Home Diagnosis and TroubleshootingFuel Systems Water In Gas Symptoms – What Should You Look Out For?

Water In Gas Symptoms – What Should You Look Out For?

by Jordan Harris
Water In Gas Symptoms

The term contaminated gas is frequently misunderstood to refer to nasty chemicals. And while that may be the case sometimes, water is a simple, safe source of it. But what if water gets into the gas? What are the water in gas symptoms?

Why does your gasoline tank have water in it? Although you might believe it’s unusual for water to enter your gasoline tank, there are a variety of methods it might do so.

Water In Gas Tank

Water In Gas Tank

First off, before we can even talk about water in gas symptoms, let’s consider that the gas station may have malfunctioning pumps. This would indicate that they were purposefully breaking the law here.

Second, it’s possible that water accidentally entered their gas storage tanks. This occurs when staff members neglect to replace the cover. Water can also enter the home when it rains.

Thirdly, if the tank is not correctly sealed, moisture outside can also collect water vapor that is simple to get inside.

Fourth, there’s a chance that the top gasoline pump on your car is damaged, which could let water inside.

Fifth, the fuel pump at the gas station can circulate water all over because ground water can enter the storage tank. Although it doesn’t frequently happen, it is still a possibility.

The sixth, and frequently the most prevalent, is carelessness. While cleaning your car, you (or a professional car wash service) can fail to secure the gasoline tank cap. When you rinse it with water, this allows water to enter.

What To Put In Gas Tank To Ruin Engine

A gas tank may be damaged by a variety of factors. Here are a few examples.

1. Coke

A mess of caustic sludge will be produced if the chemical composition is combined with the gasoline inside the gas tank. The car’s engine may then become clogged as a result. It has been demonstrated that coke harms your car’s engine.

Put coke inside your gas tank to harm your car’s engine if that’s what you want to do, but never do it if you want to keep your car’s engine in good shape. The amount of coke you add will decide how much damage has been done.

Coca-cola can quickly destroy your engine if you put it in a gas tank. Your car’s exhaust gases will give off a faulty signal. You’ll notice that your car is emitting fumes.

2. Salt

Water In Gas Treatment

Large amounts of salt will also contribute to corrosion at the gas tank’s bottom. Salt crystals will enter the fuel pump if the salt is combined with the gasoline. The filter will become obstructed if this takes place.

Consequently, the engine could no longer be able to function. The car may also become overheated. While salt may not harm a car as severely as bleach, it can nevertheless lead to rust.

3. Sugar

When sugar is added to gas tanks, the fuel transforms into surgical petroleum. Gasoline does not cause the sugar to melt. Sugar will clog the gasoline filter as a result.

The sugar will end up in the bottom of the gas tank if it gets inside and passes through the fuel tank, which will ruin both the gas tank and the car’s engine. If you wish to harm an automobile’s engine, this might also be quite successful. However, this is not just applicable to sugar.

Any sugar-containing beverage has the potential to harm a car’s engine. The same is true of many other products manufactured with a lot of sugar, such as honey syrup.

You’ll need to clean your system’s filter, gasoline pipe, and other engine components to make this right. This will be required to get rid of any remaining sugar in the system.

4. Water

The engine of the car will be ruined if water is added to a gas tank. It can be dangerous to drive with water in your gas tank. An automobile cannot run quickly if there is water in the gas tank. Driving while without knowing this can be dangerous since you risk losing control of the vehicle.

Initially, your car may function smoothly, but after some time, you risk losing control of it. This could be risky since you might get into an automobile accident. Therefore, always check your car for anything out of the ordinary.

5. Hydrogen Peroxide

When talking about water in gas symptoms, note also that gas and hydrogen peroxide don’t go well together. The burst rate will rise and your car and its engine will reach high temperatures if you combine gas with hydrogen peroxide.

Your car’s power and speed can both be increased using hydrogen peroxide. It must not, however, be combined with gas. As already established, the engine has the potential for overheating, burning, and eventual destruction.

6. Bleach

Driving a car with bleach in the gas tank is extremely risky. The engine and other mechanical components of the car may corrode and rust if bleach is allowed to sit in the gas tank for an extended period. Some people use bleach to accomplish their goal of destroying a car’s engine.

It can seriously harm an automobile’s engine. Bleach is made up of 90% water, and water can harm a car’s engine. The result is essentially the same.

Avoid pouring bleach into your gas tank at all costs. The automobile will initially start to run, but if it starts to consume bleach and detects no sign of fuel anymore, it will stop. The engine in your automobile will be seriously damaged, and you may have to spend a lot of money having it fixed.

The amount of bleach you put in the gas tank will decide the extent of the harm. It may not likely do any harm if there is only a small amount of it. However, if a gas tank has a lot of bleach in it, damage may have been done.

