Are you having bad gas in car and you are thinking of fixing this problem? If this is the case, then you are at the right place because we are going to cover everything you need to know when it comes to bad gas in car and learn how to overcome this problem quickly and effectively.
Having a problem like this can be a frustrating thing to deal with since nobody wants to have bad gas in car. But if your car was not running for a while. A situation like this is completely normal since gas doesn’t last forever and knows to develop certain problems once it goes bad.
Primarily, you will end up with bad gas in car. But what is worse is that your car will start to develop some weird symptoms that are not quite normal and can be frustrating to deal with since some of them will prevent you from using the vehicle as you did before your gas ended up being bad.
So, that’s why we are going to learn what is causing bad gas in car to develop and the symptoms connected with bad gas in car. Then we will also see if this bad gasoline can damage your engine and cause more problems for you as an owner. Then we will see how you can get rid of this problem and how much it will cost you if you did this work at a shop.
What Is Causing Bad Gas In Car?
As you probably know, gas doesn’t last forever. In about 30 days after you pour it into your car, the gasoline is starting to oxidize and develop issues. The older the gas, the worse it is. But what is oxidation?
Oxidation is the process that occurs when an element is exposed to a regular atmosphere. Meaning that if there is oxygen inside of the tank, and in this case there is, it will make the gasoline go bad.
When this gasoline starts this process of oxidation, the gasoline starts to decompose and fall to the ground of the tank. It creates a gunky mess that could easily ruin your fuel pump and fuel filter.
Modern gas also contains a little bit of ethanol. So, this ethanol in the gasoline is also known to attract moisture to it and ruin the gasoline even more.
Not to mention that water can also get inside of your gas tank while the car is sitting. If you have a loose gas cap, for example, water can find its way into your gas tank and spoil your gasoline.
But the main culprit for this problem of bad gas in car is the age of the gas itself. As we mentioned, after 30 days it slowly starts to decompose and as time goes by this problem becomes worse and the fuel tank becomes all gunky and dirty.
The gasoline is simply losing its octane ratings and it becomes bad. In this situation, if you start your car with bad gas in car, you will face some symptoms that will indicate that you have a problem. And more on these symptoms, we are going to discuss in the following chapters where we will elaborate this in detail.
Symptoms Bad Gas In Car?
Now let’s discuss the symptoms of bad gas in car. As we already found out, gas slowly starts to go bad and oxidate after 30 days or so. When this process happens and you try to start your car, you might face some difficulties in running your car.
As you know, these difficulties indicate separate symptoms. The symptoms are pretty much the same for everybody and knowing one of them will give you the ability to tell if you have bad gas in car or not. So, which are these symptoms? Let’s elaborate in the following chapters.
1. Difficulty Starting The Car
The prime symptom of bad gas in car would probably be the difficulty starting the car. Imagine that the car was sitting probably for about six months and you are trying to start it.
You put the key in the ignition and turn the key, the car cranks but it simply doesn’t want to start from the first try. Then you try again and again and the car simply doesn’t want to start at all. This situation can be a real pain to deal with and will happen for sure if you don’t replace the gas in your tank.
What happens is that the gas gets old and it loses its octane rating. So, when you try to start the car with a low octane rating it doesn’t want to start since it needs this octane rating to crank and burn. Remember that the engine work is made possible by some small controlled explosions in the cylinders. So, when you don’t have these explosions means that the engine will not work.
When you crank and the car doesn’t want to start, it could be a clear indication of bad gas in car if the car was sitting for a long time. If the car wasn’t sitting and you poured fresh gas, you might want to take a look at other factors like the fuel pump and the injectors.
2. Rough Idle Work Of The Engine Because Bad Gas In Car
Another very common symptom of bad gas in car is the rough idle work of the engine. As you know the gas goes bad. Meaning it loses its characteristics and its octane value becomes really low.
This will make the car run roughly. Even if you can start the car. The needle of the tachometer will start to shake and vibrate. This means that the car is not happy.
Something is messing with the mood of the engine. When this happens, you will also start to feel vibrations inside of the cabin as well as the engine will vibrate more than usual since the car doesn’t like to work on low octanes.
The bangs inside of the combustion will be uneven and the engine will develop these vibrations that could piss you off if you are used to normal engine work. So, if the car was not running for a while it means that you have bad gas in car. There is a solution for this problem of bad gas in car and we are going to cover that a bit later in this article.
3. Stalling Problem Because Bad Gas In Car
Another thing that could happen with your car if you have bad gas in car is engine stalling. If the gas is old and is down on octanes the engine will stall at some point.
The car will not like this gas since the car requires some quality gas to run properly. So, if your car is not used to running like this eventually it is going to stall.
Then you will need to crank it again and again. And this is no good. Your car will be completely unreliable. Imagine that you run your car like this and it stalls in traffic. Someone could hit you in the rear and even hurt you. That’s why you need to check if you have bad gas in car and solve this problem. More on that we are going to cover later in the article.
