How to Tell if Someone Put Something in Your Gas Tank

How to Tell if Someone Put Something in Your Gas Tank

A fuel tank is an important part of a car’s engine system. It stores the fuel that runs the car and the fuel pump moves fuel or gas as the case may be into the engine of the car.

The fuel tank usually comes in different sizes and can be made with different materials. A car’s gas tank can either be metal or plastic high-density polyethylene.

Plastic high-density polyethylene (HDPE) tanks are usually made by blow molding and metallic tanks can either be steel or aluminum.

However, having someone put something into your gas tank in your absence is the worst nightmare anyone can have as whatever that was installed in the gas tank may damage your car’s engine. So, what are the best ways on how to tell if someone put something in your gas tank?

Can Someone Put Something in your Gas Tank?

When a car is parked in open spaces and is left for a short or long period, random people can tamper with the gas tank and put something that would most likely harm the car in the car’s engine.

There are several things people can put in your car’s gas tank to damage a car’s engine.

The gas tank is regarded as a very important part of the car’s engine system because a car’s engine can be ruined just by putting a harmful substance into the gas tank.

Substances that can ruin a car’s engine just by putting it into the gas tank don’t necessarily have to seem harmful, things like water, coke, sugar, salt, and brake fluid do not seem harmful but can damage the engine.

What Can Someone Put Inside your Gas Tank

There are several things that someone can put in the gas tank of your car that is harmful to the car’s engine.

1. Water

Pouring water into your gas tank no matter how small will cause significant problems for the car’s engine because when water gets into the engine of a car, it will cause the engine mount to be detached from the engine.

Even while you wash your car’s engine with water, you must be very careful. When water is poured into the gas tank, it causes the car to accelerate roughly.

2. Sugar

Sugar, when added to petrol doesn’t dilute, instead, it clogs up and it makes the fuel become “sugary petroleum”, also the sugar sits at the bottom of the gas tank which damages the engine.

When there’s sugar in the gas tank the fuel pump begins to fail consistently

3. Salt

When salt gets into your gas tank, the salt would dilute and the little tiny crystals in the salt would get into the oil pump and begin to block the filter and when the filter gets blocked, the engine would not run.

Compared to other things that anyone can put into your car’s gas tank, salt doesn’t do too much damage, it will only cause damage if it remains in the gas tank. When it’s too much, it would damage the bottom of the gas tank.

4.  Coca-Cola or Any Other Soft Drink

The chemicals in soft drinks generally, would clog up the engine when it mixes with gasoline. The chemicals would cause the mixture to turn into corrosive sludge. It can cause the gas tank to rust.

Coca-Cola has a high sugar content and sugar is bad for the engine of your car as stated earlier.

How to Tell if Someone Put Something in Your Gas Tank

If you wish to know if someone puts something into your gas tank, here are signs you should inspect your gas tank/dash cam for verification.

Here are a few signs to look out for;

  • Engine Misfires: When the engine begins to misfire and it doesn’t accelerate properly you should check your gas tank to be sure that there’s nothing else in it asides from fuel.
  • Difficulty in Starting Up: If you notice that your car begins to experience difficulties in starting, several things could be wrong but you should check the engines to see if it is still being supplied with undiluted fuel.
  • Fuel Pump Failure: The fuel pump doesn’t supply fuel to the engines as it should and there’s a decrease in the car’s performance and it becomes evident as you drive the car.

What Can Make Someone Put Something in your Gas Tank?

Someone that puts something in your gas tank might be trying to intentionally damage your car’s engine. It could also be that they’re trying to see what the effect of putting that thing in the gas tank would be.

There’s no perfect explanation as to why someone would put something in your gas tank because there’s a very high chance that whatever someone puts into the gas tank would damage the engine and cost you a lot of money to fix it.

What to Do If Someone Put Something in your Gas Tank.

When you notice that someone has put something in your gas tank, the first thing you should do is not drive the car because you don’t know what the person put in and how bad it can damage your engine.

If you notice while driving, you should get your car to the nearest repair shop and explain to them exactly what you noticed while driving.

Will Your Car Start if Someone Put Something in Your Gas Tank?

Your car will start, depending on how long whatever was put in your tank has stayed in your engine and what was put.

Several materials can be put into the gas tank to damage it but they act at different rates.

If it hasn’t stayed in your car’s engine for too long, there’s a higher chance that your car will still function normally before the diluted fuel gets into the engine but you should get your car to a repair shop as soon as possible.


Whenever you are about to park your car especially if you’ll be leaving the car there for a while, you should be sure that the area is safe enough to park in an open space.

Also, you should drive carefully and try not to make enemies while driving so that no one wants to damage your car or bring any harm to you.