A gas tank is an essential component of fuel-driven vehicles and is crucial to their functioning. Cars running on petrol or diesel need a constant fuel supply from the fuel tank. However, contamination in the fuel tank can cause several problems. Continue reading the article below to learn the symptoms of water in a gas tank.
Short on Time – Here’s a Quick Summary
Water in the gas tank creates several issues, such as rust, and affects the injector and fuel pipeline. Some common symptoms of water in gas tanks include power and mileage issues, check engine light getting on, engine performance issues, difficulty starting the engine, etc.
Problems Caused by Water in Gas Tanks
Before we discuss the symptoms of water in gas tanks, let’s talk about the problems it can cause for vehicle owners.
Here are the problems that water in the gas tank can cause.
- Poor Lubrication: Water can reach the engine oil and harm the lubrication process of the engine, leading to several engine issues, including damage to the engine.
- Rusting: Water in the gas tank for a long time can cause rust inside the fuel pump. Water and fuel won’t mix, making the water sink to the tank’s surface, which will cause the rusting.
- Fuel Injector: Water in the gas tank can cause rusting in the injector and the fuel system, causing the fuel injector to be damaged.
- Reduce Accelerator Efficiency: High water can cause issues while pressing down the accelerator when driving, making it difficult to drive smoothly and causing speed fluctuations.
10 Symptoms of Water in Gas Tank
One must be aware of the signs that occur when there is water in the gas tank. In this section, we will highlight the common symptoms of water in gas tanks.
Let’s discover the symptoms of water in gas tanks.
1. Power & Mileage Issues
Water presence in the car tank can impact combustion capacity. As a result, it can reduce the motor’s power efficiency, thus decreasing the car’s mileage.
Moreover, an increase or decrease in power can occur due to water in the gas tank. Since the engine is not designed to compress water during acceleration, this can result in the engine losing or gaining power abruptly.
2. Engine Stalling
Engine stalling means the engine has stopped working for several reasons. Water in the fuel tank is one of them. Often drivers who have water in their fuel tanks complain about engine stalling. For instance, the engine can stop working while you are driving, or it suddenly refuses to start. It happens due to combustion and compression issues, which are associated with water in the gas tank.
3. Steam Release
Since the water in the gas tank is entering the combustion chamber or the exhaust system, it can naturally evaporate and make steam come out of your car’s tailpipe. Never confuse this white steam with the smoke coming out when you start your car engine on a cold morning. Due to the water in the gas tank, it becomes more noticeable.
4. Gasoline Smell While Driving
Many vehicle owners might assume a strong gasoline smell comes from the unburned fuel vapor or a simple fuel leak. However, this is only the case. Sometimes you feel a strong gasoline smell. Sometimes it means water in the gas tank.
5. Check Engine Light
Since modern cars have car sensors for monitoring different car components, so does the engine. For example, if the sensor gets faulty values due to water in the gas tank, it will send information to the engine control unit, store the trouble code and sometimes turn on the check engine light.
6. Water Dripping
Just as the exhaust pipe releases steam due to water in the gas tank. As a result, water droplets might also be released. This can happen due to condensation in the fuel tank.
7. Misfiring or Rough Idling
When water enters the combustion chamber of the fuel tank, it can also cause misfires. Since misfires can cause problems with acceleration, you may also notice rough acceleration due to water in the gas tank. Moreover, water-fuel mixtures and misfires can also cause rough idle.
8. Performance Issues
As mentioned above, water in the gas tank can cause rough acceleration. Consequently, you might feel a stumble or hesitation whenever you step on the accelerator pedal. Rough acceleration will significantly affect the engine’s performance and cause several issues.
9. Difficulty Starting the Engine
The water in the vehicle’s fuel tank will not enable the engine to start efficiently. Since the water inside the car’s cylinder is above the piston, it will not be able to complete a rotation. This condition hinders fuel combustion, making it difficult to start the engine.
This issue also occurred in my Toyota Corolla due to water in the gas tank. On inspecting, I found water in the tank, and the fuel filter wasn’t in good condition too. I took my car to the mechanic and got the issue fixed immediately.
10. Slow Acceleration
Water in the gas tank will slow acceleration or delay the car’s movement. Due to the water, the fuel system will not pump gas into the engine; instead, it will pump the water into the tank, causing slow or poor acceleration.