4. Bad Acceleration Because Bad Gas In Car
Bad acceleration is also a common symptom when you have bad gas in car. The car will simply struggle to keep going and will want to stall. You will need to apply extra pressure on the gas pedal to keep it alive.
This can be a problem though. Imagine that you are in traffic at a stoplight and your car simply struggles to accelerate. You will frustrate a ton of drivers and that is something that could make you lose concentration and driver without a focus is a bad driver since you are very susceptible to making mistakes and possibly hitting someone.
5. Abnormal Change In Speed (Lurching Forward)
Another thing that often happens when you have bad gas in car is the abnormal change of speed. Also known as lurching forward. So, how did this happen?
Well, this happens when you press on the gas and nothing happens. And suddenly the car lurches forward and then again it stops and again lurches forward. This is really bad and dangerous.
There is something wrong with the fuel system and whether it is a bad fuel filter, bad fuel pump, or bad gas in car. Something needs to be taken into consideration and this problem has to be patched accordingly. More on that how you can solve the problem of bad gas in tank later. Let’s first cover all of the symptoms connected to this problem.
6. Check Engine Light Because Bad Gas In Car
The check engine light in modern cars is also a common thing if you have bad gas in car. Why is this the case? Well, modern cars are computerized, meaning that everything is controlled by your car’s computer.
Meaning that if you are running the car like this the computer will note issues and warn you. This warning is also known as the check engine light.
When the check engine light appears you know that something bad is going on and you need to react and investigate the problem. Sadly, you cannot know right away what might be causing the problem so you need to take your car to a mechanic.
Or presumably, you have an OBD2 scanner. You just plug this scanner in your car and let it scan the car for errors. If you have codes concerning your fuel system, then you should presume that a bad gas in car could be the reason for this problem since this is one of the first and most obvious things that could make the fuel system malfunction.
Gunk in the fuel tank can enter the fuel pump and damage it. As well it can clog the fuel filter and fuel lines and injectors.
Having bad gas in car can be an expensive thing to fix in some situations and this is one of them. The whole fuel system needs to be revamped and the fuel system cleaned. Later on, we are going to explain to you how this is done as well as one easy trick that you can do. So, follow along till the end.
7. Bad Fuel Economy
Another thing that you will notice would be the bad fuel economy if you have a bad gas in car situation. Why I’m saying this?
Well, it’s quite simple, this is the case because the car knows how much fuel needs to dump into the engine. Let’s say that you have bad fuel in car. Your car will notice that there is something wrong with this gas and notice that it doesn’t deliver the performance needed to keep the car running well.
So, the car will decide to throw more fuel into the mix. Thus, damaging your fuel economy and reducing the efficiency of the vehicle.
8. Damaged Fuel Delivery Components Because Bad Gas In Car
And the last of the symptom of bad gas in car that we are going to cover will be the damaged components in your fuel delivery system. Since the car is running old gas, there will be quite a bit of sludge in the tank. Especially if the car didn’t run for years prior and was left with a full tank of gas.
That’s why it is crucial if you plan to leave the car to sit for a long time, it is advised to empty out the gas tank or leave it with little fuel. This will somewhat guarantee that there will be no big sludge buildup inside and you will not have trouble starting it.
But if your car is left with a fuel tank, you might damage or clog some of the fuel delivery components like the fuel pump and the fuel filter who are the first in the line of defense.
This gunk that is on the bottom of the fuel tank will enter the system and possibly end up damaging the pump and the fuel filter. The fuel lines are also narrow, so if there is rust plus this gunk from the fuel. It could also block the fuel lines.
Not to mention that if you are running a direct injection engine. You could also damage the injectors. These injectors are expensive and you don’t want to damage them.
Overall, that is all with the bad gas in car symptoms. Now let’s move on to solving this problem quickly and effectively. The DIY way!
Can Bad Gas In Car Damage Your Engine?
But first, let’s answer a question that bothers a lot of people and that is that bad fuel can damage the engine. This is not really true since the fuel doesn’t affect the engine in any way.
The thing that the bad gas in car affects is the fuel delivery system that includes the fuel pump, fuel filter, fuel lines, and injectors. But these things can also be very expensive to fix, especially the fuel pump can cost a good amount of money as well as the injectors if you are running a direct injection car.
So, make sure that you don’t end up with bad gas in car. But if you do end up with bad gas in car, you need to fix this problem. And how you can do what we are going to cover next.
Cheap Fix For Bad Gas In Car
Let’s start with the cheap fix for bad gas in car. The cheap fix is if you have little or no fuel in the tank. If the tank is half full or more, it will probably not work.
How these tricks work is simple. You go to the gas station and fill up a few gallons of fresh gas. Then this gas will mix with the old one and will boost the old gas octane ratings. And as the octane ratings go up, your car will start to work much better than it did before.
