She is not the Salt of the Earth

My soon-to-be-Exgirlfriend has allegedly poured an unknown amount of table salt/sodium chloride into the gastank of my second car, a 2004 Buick LeSabre, which has 110,000 miles on it. My mechanic suggests I have to flush the gas tank and fuel-line in order to prevent any issues. I have not started the engine since this purported act of love from my ex. Is this necessary, and if so, is it sufficient?

Neither salt nor sugar will dissolve in gasoline…Today’s ethanol blends might allow some of the salt / sugar to dissolve…

If I were doing this myself, I would siphon out all the gasoline I could into 5-gallon containers…I would then remove the fuel tank, remove the fuel pump / fuel gauge port on top of the tank, carefully inspect the inside of the tank with a bright light to make sure there was indeed salt or sugar in it, and if so, flush it out with hot water until I was satisfied it was clean…

A repair shop is unlikely to go through all this, and will instead recommend simply replacing the tank.

At this point, do NOT start the engine or drive the car anywhere to have it repaired. It must be towed. One more thing…The fuel filler neck where it enters the tank probably holds virtually all the salt / sugar that may have been dumped in…if the filler neck can be removed without removing the tank, you might be able to save yourself a lot of trouble…

I’d ask first, who made the allegation, and do you believe that person. If your GF wanted to mess with you, she could just SAY that she poured salt…even if she didn’t.

I’d first get a flashlight, remove the gas cap, and look very carefully around the compartment. If she really did pour salt into the gas tank, I’d expect to see evidence of a few stray crystals around somewhere. If you can’t find a single stray salt crystal, I’d suspect that she didn’t actually do it, but said she did in order to mess with you.

And if she really did pour sugar/salt into the tank, she can be arrested for vandalism

I agree with bscar. If what you say is true, you oughta have her arrested. If you flush your tank & lines, & then find out she was putting you on, you should sue her. What if she does something like this to the next guy or even one of her girlfriends. This stinks.

You could also have the fuel cap dusted for finger prints.

If you find any evidence she did what she said she did, it’s time to file a police report. They might not be able to arrest your soon-to-be ex, but filing a report should at least allow you to file an insurance claim.

She meant to use sugar, not salt. Salt will only cause you any problem if you let the gas tank go empty, if at all. Keep the tank at least half full all the time, and you should have no problems.

I must laugh when I read people say “have her arrested” as all you can do is present your proof to the authorities and they will decide if an arrest is in order, they will not act simply because you say “arrest her”.

While technically I believe you are correct, cops and DA’s do not often arrest women for domestic problems, even when it involves vandalism.

Nor, as I said above, will they usually arrest a woman in a domestic issue.

I hope you have the brains to separate yourself from her.

It depends on how much salt was poured into the gas tank. Just like sugar, salt is insoluable in gas so it stay’s in it’s granular form. If enough salt was introduced into the gas tank, it can plug the filter sock on the fuel pump assembly.

I would drive it and see what happens. If there’s a loss of performance from the engine, then drop the tank and clean it out.


It’s been my experience that DAs rarely arrest anyone.