Gasoline bad gasoline

Published on February 21st, 2013 | by Pedals and Pumps

Bad Gasoline

Short & Sweet
If you think you may have gotten bad gasoline or put the wrong type of gas in your tank, we can help! Here are some ways to learn the symptoms and solutions to getting bad gas.


NOTE: Very rarely does anyone these days really get bad gas from a gas station.  While manufacturers do recommend that you stick with busy gas stations run by major companies to avoid getting bad gas, it’s highly unlikely.  (That being said, here is a link to an article about bad gas cases in the past year.) One of our contributors has worked for dealerships for the past 13 years and he has never once seen a case of bad gas.  He says it’s more likely that a technician didn’t know what was wrong with your car and called it bad gas.  You are more likely to have bad gas if you have a vehicle that you haven’t driven for a long period of time. Lawnmowers and boats are known to have a harder time starting after the winter season because of gas that has sat too long, but it’s not as common in cars. Anything is possible, but getting bad gas from a gas station just doesn’t happen that much anymore. However, if you do have bad gas or have put the wrong type of gasoline in your car, here are some symptoms and solutions.

I was driving somewhere with my brother back when we were still in high school and we stopped to fuel up. I started pumping the gas and he went in to pay for it. I filled up the tank thinking everything was fine. When my brother went to pay the clerk, the clerk asked him, “Do you mean the car that just got filled up with diesel?” Oops. We had to have the car towed to a maintenance shop, have the gas siphoned out and then filled back up with regular. I won’t do that again, but the car ended up being fine. – Jeni L.

Purpose:

When water gets in the gasoline it causes the gas to go bad. Gas can also go bad when it gets stale from sitting too long. You can also run into problems if you add the wrong gas (like diesel in an unleaded only vehicle).

Symptoms:

If you have bad gasoline, here are some ways to tell:

1. Your car may run rough.

2. Your car is difficult to start.

3. Your car won’t start at all.

4. You hear a knocking or pinging sound.

5. Your engine light is on.

Care & Repair:

If you have determined that your gasoline is bad. Here is what you can do:

1. If you have over 1/2 tank of gas: You will need to take your car to a qualified technician. A fuel stabilizer & cleaner like Sea Foam will need to be added, which can be purchased at a local auto parts store.

2. If you have less than 1/2 a tank of gas and your car will start: You will need to add about 5 gallons of good gas to the tank and add a fuel stabilizer and cleaner like Sea Foam. When you drive your car, it should burn off the rest of the bad gas that was in your tank.

3. If your car won’t start and you know it’s caused by bad gasoline: You will need to take your car to a trusted repair facility. A fuel octane booster, like Sea Foam or Dry Gas, may need to be added to help ignite the bad gas that’s in your car.

4. If you added diesel gas: You should take your car to a technician or mechanic. If you only added a few gallons, switch to unleaded gas and fill the rest of your tank. The diesel will burn out as you drive. If you added more than a few, DO NOT DRIVE YOUR CAR! The diesel gas will need to be siphoned out of your tank.

Cost: $4- $100

Purpose

I am sure there are a hundred inappropriate comments we could add here about “bad gas”, but we will spare you our bad humor. What is bad gasoline? It’s when water gets in the gasoline or when the gas gets stale. You can also run into problems if you add the wrong gas (like diesel in an unleaded only vehicle).

Symptoms

Bad gasoline is low in octane, which can prevent it from igniting and can cause your car to run poorly or not start at all. If you hear a knocking or pinging sound, you could have purchased gas without the proper amount of detergents.

If you have bad gasoline, here are some ways to tell:

1. Your car may run rough.

2. Your car is difficult to start.

3. Your car won’t start at all.

4. You hear a knocking or pinging sound.

5. Your engine light is on.

Care & Repair

If you have determined that your gasoline is bad. Here is what you can do:

1. If you have over 1/2 tank of gas:

You will need to take your car to a qualified technician. The technician will need to siphon the gas out of your vehicle and add new gasoline. A fuel stabilizer & cleaner like Sea-Foam will also need to be added, which can be purchased at a local auto parts store. You can ask the technician to do this or you can add it to the tank yourself.

2. If you have less than 1/2 a tank of gas and your car will start:

You will need to add about 5 gallons of good gas to the tank and add a fuel stabilizer and cleaner like Sea Foam. When you drive your car, it should burn off the rest of the bad gasoline that was in your tank. You do not need to drive the car continuously to burn out the gas. Once the bad gasoline is out of your vehicle, fill up with good gas and add more fuel stabilizer and cleaner.

3. If your car won’t start:

If you know that it is the bad gas that is causing your vehicle not to start, first determine how much you added (see above). Then you can try a fuel octane booster, like Sea Foam or Dry Gas, which may help ignite the bad gas that’s in your car. Igniting the gas will hopefully start your car. If this doesn’t work or you are not sure about the bad gasoline, you will need to take your car to a trusted repair facility.

WARNING: When cranking the engine, do not crank for over 15 seconds, let engine set for one minute between cranking intervals. If the engine does not try to start by the end of the third cranking sequence, call a tow truck.

4. If you added diesel to a gasoline tank:

You should take your car to a technician or mechanic. If you only added a few gallons, switch to unleaded gas and fill the rest of your tank. The diesel will burn out as you drive. If you added more than a few, DO NOT DRIVE YOUR CAR! The diesel gas will need to be siphoned out of your tank.

Cost

Cost varies depending on the severity and amount of bad gasoline.

Sea-Foam $5-$11

New tank of gas – WAY TO MUCH!

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About the Author

PedalsandPumps provides direct, honest information about car maintenance and repair for women. We provide money and time saving tips for readers who want to maximize their dollar and simplify their auto owning experience.



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