what happens if you put sugar in gasoline? Fix It

The idea is quite firmly rooted among the people that if ordinary, refined sugar is poured into the gas tank of a car, this will lead to a serious breakdown of the fuel system, and the owner will face expensive repairs. That is, it is understood that sucrose reacts with gasoline and its components, forming a stable compound. Let’s try to figure out what’s really going on.

what happens if you put sugar in gasoline? Fix It

Does sugar dissolve in gasoline?

Without going into the boring details of the theory of solubility in organic solvents, let’s try a simple experiment. To do this, you need regular AI95 gasoline and a few pieces of regular refined sugar.

We place the components in a glass, transparent container and leave them for several hours. The result is quite unpredictable – the substance remained in gasoline in absolutely the same form as it was placed there before the start of the experiment (no dissolution was observed).

The result is ambiguous, but to be completely convincing, we will also try to thoroughly mix the experimental mass. After 15 minutes of intensive stirring, the cubes of refined sugar disintegrated into separate crystals but remained unchanged in quantity. It remains the final way – a little heat. But even after keeping the mixture at a temperature of 35 degrees, no changes occurred.

The experimental data are well confirmed by reference books of physicochemical characteristics. The most famous one states that sucrose is sparingly soluble in gasoline (about 0.0083% by weight dissolves).

what happens if you put sugar in gasoline?

The reason for the belief that sugar can damage engine parts is that it quickly caramelizes under the influence of temperature, forming a thick and viscous liquid. Allegedly, this viscous liquid can get into the combustion chamber and, having formed a dense soot coating there, contributes to the jamming of the mechanism.

In practice, the caramelization of refined sugar can never happen in a gas tank. This process begins at 110 degrees and is completely completed at 160. It is simply impossible to imagine that such a temperature is formed in the tank.

The most predictable scenario is that the sugar will simply settle to the bottom of the gas tank in a thin layer. It can be argued that sugar will still enter the combustion chamber, but this is not the case – it will be captured by the filters of the fuel system.

Chemical reaction of gasoline with sugar

No interaction, from the point of view of chemistry, between sugar and gasoline fractions, can occur. These substances do not have enough energy to interact with each other. Of course, the reaction can be forced by adding complex catalysts, but this cannot be achieved by simply pouring a mixture of components into a gas tank.

The physical presence of sugar in the tank

Since refined sugar cannot dissolve in a mixture of organic solvents, it will simply be distributed along the bottom of the tank in its original (i.e., crystalline) form. There will be no more damage from sugar in gasoline than from ordinary mechanical impurities that have entered the fuel system. The crystals are large enough and will be retained by the fuel filter, so they will not achieve their purpose (the combustion chamber in the engine).

symptoms of sugar in gas tank

Of course, sugar can’t end up in a gas tank “accidentally.” It is added there with malicious intent. At the same time, such sabotage can be considered luck, since the attackers do not suspect that they will not entail any consequences.

You can find refined sugar in the tank if you carefully examine the neck after active pouring, sweet crystals are guaranteed to remain there. When you notice this, it is better to disconnect the gas tank from the fuel system and flush it well (after removing the gasoline).

How to protect your car from sugar in tank?

Most modern cars have an automatic system that locks the gas cap when armed. If this function is not available, then it is recommended to equip the tank neck with a lock. It will also not be superfluous to install an alarm with feedback.

how to fix sugar in gas tank?

As it was found out after a detailed study of the nuances, sucrose in the gas tank poses practically no threat to the car. If this happened, and the pests poured a pack of refined sugar into the tank, then disconnecting the tank from the fuel system and flushing it will save.

Myths about critical damage to the engine when refined sugar was added to the gas tank were not confirmed. This substance does not interact with the fuel and does not dissolve in it. This situation does not pose a serious threat to the car.

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