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2004 Nissan Frontier - sugar in the gas tank

Sugar was put into my gas tank and I didn’t know until after I drove it about 30 miles & killed it & went to start it again. My husband took the fuel filter off & blew through it. Then turned key over a few times to push remaining fuel out. Drove it a few miles to get fuel cleaner & more gas. The truck has been making a clicking sound when I first start it but stops clicking after a couple minutes. I’ve drove it 2 days now. Will it harm my motor?

Probably not. You’ve done what you can do and sugar is not really an effective way to kill and engine.

I wonder if carmelized deposits have built up on the valves, causing some type of clatter on start. You might run some good fuel injector cleaner through this thing to clear the rest out and maybe slowly dissolve the deposits.

This also sounds like a good reason to run some Seafoam through the intake.

Snopes even quotes Tom and Ray saying sugar in the gas tank is a filtration clogging problem not a sludge or caramelizing problem


Now I’m hungry for Ice Cream.


It could easily be that you are listening very carefully to the engine these days, more than ever before, so you are hearing things that you used to ignore. But sometimes clicking on starting a cold engine can be caused by low oil, or the wrong viscosity of oil (10-30, 5-40, etc) or even a new oil filter that doesn’t have an appropriate check valve to stop all the oil from draining back into the crankcase overnight.

Sugar is insoluble in gasoline but it does dissolve readily in water. Fortunately, the ethanol in today’s gas formulations helps to absorb water condensate but we do see people with “bad” gas from filling stations that is clearly more water than the gas can absorb so leaves the question, just how saturated is that gas you put into your tank to begin with? How much sugar was dumped in would play a role in how I reacted. If I’m going to be plagued with clogged tank socks and in-line filters it might be worth cleaning it out. Not to mention the financial exposure depending on what kind of car value we’re talking about…

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