Do you know what happens when you pour sugar down into the gas tank of a vehicle? There has been a myth floating around about this for decades. Movies have been made with characters that do this. The idea is that if you pour sugar into someone’s gas tank, it is supposed to disable their vehicle and prevent them from driving. On top of that, it will supposedly ruin their engine and force them to pay thousands of dollars to have it repaired. Is this the reality of sugar in a gas tank? Well, yes and no.
Sugar does not dissolve when it is poured into gasoline. All those sugar granules will merely sink to the bottom of the gas tank and build up there. This is due to the weight of the sugar being more than the weight of gasoline. Now if there is just a little bit of sugar poured into the tank, then it might not cause any big problems. However, if enough sugar is poured into the tank, it could clog up the fuel transmission lines or the fuel filter. Once that happens, it will be more difficult for the proper amount of fuel to flow into the engine. This is where the real problems will begin.
Sugar in Gas Tank Symptoms
It is never a good idea to pour sugar into the gas tank of anyone. Even if you’re just playing a prank or trying to be funny, it will be a very costly prank for that person (or you if you’re caught doing it). But if you’re the victim in the situation, it is best to remove the sugar from the gas tank as soon as you notice the signs of it being there. Don’t wait too long to remove the sugar or else it could possibly damage your fuel system and/or engine.
Below are the top 5 symptoms of having sugar in the gas tank of your car.
1) Low Fuel Economy
If the flow of fuel to the engine is restricted because of a clogged fuel filter or fuel transmission line, the engine will struggle to generate enough power to sustain the demands of the driver. Because of this, the engine will be forced to work harder and demand more fuel to generate the same standard power. Then your fuel efficiency and fuel economy will diminish, forcing you to spend more money on gas than normal.
2) Weak Performance
A clogged fuel transmission line and fuel filter will reduce the amount of fuel that flows into the engine. When the combustion process takes place under these conditions, it won’t be able to generate enough power to satisfy your acceleration needs. Therefore, you will notice a weaker engine performance as you drive your vehicle.
3) Car Won’t Start
The worst-case scenario is that your car does not start at all. If you’ve neglected the other symptoms and let your fuel transmission line and/or fuel filter become excessively clogged, it will get to the point where no fuel will be able to reach the engine. If that happens, you won’t be able to start your engine.
4) Engine Stalling
This closely relates to a weak engine performance. Sometimes when there’s sugar in a fuel tank, the engine could experience stalling or hesitation while it is running. In the beginning, the hesitation should not last long. But if the problem is left unresolved, the hesitation will get worse as time goes on.
5) Less Fuel to Fill Tank
Since the sugar granules take up space in the fuel tank, this limits the amount of space available in there for additional fuel. You won’t be able to fill your fuel tank up as much as you previously could until the sugar is removed. If just a pint of sugar is in the tank, then you might not notice this difference in fuel capacity. But if half a gallon or more of sugar is in there, you will surely notice.