How Bad Gas Ruins Engines

It’s common knowledge that dirty and contaminated motor oil can wreck an engine. Not many people realize that dirty and contaminated gasoline is just as bad for the engine. Bad gas is a serious issue that causes engines to run poorly. It even kills engines over time, too.

We put together a video that explains why bad gas is a big problem that needs to be addressed ASAP:

Signs That Your Engine Is Running On Bad Gas

If you notice the following signs, you may want to get your engine checked for bad gas.

  • Engine pinging
  • Engine knocking
  • Poor acceleration
  • Sputtering engine
  • Decreased engine power

When your engine is running on bad gas, incomplete combustion occurs. It becomes more noticeable under acceleration. You need to address bad gas right away if you notice any of the above signs. Bad gas is serious and can damage or destroy an engine fast.

There are many ways bad gas can ruin an engine, including:

  • Gumming up the fuel lines
  • Corroding the fuel lines and other fuel system parts (due to water in the fuel)

If those problems go unchecked long enough, they’ll cause the engine to stop working. It’s up to you to make sure your engine is running on good, clean gas at all times.

What Does Bad Gas Look Like?

engine damage

Bad gas is a term used to describe gasoline:

  • That’s contaminated with water, rust particles, dirt, and other impurities
  • That doesn’t have enough octane
  • That’s unable to ignite or burn in the combustion chamber

At Powertrain Products, it’s easy for us to figure out if bad gas caused engine damage. We can see the damage when taking apart the engine and inspecting its components.

  • Bad gas smells funny
  • There’s separation in bad gas (the contaminants separate from the gas)
  • Bad gas is discolored (usually a yellowish color)

It’s not so easy for the car owner, though. You don’t always see the gas you put into your vehicle. You also can’t see the gas that’s running through your engine. So it can be impossible to tell if your car is running on bad gas until you start to notice some symptoms. But the good news is there are some things you can do to prevent your engine from running on bad gas.

How To Prevent Your Engine From Running On Bad Gas

gas quality

If your vehicle is going to be sitting for a couple of weeks or a couple of months, you want to make sure that the gas stays in good shape. There are several fuel stabilizers on the market that will keep the gas from breaking down for many months. You can find them at any auto parts store. So if your engine is dying, and it will be a while until you put a new one in, stabilize the fuel before letting the car sit.

If your vehicle has been sitting for a while, and you’re going to put a new engine into it, consider replacing or cleaning the:

  • Fuel rails
  • Fuel lines
  • Fuel injectors

These components have small passageways that are easily clogged if fuel is left sitting in them.

It’s also good practice to only get gas at newer gas stations. Some older, poorly maintained gas stations have dirty/rusty fuel tanks that can contaminate the gas. These tanks may also be leaking. In that case, water and other contaminants can seep into them.

Also, gas stations that don’t get a lot of business may have old fuel sitting in their tanks, collecting dust, dirt, and other contaminants. So be sure to only get gas from trusted sources.

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