Cars are convenient; they get us from one place to another without worry. However, when our car shows signs of having problems, it can get costly to fix them and cause a lot of stress. Worse then your ordinary car troubles, sometimes pranksters or even an ex-spouse can sabotage your vehicle, causing even more problems. A common prank against car owners is the old sugar in the gas tank trick, because many believe that this will cause your engine to burn. While it is a nasty trick to pull, the effects are not all that troublesome.
A few different ways to tell if someone put sugar in your gas tank exist. The most common way for you to identify the problem is actually to see sugar granules in your gas tank chamber when you open the tank. You might even see it on the pavement by your car. Since the hole is quite small, accidentally spilling the sugar is common. Sometimes the culprit will even tell you that she put sugar in your gas tank. If someone holds a grudge against you, she likely will want to rub it in your face. By bringing your car into an automotive shop, you can find out if someone actually put sugar in your gas tank, and a mechanic will discuss the various options available to you.
You will notice a few problems with your car if someone puts sugar in your gas tank. The most common effects are stalling of your vehicle and not being able to start your car at all. Many people assume that the car has run out of gas when sugar gets put in their gas tanks. The effects are similar, so you must try to identify your problem as early on as possible.
As AA1Car Diagnostic and Repair points out, since sugar will not dissolve in gasoline it will cause your vehicle problems and can cause damages. The sugar gets clogged up in your fuel filter, blocking gas from having the ability to travel through the filter to reach your engine. That's why you experience the effects of running out of gas, stalling or not getting your car started. Likely you will have to replace the fuel filter or, if you have not started the car since you noticed the sugar, get it towed to a shop nearby and ask them to drop the gas tank and get the sugar out.
A common misconception about sugar in your gas tank makes the problem much worse then it really gets. On Car Talk notes the myth that since sugar does not dissolve in gasoline it will harden in the engine and the whole engine will combust. However, the sugar will never reach your engine as a set of filters block debris from travelling that far.
In order to prevent someone from putting sugar in your gas tank, just simply get a lockable cap that only the key holder can access. This way you can get rest assured that no one ends up pulling pranks on you or your vehicle. Make sure you keep the key away from anybody who has a grudge against you, or that gets jealous of your vehicle.