

There could be a number of components that will get affected by this sugar in gas tank problem. In this chapter, we are going to cover all of the components that could get damaged if you have sugar in your gas tank. So, let’s get started.

Clogged Fuel Pump From Sugar

One of the first things that you will notice when you have sugar in your fuel tank is the clogged fuel pump. The sugar will be sucked by the fuel pump and the fuel pump will get overfilled with sugar and will stop working.

The pump can fail because it will not be able to withstand this load. This is the case because the fuel pump was designed to transfer liquid gas and not granulated sugar products.

When you enter the key and you don’t hear a click at the back before you crank over. It means that the pump has failed. And even if it doesn’t fail it will show some symptoms like unpleasant sounds and a possible check engine light on the dash.

This is the case because the fuel pump is connected to the computer and when something isn’t right. The computer will notice and will show a check engine light. You cannot immediately tell what is going on because the car has to be properly diagnosed with an OBD2 scanner tool.

But this check engine light will be a clear indication that there is something wrong. If you have an OBD2 scanner, you can connect the scanner and scan the car. If you get some codes connected with the fuel pump, then you know where your problem lies and this has to be checked.

Other symptoms that you might notice would be engine hesitation because of the lack of fuel that is entered the engine. The engine simply will struggle to run and will not have the same momentum as before. It will be low on power and will hesitate. In the worst case, it’s going to stall the engine will stop working.

Clogged Fuel Filter

If in some case, the sugar enters the fuel pump and it gets pumped into the system. The first in the line of defense would be the fuel filter.

The fuel filter’s job is primarily that. Fuel in essence is not that clean and it has some impurities that escaped the refining process. Or the fuel comes from refineries that have poor methods of work.

That’s why on every internal combustion vehicle there is a fuel filter in order to clean the fuel so that no impurities enter the engine and cause engine damage in the long run. But even if there are fuel filters, still some impurities known to escape and cause problems and damage the injectors.

Sugar In Gas Tank

So, let’s get back to our problem which is sugar in gas tank. Let’s say there is sugar in the gas tank and the sugar gets sucked in by the fuel pump. Most of the sugar is going to be stopped by the fuel filter.

As the fuel filter gets more and more clogged with the sugar. The sugar will basically prevent the transfer of fuel into the engine.

This means that the engine will get less and less fuel. The engine will start to hesitate and will be down on power. Similarly, to the fuel pump. If there is too much sugar in the fuel filter. It’s going to stop the fuel flow and the engine will stall eventually. It might start again but it will keep stalling. The engine will not be happy with this situation.

You will probably think that there is something wrong with the fuel delivery and that is the right assumption. You need to start looking at your problem inside of the gas tank or other fuel delivery components like the fuel filter.

Clogged Fuel Lines With Sugar

If the sugar enters your system, it can also clog the fuel lines as well. This substance is going to clog the lines and form pockets.

It will stick to some of the lines and there would be a buildup inside of the fuel line. This buildup can somewhat impair the fuel to pass freely and enter the engine.

If the fuel is interrupted and the passage of fuel is limited, it will result in problems as we mentioned above. The engine will struggle to run and will often start to develop issues like stalling or will require some extra gas input in order to not stall.

That’s why sugar in gas tank is something that you don’t want. The only solution for this issue will be replacing your fuel lines completely. And this can be costly work since you need to harvest fuel lines from a car in a junkyard and then replace the fuel lines.

This work will get quite expensive at the end of the day. Costing thousands of dollars to get all this mess fixed in order to make your car work perfectly well once again. That’s why if your car has struggled with hesitation. The best thing is to check the problem sooner than later. Because you never know what could be the issue. Maybe sometimes the best is to check if you have sugar in gas tank.

Clogged Injectors

The next thing that could possibly be affected is the clogged injectors. If sugar enters your fuel lines and reaches the injectors. You are highly likely that you are going to experience injector damage.

This damage would be most pronounced on direct injection engines. These engines do not want impurities. Any impurity can damage these injectors and cost hundreds or even thousands of dollars to replace. It is also possible to damage the fuel pump for the direct injection system as well.

If sugar gets into the pump and into the injectors. They will simply stop working from all of the debris that has been collected.

In this case, there is an option to repair them at some shops that are repairing these types of injectors. Or in a worst-case scenario, you will have to replace them with new ones. A single injector for these systems could cost hundreds of dollars.

That’s why sugar in gas tank is dangerous and could harm your fuel injection system. But can this sugar harm your engine? Let’s find out in the next chapter.

Possible Engine Damage

Even if the sugar passes through all of the obstacles and gets injected into the engine. It is highly unlikely that it’s going to do something bad to the engine and will damage the engine permanently. But why is this the case?

This is the case because even if sugar enters the engine. This amount will be unsubstantial. This amount could do no harm. It would simply burn off through the cylinder.

A small misfire will happen and that’s it. Since sugar burns when it reaches extreme hot temperatures, you should not be afraid that it will do some damage to your engine and will damage it permanently.

The important bit when it comes to sugar in gas tank is the fuel delivery system. This system is extra sensitive and could start to develop some problems if it’s exposed to sugar for a prolonged period. Or some amounts that are extremely big.