Bleach in large quantities harms gas tanks. Although it might not happen right away, the engine in your car will gradually suffer harm.

If this occurs, you will need to clean the fuel line and filter in your gas tank. The worst part is having to talk to a mechanic.

Water In The Gas Tank Symptoms

Water In Gas Symptoms #1 – Corroded Fuel Pump

Once it reaches the fuel tank, water condenses at the bottom of the tank. This indicates that the majority of the actual damage takes place when the tank is nearly empty. When this occurs, the pump will start to draw water up from the bottom. Rust develops over time around your fuel tank.

Water In Gas Symptoms #2 – Issues With Acceleration

One of the water in gas symptoms is that your automobile might start without a hitch, but when you depress the pedal, you might experience difficulty. Watch out for what causes coolant leaks including coughing and spitting sounds. You might occasionally also notice that your car moves jerkily when you hit the gas pedal.

An abrupt shift in speed while utilizing the same gear while driving may also be noticeable.

Water In Gas Symptoms #3 – Vehicle Won’t Start

You might be unable to start the motors if water gets on the piston top (and starting it).

Water In Gas Symptoms #4 – Phase Separation

Phase separation may occur when gas, particularly when it has been older than 30 days. When water separates from gasoline, phase separation occurs. It frequently happens, especially with ethanol-containing fuel (just to make sure, it’s always a good idea to use an E10 checker).

The major takeaway from this is to avoid idling your fuel for more than two months. In reality, even a month is pushing it, especially if the gasoline you purchased isn’t premium.

Water In Gas Symptoms #5 – Less Efficient Use Of Fuel

You may observe that you fill up your gas tank far more frequently than you always did. This is because water dilutes gas and can evaporate when heated, leaving less fuel than you had expected.

Water In Gas Symptoms #6 – Problems With Idling And Starting

Your automobile may have tainted fuel if you observe it sputtering (to learn more, check out our guide on sputtering engine when accelerating), surging, or even stalling out when it is idling.

Similarly to this, your fuel may contain water if starting your automobile is tough for you or if it constantly starts, then dies down.

Water In Gas Treatment

We’ll examine three different forms of fuel additives that eliminate water.

These consist of:


The chemical ISO-HEET works well to get rid of water from your fuel tank. Compared to other additives, it can remove up to five times as much water.

Twenty gallons of fuel can be used from one bottle.

It functions as an antifreeze and has a quality that stops rust in the fuel system of your car. This supplement will eliminate condensation-related dampness during the summer.

Utilization of ISO-HEET

Use ISO-HEET if it’s hot outside and moisture gets into your gas tank. Additionally, if you don’t take out the water during the colder months, it may freeze and prevent your car from starting.

Therefore, it is advised to use it when the prognosis indicates that temperatures will remain below 20 degrees Fahrenheit for weeks to come.

Before moisture freezes inside your fuel tank, you can utilize it as a preventative step.

How ISO-HEET Function

A bottle of ISO-HEET bonds to any water in your tank when you add it, and it sinks to the bottom. They weigh more than gasoline, which is why.

It prevents the water from freezing, which would otherwise obstruct the fuel pump and gas line from pumping. The engine of your car begins to burn fuel the instant you turn the key.

Gasoline, water, and an additional substance called methanol are all consumed during this procedure.

But given that the fuel already contains methanol, you might be perplexed as to why it is included in the addition. Well, ISO-HEET offers further defense against the tank’s water freezing.

Is Your Car Safe From ISO-HEET

There are no inside automobile components that this chemical will harm. It maintains your fuel system clean and stops rusting.

2. BG Fuel System Preventer & Drier For Ethanol

This additive works by absorbing the moisture inside your fuel tank and is just as effective as ISO-HEET. As the fuel burns in the engine to produce electricity, it removes the water that was suspended on top of the fuel.

It doesn’t obstruct gasoline flow and stops water within the tank from freezing into ice.

Inside the fuel system, it offers a shielding coating that guards against corrosion and cleans the system. This is because the stabilizers in this addition are excellent and prevent fuel from oxidizing.

Additionally, they prevent ethanol, a component of gasoline, from forming gum and varnish.

3. STP Water Remover

This additive functions in the same way as the two others discussed earlier and the one displayed above.

In cold weather, it keeps water from freezing inside the gasoline tank, while in warm weather, it stops condensation. As it prevents corrosion, it also contributes to the efficient operation of your car’s fuel system.

Pour the entire contents of the bottle into your gas tank when you’re ready to use it. Keep in mind to fill your tank at least halfway.

Water In Diesel Fuel Symptoms

Anyone who uses diesel fuel, including contractors, landscapers, delivery services, and auto dealerships, is aware that dealing with water issues is a constant problem. Whether you keep it in storage for a long time or not, that is the case.

