Your gas tank is sealed tightly for reason, to keep water and other contaminants out. If water somehow gets into your gas tank, it can wreak havoc on your vehicle. Here’s what you need to know about what happens if water gets in your gas tank.
Water in the gas tank can cause a number of problems. First, it can rust the inside of the tank, which can lead to holes and leaks over time. Second, water can damage the fuel pump, causing it to fail prematurely. Third, water can mix with gasoline and cause engine misfires and poor performance. Finally, water in the gas tank can freeze, blocking fuel lines and preventing the engine from starting.
Let’s take a look at some of the problems that can occur if water gets in your gas tank.
Symptoms of Water in Your Gas Tank
The following are some symptoms that may indicate you have water in your gas tank:
1. Difficulty starting your engine or will not start at all
An easier symptom to recognize that you may have water in your gas tank is to try starting your engine. If it’s difficult to start or won’t start at all, there may be a good chance that water has made its way into your gas tank as water will prevent your engine from igniting the gasoline.
2. Rough acceleration
In order to run properly, your engine needs a mixture of fuel and air. When there’s water in the gas tank, this mixture becomes unbalanced and can cause your engine to run roughly when you try to accelerate as water will not combust.
3. Rough idle
On idle, your engine should run smoothly. If you notice that it’s running roughly or shaking, this could be another symptom of water in the gas tank as the unbalanced mixture of fuel and air will cause your engine to run poorly perhaps even leading to spitting or sputtering from the exhaust.
4. Check engine light illuminates
Perhaps one of the most serious symptoms, is if your check engine light illuminates, it’s best to take your vehicle to a mechanic as this could indicate serious damage has been done to your engine. The check engine light can come on for a number of reasons, but if you have other symptoms of water in the gas tank, it’s worth checking out.
Another serious symptom, misfires occur when the mixture of fuel and air in your engine is unbalanced. This can cause damage to your engine over time as well as decreased fuel economy and increased emissions.
6. Steam from the exhaust
Visually checking your exhaust for steam can be a good way to tell if water has made its way into your gas tank. If you notice steam coming from your vehicle’s tailpipe, it’s a good indication that there’s water in the system.
7. Slow acceleration
Last but not least, if you notice that your vehicle is slow to accelerate, it could be a sign of water in the gas tank. This is because the unbalanced mixture of fuel and air isn’t providing enough power to your engine, resulting in slower acceleration.
8. Long-Term Issues with Water in Your Gas Tank
Ignoring water in your gas tank can lead to some serious long-term issues.
First, water can cause rust and corrosion inside the gas tank, which can lead to holes and leaks over time. If left unchecked, this can cause gasoline to leak out of the tank, putting you and others at risk of fire or explosion.
Second, water can damage the fuel pump, causing it to fail prematurely. The fuel pump is responsible for delivering gasoline to the engine, so if it fails, your vehicle will not run.
Third, water can mix with gasoline and cause engine misfires and poor performance. This is because water does not combust like gasoline, so it throws off the mixture in the engine and prevents it from running properly.
Finally, water in the gas tank can freeze, which can block fuel lines and prevent the engine from starting. This is because when water freezes, it expands, and this can cause fuel lines to rupture or become blocked.
What Causes Water To Enter The Gas Tank?
The following are some possible causes of water getting into your gas tank:
1. Broken or bad fuel cap
The fuel cap is responsible for keeping water and other contaminants out of the gas tank. If it’s broken or not sealing properly, water can easily make its way in.
2. Bad top fuel pump
If the top fuel pump is not functioning properly, it can allow water to enter the gas tank.
3. Contaminated fuel
The most common cause of water in the gas tank is contaminated fuel. If water is present in the fuel, it can enter the tank and mix with the gasoline.
How to Get Water Out of Your Gas Tank
Try these steps to remove water from your gas tank:
- Drain the Gas Tank
- Replace the Fuel Filter
- Flush Fuel Lines
- Fill Up Gas Tank
Water in your gas tank is a serious issue that can cause a number of problems for your vehicle. If you suspect that there may be water in your gas tank, it’s important to take action right away in order to avoid any long-term damage.
You may notice some signs that there’s water in your gas tank, such as a check engine light, steam from the exhaust, or slow acceleration. If you notice any of these symptoms, it’s important to take your vehicle to a mechanic and have it checked out.
The best way to remove water from your gas tank is to drain it, replace the fuel filter, and flush the fuel lines. You should also fill up the gas tank as this will help displace any water that may be leftover.
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