In this case, it is highly likely that you will have some troubles with some of these components that we discussed above and you will have to replace them if they went bad. These repairs are going to cost you hundreds in the best-case scenario or thousands in the worst case. That’s why getting your car insured will probably help if you get sugar in gas tank. And that we are going to cover next.

Will Insurance Cover This Damage?

If your car is insured then you highly likely will be covered when it comes to repairs. That’s why it is best to always insure the car. You just don’t know what could happen and the consequences that may occur like in this case with the sugar in the gas tank.

There are all types of people out there and they do not mean good to you. Either from envy or from evil desires to make other people feel bad will try to pull some of these tricks. Insuring your car will mean that at least you will be somehow paid if something goes wrong.

Sugar In Gas Tank

But every insurance company is different and not all of them will pay some damage. If you experience something like this is to best contact them right away and see if they cover this type of damage or see in your contract that you have with them to learn, what do they cover and what do they not cover. This way, you will know if you will get paid or not. Overall, not a good situation. But you need to work with what you have. But, avoiding this will be an excellent idea.

That’s why in the next chapter we are going to share some tips on how you can avoid getting your car damaged.

How To Avoid This Situation With Sugar In Gas Tank?

The best way to avoid this situation with sugar in gas tank ever happening to you is to watch out where you park. Not all neighborhoods are good and in some of them if you park overnight you could find your car on bricks with your wheels off and sold on the black market. Your catalytic converters cut off and also with sugar in gas tank.

That’s why always park your car in a safe area where you know that you won’t find your car in the morning vandalized. A good safe parking lot with security would be your best bet when dealing with vandals.

Another tip would be to watch out for your neighbors. There are all kinds of people these days and some of them would want to do more harm than good. The best thing is to have a camera in your driveway and see when someone is trying to pull something off on your car. Or if someone damaged the car, on the camera you will be able to somewhat see the person and report it to the police.

What To Do In This Situation, How To Clean The Gas Tank From Sugar?

Cleaning the system from sugar can be a painstaking process and will depend on how far the sugar has entered inside the system. But we are going to break it down in detail in this chapter for you to have a better perspective of what you can expect. Since doing this DIY is also an option and you have to eliminate the sugar from your vehicle 100%.

The first thing you need to do is to jack the rear end of the car and remove the fuel tank. This is the key step in all this work. If the tank is full of gas, then pay attention not to spill some of it on the ground and get yourself in a dangerous situation.

Once the tank is removed, you will have to drain the tank from all that dirty gas. Then after you remove the petrol, you need to wash the fuel tank from all that sugar and make sure that there is no sugar in gas tank left.

Then, leave the fuel tank to dry off. Until then, you have to wait. You can replace the fuel filter, clean the fuel pump, and also clean off the fuel lines with pressurized air. For this practice, you will have to unbolt the fuel lines at the engine and then with the help of a compressor to blow all of the dirty fuel and debris out of the lines.

Then you can reassemble everything and make sure that everything is connected well. Then pour fuel into the fuel tank and start the car. The car will not start right away. But as soon as it gets the right fuel pressure it will crank right off. Then, you are good to go and your problem is solved.

Sugar in Gas Tank Facts:

  • Sugar in a gas tank can cause damage to the gas tank and some engine components, but the myth that it can cause engine explosion or irreparable damage is greatly exaggerated.
  • Sugar does not dissolve in gasoline and remains in its granular form, but car filters can catch sugar granules before they cause serious damage to the engine.
  • Sugar granules sinking to the bottom of the tank and clogging filters can burn out the fuel pump and cause poor vehicle performance over time.
  • Warning signs of sugar in a gas tank include power surges, uneven acceleration, stalling, struggling and stalling while idling, and failure to start.
  • Trying to repeatedly start the car when it won’t start due to sugar granules can wear out the battery and starter prematurely.
  • Sugar can caramelize on fuel pump mechanisms if the fuel filter is located after the fuel pump.
  • Sugar won’t dissolve in gasoline like it does in water, so crystals will sink to the bottom of the tank and may cause a clog over time.
  • The gas tank and affected components have to be cleaned to remove sugar and restore the car to working condition, which may require a mechanic and a hefty repair bill.
  • Removing as much fuel as possible before cleaning the tank can reduce the risk of fume exposure.
  • After cleaning the gas tank, it should be wiped clean and let air dry for at least an hour before being reassembled and reinstalled.

Conclusion – Sugar In Gas Tank

In this article, we have covered a lot when it comes to the problem of sugar in gas tank. We have learned what sugar in gas tank is and how the sugar reacts when it is poured inside of the gas tank.

We have learned that the sugar when is in contact with gas it doesn’t melt and dissolve. It will simply get stuck at the bottom of the tank and then it will get sucked inside of the fuel pump.

That is the second problem that we have covered. It might not ruin the engine. But when there is sugar in gas tank. It will for sure going to cause some problems with your fuel delivery system. And as we noted, the fuel delivery system includes the tank, fuel pump, fuel filter, fuel lines, and injectors.

If you have sugar in gas tank. You will need to clean everything off and make sure that there is no sugar in the system if you want to return the functionality of your vehicle. Doing this at home will not going to cost you anything. But if you, do it at a shop. You will be highly likely to pay a lot of money in order to get this sorted out.

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