Dealing with Sugar in the Gas Tank: Should I Fix or Retire My Car?

QuestionsCategory: Ask An ExpertDealing with Sugar in the Gas Tank: Should I Fix or Retire My Car?
Olivia Patricia Rodriguez asked 4 months ago
Hello, I'm facing a dilemma with my 2002 Ford Taurus, which has almost 200,000 miles. Recently, I discovered what looks like sugar in my gas tank. My mechanic thinks the only solution is to drop and drain the tank and replace the fuel filters. However, there's no guarantee this will fix the issue since I might have been driving with sugared gas for some time. I've already invested in a new alternator, brake system, battery, tires, and an alignment recently. I'm torn between fixing the car or retiring it due to the uncertainty of removing the sugar effectively. Has anyone experienced this issue, and if so, how did you resolve it?
1 Answers
Zack Norman Staff answered 4 months ago
Hey there, Olivia! It's unfortunate to hear about your situation with sugar in your car's gas tank. This is a rare but tricky issue, but thankfully, it's one that could be solved. Based on your description, here's our advice:
  1. Assessing the Damage: Sugar doesn't dissolve in gasoline, so it's likely that the sugar is just sitting in the tank. It's possible that it might have clogged the fuel sock or the pump, but it's unlikely to have reached the engine.
  2. Repair Procedure:
    • Drain and Clean the Tank: Start by draining the gas tank. This will remove the sugar and any contaminated gasoline.
    • Replace Fuel Filters: Since the sugar could clog the filters, replacing them is a good preventative measure.
    • Check Fuel Lines and Pump: Ensure that these components haven't been affected by the sugar.
  3. Consideration of Car's Value: With your car's age and mileage, plus the recent investments in repairs, consider if the cost of this repair will exceed the car’s value. If the cost is high, it might be more economical to retire the car.
  4. Preventive Measures for the Future: Once repaired, consider installing a locking gas cap to prevent similar issues.
Given your car's history and recent investments, it might be worthwhile to fix it, especially since the sugar likely hasn't caused extensive damage. However, do balance this with the cost and your car's overall condition. Zack - Motor Verso Mechanics Team