5 Symptoms of Water in the Car Gas Tank and Tips to Fix

A lot of people don’t realize that it is possible for water to get into the gas tank of their vehicle. This doesn’t mean that someone maliciously puts water in there or anything like that. When you’re at the gas station pumping fuel into your gas tank, check the nozzle to see if there are any water droplets on it. Depending on your location and the weather outside, the formation of condensation could cause water to enter your gas tank. This is not good for the functionality of your vehicle.

A vehicle can only move forward after the internal combustion engine has ignited a mixture of air and fuel. There needs to be just the right amount of air and fuel for this combustion to be successful. Otherwise, there will be either a weak ignition of the mixture or no ignition at all. When water gets into the fuel tank, it ends up mixing with the fuel. This causes diluted fuel to enter the fuel tank. As a result, the fuel does not burn completely because of its water elements.

5 Symptoms of a Water Inside the Gas Tank

You’ll know when you have water in your gas tank because the symptoms will be too obvious. You should not ignore these symptoms because they will only get worse as time goes on. Furthermore, they’ll impact your ability to drive your vehicle in a way where it performs well. So, you need to recognize these symptoms as they occur and then do something about them.

Below are the top 5 symptoms of water in the fuel tank of your car.

1) Engine Misfires

When you have water mixing with fuel and then with air, this increases the chance of a misfire during the combustion process. You need the perfect amount of fuel and air with no water for combustion to be successful.

2) Weak Acceleration

The acceleration of your vehicle becomes much weaker when you have a poor air and fuel mixture in the combustion chamber. Even if your engine doesn’t misfire, you’ll still have trouble moving faster as you step on the gas pedal to accelerate.

3) Check Engine Warning Light

The “Check Engine” warning light will illuminate on your dashboard soon after the water issue in your gas tank starts causing you problems. If you’ve already experienced engine issues from the water, then you shouldn’t be surprised when you see this light coming on.

4) Rough Idle

A rough idling engine is another symptom of water in the gas tank. You’ll experience a shaky or bouncy vehicle when you’re stopped or moving. Check the tachometer and you’ll see the RPM needle going all over the place.

5) White Smoke

After the ignition takes place in the combustion chamber, the water in there evaporates. Think about what happens when you boil water in a pot over the stove. What do you see? White smoke, right? Well, the same thing will happen here because white smoke will start coming out of the exhaust pipe in this circumstance.

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Tips to Fix

The best solution for removing water from your gas tank is to empty the entire gas tank and then refill it with new fuel. You should also replace the fuel filter as well. This job sounds easier than it really is because it will require a vacuum machine to extract water from the gas tank. Since you probably don’t have such a machine at your home, then you’re better off going to a mechanic to have it done. Of course, you can purchase them on Amazon.com if you really want to do it yourself. It’s more time consuming than anything else.

Alternatively, if your fuel tank only has small amounts of water in it, then try putting a special fuel additive or methanol in your gas tank.  The “STP All-Season Water Remover” is a good fuel additive. This won’t get rid of large quantities of water, but it will take care of water droplets or condensation issues.

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