You’re in trouble if water enters diesel fuel systems. This kind of engine suffers greatly from the presence of water. Let’s examine the primary reasons why water and diesel fuel shouldn’t combine.

1. Wintertime Issues Occur

We all are aware that water may freeze. Yet did you know that it freezes more quickly than fuel? Here is a contrast:

  • 32 degrees Fahrenheit water
  • Fuel at -20° Fahrenheit

Thus, water in your gasoline freezes and creates issues like power loss, clogged filters, fuel component corrosion, and injector wear when it gets into your fuel system. Therefore, if there is water, you will notice greater issues in the winter.

Diesel holds onto water more than gas does, so even if having water in your diesel tank is undoubtedly bad, it’s worse with diesel because it does. The lifespan of the engine may reduce in addition to the aforementioned issues, and the repairs are rather costly.

For instance, it will be expensive if you have to repair the fuel injector as it exploded.

2. What Happens To The Water

Water and diesel don’t mix; they separate, just like water and oil don’t. Therefore, water in your tank sinks to the bottom if there is any. Your gas tank would rust and there will be an algae bloom due to the water.

The fuel filters become clogged and damaged when the rust drifts around. Bacteria continue to obliterate the engine and its components while producing garbage.

Condensation can build up and then dissolve due to variations in the outside temperature. That isn’t the issue. It occurs when there is an excessive water concentration.

When that happens, problems like engine power loss happen. Check the fuel’s clarity; if it’s clear, that’s okay. There is a problem if it isn’t, like if it’s cloudy. Maintenance is crucial for this reason.

3. How To Tell If Your Diesel Fuel Contains Water

There’s a very good chance that there are water issues if you find your car or the equipment is not performing well, especially if there is inconsistent idling. If the engine goes out while accelerating is one of two additional ways to tell.

Once inside your tank, bacteria quickly grow, produce waste, and are challenging to get rid of. The fact that bacteria and fungus require water to survive makes this especially the case if water is still an issue.

Removing Water From Diesel Fuel

Removing Water From Diesel Fuel

A gasoline additive might be effective if there isn’t much water in the tank. But if not, you’ll need to empty the tank. If you have an above-ground tank, that is your best and most comprehensive alternative.

After that, clean the interior and remove any corrosion and rust. Diesel fuel including water is a major issue that needs immediate fixing.

Diesel engines’ fuel pumps run at extremely high pressures and with extremely tight tolerances. Water is one type of contamination that might result in expensive harm.

Additionally, water in the fuel might encourage the development of fungi and bacteria. As the slime produced by these microorganisms travels through the fuel system, it clogs filters and fouls fuel injectors. Acids that they create can corrode metal surfaces.

Step 1

Analyze the diesel fuel to see whether there is any water present. Use a hand-operated bilge pump to extract a tiny amount of the suspicious gasoline.

Put the fuel in a clean, transparent glass container, and leave it there for 24 hours in a dim location.

Given that diesel is lighter than water, any water present will sink to the bottom of the container.

See if you can spot a small black line separating the water from the fuel. If there is, bacteria have begun to proliferate, necessitating the addition of a biocide.

Step 2

Allow the fuel to rest. Ideally for one day, refrain from moving the container. This holds whether the fuel tank is on a car or boat.

Step 3

If there is a gasoline filter, bleed the water out of it. You should install fuel-water separators with petcocks at the bottom in storage containers and diesel-specific boat fuel tanks. Some are transparent, making it simple to determine when all the water has run out.

It is better to drain excessively than insufficiently.

Step 4

Pump the water out of the bottom of the tank if the fuel is in one without a fuel filter. Make sure to attach the extension hose to the bilge pump with enough hose to extend to the tank’s bottom. Pump all the water you can out of the tank’s bottom.

Step 5

Pour the diesel slowly through the Baja filter into a different container if it is in a hand-carried gasoline can.

Step 6

Include biocide. You can get commercial diesel fuel biocides at numerous boating supply stores, marinas, truck stops, and auto parts stores.

When adding biocide to the fuel, follow the manufacturer’s instructions.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does Gasoline Go Bad

Diesel can last up to a year before it starts to deteriorate, whereas regular gasoline has a shelf life of three to six months. On the other hand, oxidation and evaporation can cause ethanol with an organic base to lose its ability to burn in three months or less. It can be quite challenging to keep track of the age of the fuel in your tank.

How Many Gallons Of Gas Does A Car Hold

Typically, a compact car can hold 12 gallons of fuel. A larger vehicle has a gas capacity of up to 15 gallons and occasionally even more.

What Happens If You Put Sugar In A Gas Tank

Similar to any sediment, too much sugar can clog the fuel filter or the fuel injectors. This can require draining the gas tank or changing the gasoline filter. This shows it’s a sleazy ploy that will ultimately cost you money, albeit not nearly as much as complete engine destruction.

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