The Potential Consequences of Putting Sugar in the Gas Tank

A rumor has been doing rounds for quite some time now. There is a belief that if you put sugar in the gas tank, the gas and the sugar would probably react to form a semi-solid substance that, in turn, would clog the engine.

But is it so? Let’s explore the theory and the reality behind it, below.

The Reality behind Putting Sugar in the Gas Tank

Sugar has its individual chemical properties, and so does the gas. As a matter of fact, putting will not lead the car to stop working. Read on to find out the theory regarding the same.

1. The Solubility Theory

“Sugar is indissoluble in gasoline.” Surprised? You ought not! If sugar does not dissolve in the gas that means it would not turn into a semi-solid substance. This further implies that an engine won’t fail or disengage in any sense when you put sugar in the gas tank.

An experiment though points out another fact too. In case your gas tank is half full, there are chances that a small proportion of the sugar would get dissolved due to the presence of less of solvent.

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2. What Actually Happens?

One should know that sugar has more weight than gas carries. The sugar in gas tank effects leads to sugar settling down to the base of the tank.

The result of which is, less of fuel that could be added on to the gas tank. It is similar to an external agent that would occupy someone else’s territory to reduce the former’s capacity.

All about putting Sugar in the gas tank
Consequences of Putting Sugar in the gas tank (Photo Source: gettyimages)

On the other hand, while traveling on the bumpy road if the sugar gets lifted up, it could find its way through the fuel filter. Such a thing is unlikely to happen, but, in case, it happens you would have to replace the filter.

3. How to Remove the Sugar?

It would be clear by now what does sugar in a gas tank do. It should be clear by now that fuel filter replacement would occur frequently until the sugar particulates are removed. If someone has poured a sack full of sugar in the tank, you would have to visit a mechanic.

A mechanic would detach the gas tank from the vehicle to give it a thorough cleanup. You could also refer to maintenance tips for tank cleanup guidelines.

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4. What Could Stall The Engine?

Now that you know what happens when you put sugar in a gas tank, another mystery takes its place. What do you put in the engine that would actually clog it? The answer is, “water.” When you put H2O in the gas tank, the engine would stop functioning.

Water is likely to interrupt the ignition process of the engine. This is because “Gas hovers on water.” Such a thing results in water or a combination of gas and water being circulated through the fuel line. Further, the engine would stall, and the tank would require mechanical treatment for a comprehensive cleanup.

How to put sugar in the gas tank
Putting sugar in the gas tank- Good or bad (Photo Source: greenandgrowing)


The crux of the whole scenario points out that putting sugar in the gas tank would not stall the engine. One should keep in mind not to try such tricks as it would not lead to what you think might happen.