The fresh gas will rejuvenate the old one and the car will be good. If this method doesn’t work. Then your fuel tank is probably more than half-full and this action doesn’t affect since there are probably 10 gallons there and you pour 2 gallons. This won’t change a lot. So, you need to go to the next method that we are going to cover.
How To Remove Bad Gas In Car DIY?
Now we came to the important bit and that is the removal of bad gas in car. The removal can be a tedious process since you need to remove more than a half-full tank. It is worth noting that this thing will probably be heavy and you will need someone to help you out with this. But you can also pull it off on your own.
The removal process can be done with a simple garden hose. So, for this purpose, you are going to need a 6 ft long hose if you want to pull this off successfully.
The first step will require locating the fuel pump. The fuel pump should be under the seat of your car. Or in the rear trunk area. You need to unscrew the bolts that are holding the pump and also remove the hoses. Then remove the fuel pump from the tank. After removal, you will be able to see what is going on inside and that the whole fuel tank looks dirty.
Then you get the hose. A see-through hose would be the best bet. You place the hose inside from one end and at the other end, you suck the air. You have probably seen how this is pulled off. Just remember that you need to be careful because you don’t want to suck fuel. This is harmful to your health.
Once the fuel comes close to you, just pull the hose down in a bucket and let it drain. All of the fuel should be removed in one go if you are careful not to allow the hose to suck air.
Then after the removal of the fuel tank, you need to remove the fuel tank. Release the bolts and slowly put the tank on the ground. Once the fuel tank is grounded, you can move on to flushing the fuel tank with water and giving it a good cleaning. Let it drain from all of the water.
Now you can move on to replace the fuel filter as well cleaning off the fuel pump if it’s dirty. Cleaning the fuel lines with compressed air is also useful if you want to completely remove all the contaminants and not end up with bad gas in car again.
Then is the final step and that is the assembly. You need to put everything back together and make sure that it works. This job would probably take you a weekend if you are a beginner, so take your time.
Cost To Remove Bad Gas In Car?
So, what is the cost to remove bad gas in car? That depends, if you are doing this work all by yourself, the only thing you will pay will probably be for new gas.
If you are doing this at a shop, they will likely charge you $500 or more for this work. This is because this work is highly demanding and requires flushing the system and cleaning everything, meaning that will take a while. And considering that the hourly rate is between $50 and $100, this really adds up pretty quickly.
So, the best thing would be at least to be able to remove the bad gas in car and see if it works. If it doesn’t a detailed cleaning of the system will be required to make things work out as they should.
Bad Gas: Signs, Causes, and How to Avoid It
- Bad gas refers to fuel that doesn’t properly combust and can cause various symptoms like difficulty starting up, rough idling, and stalling.
- The combustion process in vehicles depends upon high-quality fuel vapors being delivered to the engine, and any disruption to this process can lead to suboptimal performance and even vehicle damage.
- Gas contamination can occur at the refinery, during delivery, or at the gas station, caused by issues like high water content, sediment or other particles, and filling up with a lower octane than required.
- In extreme cases of bad gas, it can lead to damage to the vehicle, and repair bills can amount to as much as $1,200.
- BP recalled 2.1 million gallons of gas with higher than normal levels of polymeric residue in 2012, which led to hundreds of car trouble reports in Indiana and service shops’ high repair bills.
- To avoid bad gas, use the correct octane for your car, buy from reputable gas stations, and avoid using old gas.
- Thieves may steal fuel from underground storage tanks and resell it at a steep discount, but the fuel hasn’t been stored properly and is likely to have significant amounts of water or sediment in it.
- Disreputable gas sellers may also change the mixture ratios of mid-range gas to create a more profitable blend, or dilute premium fuel with lower octane fuel.
- Sugar in the gas tank is an urban legend and a myth, as sugar does not dissolve in gasoline, and fuel filters prevent it from reaching the engine. However, it’s not good for the engine and should be cleaned out by a licensed mechanic.
- Always be vigilant of the signs of bad gas and take action promptly to avoid any further damage to the vehicle.
Conclusion To Bad Gas In Car
In this article, we covered quite a bit when it comes to bad gas in car. First, we learned why gas goes bad and the reason why this is happening is because of oxidation. Oxidation greatly affects the gas and ruins its characteristics.
Then we covered the symptoms of bad gas in car. As we can recall, these symptoms include the car doesn’t want to start, hesitation, bad acceleration, check engine light, and overall bad performance when you press on the gas pedal.
After we focused on solving this problem. The easiest way is to sip in new fuel and call it a day. But this helps only if you have a small amount of fuel inside of the tank. If you are having a half-full tank or more, you will need to drain the fuel and clean the system. Something that can be rather expensive.
These tools have been tried and tested by our team, they are ideal for fixing your car at home.