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Home » What happens if water gets in your gas tank? 4 things to expect

What happens if water gets in your gas tank? 4 things to expect

what happens if water gets in your gas tank

If you love to wash you car with your kids, then you better be on the lookout. I took my eyes off a bit and viola, i have my 8 year old boy direct the hose to the gas tank opening. I was so pissed, but i couldn’t help as the damages have been done. This led me to find out what happens if water gets in your gas tank, and i will share my findings here.

When water mixes with gasoline, it forms a substance called “gasoline hydroxide.” This substance can clog fuel lines and filters, causing serious damage to the engine. It can also cause the fuel pump to fail and lead to costly repairs.

To sum up, there are three possible outcomes for your car when Water gets in the gas tank:

  • It could cause problems with the injectors.
  • Damage could occur to the valve covers.
  • You’d have some major damages inside the car’s engine after it finally gets through.

The outcome might be visible through jerking, and the engine could stop suddenly when moving, jolting, or sputtering the car, causing poor gas mileage, rust, and many more. In addition, the Water can cause corrosion of the tank and carburetor grooves, which could lead to possible vehicle or equipment failure.

The reason for the damages is because Water and gas don’t mix. That’s because Water and gasoline won’t dissolve in each other. Gasoline is composed of long hydrocarbon chains that wrap around in rings and hooks, giving it a liquid consistency.

Also, Water is very good at hydrogen bonding with itself but doesn’t have enough energy to break these bonds. When it comes into contact with gasoline molecules, the gasoline bonds to the water molecules, but the water doesn’t need bond back.

What happens if you put water in a gas tank?

what happens if water gets in your gas tank

If you put water into your gas tank, the car will stall and not run, and the car may not start unless you clear out the gas tank with a can of gas sucker or drain and replace the fuel. If you put water in a gas tank, it will clog the fuel lines.

Here are what you should expect when you have water in your gas tank:

1. Clogged fuel hose and filter

One of the most common causes of engine problems is a clogged fuel filter. The fuel filter is designed to keep anything larger than 15 microns out of your engine, which means it’s supposed to protect you from dirt, rust, and other contaminants in your fuel. It’s also supposed to keep water from entering your tank.

If you have a clogged fuel hose or filter, you might notice that when you start your car it takes longer than usual for it to turn over. This can be an early sign that there’s something wrong with your vehicle.

To avoid this issue in the future, make sure you use a fuel cleaner regularly (either at the pump or after each fill-up) and check your filters regularly as well.

2. Engine failure

If you pour water into your gas tank, it could cause engine failure. Water is denser than gasoline and can sink to the bottom of the tank, where it will mix with the fuel. The result is a thick substance that clogs fuel lines, filters and carburetors, as well as causes corrosion in your engine components. Your car will run poorly and eventually stop running altogether.

3. Tank corrosion

The problem with putting water in a gas tank is that it corrodes the tank. The water mixes with the gasoline, and that mixes with air to create a corrosive acid. This acid can eat through the metal of your gas tank, and your gas will start leaking out through holes in your vehicle’s undercarriage.

4. Pressure inside the gas tank

If you put water in your gas tank, the pressure inside your gas tank will increase. This can cause a leak in the seal between the gas cap and the filler neck of your vehicle. This can also cause corrosion on the inside of your gas tank, which can cause damage to other parts of your car or vehicle.

How does water get into gas tank?

Water can get into your gas tank through a number of different ways.

It’s important to check your gas tank regularly for leaks and corrosion. If you have an older car, it may be more susceptible to water damage, but newer cars are not immune either.

There are a few ways that water can get into your tank:

  1. It can get in through the cap itself if there is a crack or hole.
  2. If you live near the ocean, salty air can seep into the tank over time and cause rusting, which leaves tiny holes that allow water in as well.
  3. If there is moisture in the ground under your car, it can seep into any cracks or holes in your car’s fuel system and cause rusting inside your tank.

How much water in a gas tank will ruin a car?

what happens if water gets in your gas tank

Gasoline and Water don’t mix at all, and they shouldn’t go together. The one or two drops of Water you pick up at the gas station will not harm your vehicle. But if you put a large amount of water in your gas tank, it can result in poor performance or stalling.

Water in a gas tank can ruin a car. One gallon of Water can result in a car’s engine seizing up as you try to start the car. It can cost upwards of $2,000 to repair or, even worse, lead to injury or an accident due to the engine not generating enough power for the wheels to turn.

