For whatever reason, there’s been a persistent myth regarding sugar and gasoline for many years now. If you put sugar in someone’s gas tank, supposedly, the vehicle will not operate.
According to the theory, when sugar reacts with gasoline, it forms a semisolid, sticky material that clogs the gas tank, fuel lines, and other fuel-related components.
But is this true? Could it be that simple to destroy car components? It sounds awesome, especially if you’re angry at someone for anything they did. That’s the problem with this rumor: it’s inaccurate.
What happens to the sugar in the gas tank?
To begin with, you have a fuel filter to consider. If you have debris or pollutants in your gas tank, this does exactly what it claims it will: filter them out.
Sugar will not dissolve in fuel as it does in water and will instead settle at the bottom of the tank. Some sugar grains would not pass the gasoline filter since it is two times as dense as fuel. If the sugar content is high, they’ll block the fuel filter or injectors instead.
Due to sugar clogging fuel filter or injector, your car will begin to stall as though you have run out of fuel. It will continue until the car doesn’t start anymore; at this point, the fuel pump and the carburetor may have been affected.
Depending on the amount of sugar poured into the tank, this can cause significant damage to your car’s engine if not solved quickly. The fuel filter and injector blockages can damage your car’s fuel pump and carburetor, even if sugar in your gas tank doesn’t harm them directly.
Without immediate attention, this problem might have severe consequences for the engine of your car. Despite the fact that sugar in your car’s gas tank isn’t likely to harm it, blockages in the fuel filter and injectors can ruin the fuel pump and carburetor.
It’s possible that sugar will entirely destroy an engine in some circumstances. The filter, pumps, and fuel injectors can’t completely stop sugar from entering the engine, which builds up in the valves and piston rings.
The problem will worsen with time, necessitating either a new engine or a thorough engine overhaul. Most vehicles now have sophisticated gasoline filter systems that trap impurities and prevent them from reaching the engine. Thus it is unlikely that this will happen to modern car models.
Bottom line: Sugar in the gas tank can create some serious problems if not quickly cleaned. The only thing that may vary is the amount of harm it does. But it is not harmful as the myth says that it will immediately destroy any engine. And most importantly, it depends on the amount of sugar poured into the engine.