Sugar will clog, not kill, your car’s engine

Facts and lies about car safety abound. For example, an automotive myth is that sugar in the gas tank will kill the engine. Many people think that the sugar turns into syrup and fouls the car engine, leading to expensive maintenance and repairs. Let’s see why this myth is wrong and what happens when sugar mixes with gasoline.

The myth explained

Sugar falls from a spoon (left) and a gas cap | Al Barry/Three Lions/Getty Images; Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

The myth says that putting sugar in a vehicle’s gas tank will kill the engine or cause it to explode. Though it sounds terrible, it’s wrong, Popular mechanics Explain. First, understand that sugar doesn’t dissolve in gasoline like it does in water. The sugar remains in its granular form in the gas.

Then your fuel system includes several filters along the way to the engine. Most or all of the sugar would be caught in the fuel tank filter. If any sugar were to exceed that, it would have to pass through filters located at the tank pump inlet, fuel pump and fuel injectors.

If you have a vehicle with a carburetor, not fuel injectors, it still won’t cause significant damage because there are other filters in the system. Sugar granules are approximately 200 microns in size and are easily captured by these filters, which capture much smaller particles.

Mohammed Fatouraie, an engineer at Bosch, which makes fuel system parts, says sugar is much denser than gasoline. This means that much of the sugar would settle in the pockets of the tank instead of flowing into the fuel lines and causing problems requiring expensive repairs.

So should you leave sugar in your gas tank?

While the sugar in your gas tank probably won’t destroy your engine, it can damage parts of the fuel system. It is therefore preferable not to drive the vehicle with sugar in the tank. The biggest problem would be your fuel pump overheating, which could cause your engine to follow suit. In addition, it could burn out the pump.

This would happen if enough sugar clogs the fuel filters in the line leading to the pump, limiting the amount of fuel passing. Starving the fuel pump of gas would eventually burn out the pump, making replacement necessary, HotCars Explain.

If you suspect someone has poured sugar into your gas tank, take your car (by tow truck if possible) to a repair shop to have your fuel system cleaned, unless you are mechanically adept. The process involves dropping the tank, cleaning it, and replacing the affected fuel filters, which will likely cost you quite a bit at an auto repair shop.

How do you know if your car has sugar in its gas tank?

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If an angry neighbor or co-worker pours sugar into your gas tank without you knowing it, how will you know it’s happened before it damages the fuel system of your car? car ? Certain symptoms can alert you to something unpleasant going on with your vehicle.

One way to tell is if you notice any surges as the vehicle accelerates. Sugar clogged in a filter will restrict fuel flowing through the intake system, which will begin to starve your engine, causing surges to occur intermittently.

Another warning sign is if your engine stalls while driving. In some cases, the vehicle may not even start when there is not enough fuel in the engine or if sugar granules are clogging the filters. Additionally, you may find sugar pellets accumulated in the area around the fuel tank inlet when you go to pump gas.

These warnings are enough to alert you that something is wrong, and you should take your vehicle to a mechanic as soon as possible for servicing. Trained technicians will troubleshoot and encounter the sugar granules at some point.

The sugar in your gas tank can cause damage to your vehicle, but it won’t blow up your engine and cause serious injury. Nevertheless, have it cleaned as soon as possible to prevent damage to certain components of your fuel system.

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