It is always bad to put Water in your gas tank, and it is just as bad to let Water into your gas tank. When you put water in the gas tank, you severely damage the components of the car. Water will rust out or corrode virtually every part of the fuel system it touches. Gasoline itself is highly volatile and can easily ignite even when exposed to open air.

4 symptoms of having Water in fuel tank?

Water in fuel tank symptoms is the first cause that can damage your car engine. Water can come in from the outside of the engine, during rainfall, or when you sprinkle Water on your car when washing it.

Also, Water is the worst enemy to your engine, and it can have a big influence on your engine. The water particles are very small, which makes them pass through very easily in the internal engine parts. The most effective way to protect this part of your car is by having a flexible fuel filter installed.

How then can you know you have Water in your fuel tank? There are ways you get to know, and I have them discussed below.

1. Jerking of the car

Sometimes when a car gets a lot of water in the fuel tank, it can cause a car not to run right or stop running at all. It may even jerk when you are driving. You should check your fuel cap and the gas cap to make sure they are properly closed.

2. Poor acceleration

If you’re experiencing poor acceleration, most likely, your vehicle has Water in its fuel tank. Water will forcefully be pushed out when you drive, eventually causing problems with the pistons and valves in your engine.

3. Misfiring of the engine

Your car could be experiencing misfires due to Water in the fuel tank. When the fuel in your car’s tank gets mixed up with Water and then gets into the engine, you will experience misfiring of the engine.

4. Car not starting

Your car will not start because you have Water in your fuel tank. When this occurs, the fuel pump won’t force gas from the tank up into the engine. It is a potentially dangerous situation and needs to be fixed as soon as possible.

How does Water get in a gas tank?

what happens if water gets in your gas tank

Most cars have a simple system so that Water cannot get into the gas tank, but not all vehicles have this system. For example, the fuel filler neck of some cars is not sealed, so Water can reach the gas tank if it gets in the filler neck.

If a vehicle does not have a splash shield at the gas opening, excess Water may be in the gas tank. Some cars also don’t have any kind of seal over the filler neck or splash shield.

Also, Water can get into your gas tank when you fill up at a gas station that does not have a protective splash guard installed around the fuel filler neck. It can happen at older stations and/or in rural areas where service stations are few and far between.

In addition, Water can come from rainwater, snow, sleet, or even condensation. If water gets into the tank, it can severely corrode the fuel system components and clog injectors, leaving your vehicle with reduced performance and engine diagnostic trouble codes. Repairing this damage may require the replacement of affected equipment, which could be quite costly.

How to get water out of gas tank?

The right thing to do is get rid of Water in your gas tank to avoid any damages. Acting fast will save you the stress of spending money on getting new car parts that got damaged due to water in the tank, especially the car engine.

1. Remove the tank and empty it

You can learn how to clean your fuel tank from rust here. You need to raise the car to have access to where the gas tank is located. You should get a big bowl or bucket to empty the fuel or fetch the Water. Then you should disconnect the fuel valves, loosen the nuts and then remove the tank from the car.

It is the best way of ensuring your tank is free of Water, especially if you have more water in the tank. You should empty until you are so sure that there is no more water in the tank before you return the tank to the car.

2. Seek the service of a mechanic

For those who do not like to have their hands dirty, the best thing is to get the car to your mechanic. You should allow your mechanic to do all work that has to do with getting the water out of the tank. They know the best way to do it, and you can be assured it will be done in the right way.

3. Using the best additive to remove Water from the gas tank

Another method is through the use of additives. The only good side of this is that it works best when you have a small quantity of water in the tank. You just need to purchase one from Walmart or Amazon. Once you do that, you just need to pour it into your gas tank and allow it to do its work.

4. Remove Water from gas tank with alcohol

You can also remove water from the gas tank using alcohol. Alcohol will make the Water get dry in the tank, and its mixture with the gasoline will never cause any harm to the engine. However, it is not the safest method but an alternative one which works too for getting Water out of the tank.


If you want to know what happens if a little bit of water gets in your gas tank, you are just in the right place. This page will give you a top guide and solution if water gets in your gas tank. There are many things that can happen to your car, and the worst is getting the car engine damaged. So, you should understand the signs and symptoms and attend to them as fast as possible to get water out of your tank.