I Think Someone Poured Sugar in My Gas Tank. What Can I Do?
Common service questions asked by our Capitol Subaru customers

I Think Someone Poured Sugar in My Gas Tank--What Can I Do?

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It may be a common urban legend that a vengeful ex or a dastardly prankster can ruin your vehicle's entire engine by pouring sugar in the gas tank. However, this legend has little basis in reality. Sugar in the gas tank is obviously not good, and it can cause problems--but it won't destroy your engine.

Think there may be sugar in your gas tank? Call our service professionals at Capitol Subaru in Salem, Oregon
Get a gas tank safety inspection at Capitol Subaru in Salem, OR

Why Is the Urban Legend Wrong?

As the legend goes, the sugar will dissolve in the gas tank. Then, when the gas is brought up into the engine, the dissolved sugar will caramelize. This then coats the engine's components, completely ruining it. However, the truth is that sugar does not dissolve in gasoline. If sugar is poured into your gas tank, it will remain in its sediment state and settle to the bottom; even if the sediment is disturbed, it won't pass through the filters.

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What Will Happen if Sugar is Put Into My Gas Tank?

However, this doesn't mean that sugar in a gas tank isn't harmful. Like any sediment, sugar can clog the fuel injectors or the fuel filter if there's too much of it. This might make it necessary to replace the fuel filter or even empty out the gas tank. This means that it's a nasty trick that will end up costing you money, but nowhere near the amount of complete engine destruction.

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If someone has indeed put sugar in your gas tank, there is one more recommendation we make: get better friends and keep a closer eye on your enemies. A prank is all well and good, but causing up to a couple hundred dollars in damage goes beyond good fun and into mean-spiritedness.

Capitol Subaru is proud to be your source for Subaru service and repairs in the Salem area. In addition to factory certified Subaru technicians, we also offer a full "Your Way On The Parkway" service experience with a comfortable lounge, floating golf green, and a hot pancake breakfast on Fridays from 8am until noon! Come experience the difference.

Capitol Subaru of Salem

920 Auto Group Ave NE
Directions Salem, OR 97301

  • Sales: 503-576-3300
  • Service: 503-576-3300
  • Parts: 503-576-3300
  1. Capitol Subaru of Salem

    3235 Cherry Ave Ne
    Salem, OR 97301

    • Sales: (888) 698-1973