Some not so good samaritan decided to put some sugar in my gas tank at some point over the last three days, I noticed when I gassed up today as there was a tablespoon of sugar that didn’t make it in the tank. Looking on line and talking to my mechanic I’m getting conflicting stories. The mechanic is going to drop and clean the gas tank and replace the fuel filter, but can’t do it until saturday and claims that I should not be driving it around at all, as it could make it to the injectors. What I’ve found on line says that I should do the tank cleaning and filter replacement, but the sugar will likely just stay in the tank undissolved and won’t be a problem. Is it ok for me to go to work and back (15 miles) until getting the work done? I have no idea how much or how little sugar made it in the tank. Thanks for your advice.

Sugar is insoluble in gasoline. Or it doesn’t desolve in gasoline. So it stays as sugar granuals.

The problem is you don’t know how much sugar was added to the tank. A small amount might not be a problem as the filter sock in the tank would trap the sugar. But if a large enough amount was added where it plugged the filter sock it could cause the engine to stall.

So you have a choice. Drive it and see what happens. If the vehicle stalls then you know the tank will have to be dropped and cleaned. If the engine shows no problem, they didn’t get enough sugar in the tank to cause a problem.


read this link…adds to previous post…google sugar in gas tank

Google “Sugar in gas tank” and stop worrying.

If your car is running you’re probably wasting your money having a mechanic drop the tank and clean it. If your car stopped running I’d be concerned. But you didn’t say that.

Drive the car. It’s unlikely anything bad will happen.

I think this whole thing is a myth, but I also think Tester’s advice is worth following.

Good luck.

Urban legend, sugar does not dissolve in gas. But I still would not drive the car since you do not know how much is in the tank. Think of it as a bunch of sand in the tank. Do you want to suck up the sugar/sand past the filter? Patience will be a sort of cheap insurance against that.

I did rebuild a Type II VW Bus (with type 4 engine) that had been contaminated with some substance. The main effect of whatever was put in the tank was that it siezed up the piston rings on the pistons, never figured out what it was. Funny thing is you think this would be a man doing this to a woman who rejected him, it was done to a woman who stole anothers womans man.

Sugar is indeed insoluble in gasoline. But I’m not so sure about alcohol…Today’s gasoline usually contains 10% alcohol… I would not drive that car until the tank had been removed, inspected and cleaned…

Some pranksters just dump a little sugar AROUND the gas cap to create an illusion.

The people who mean business use Karo syrup…

Hey oldschool, any chance that VW Bus had a tankful of very old (two years or more) gas??

I’ve seen a couple of sugared vehicles over the years. In one case the car was a carbureted vehicle and the sugar actually congealed in lumps in the float bowl.
The other was a near new Porsche 911 (only about 1500 miles on it) that was towed in to the VW dealer I worked for. The 911 cost a fortune to repair because it needed a new pump, filter and injectors.
(The Porsche dealer was a long ways away and VW/Porsche; they all use the same basic parts and work the same.)

This was in 1982 and syrup was mentioned by the owner but no proof ever came up (like a confesssion). After I rebuilt this bus the owner flaked out on the bill and I filed a lein on it, the owners ex-husband came by the shop while I was away and took off in it. This was in Northern CA and before he got it out of the valley the law nabbed him and brought it back, from then on it sat with the tires off till paid off.

Just wanted to follow up - I drove the car quite a bit waiting for my mechanic to take a look at it without an issue. The mechanic dropped the tank today, and said the filter/screen before the fuel pump (which is in the tank) caught the sugar ( a little over a cups worth). I thought it was worth it for the peace of mind to have him check it, he cleaned it all out and replaced both filters - found nothing in the upper filter. So all is well, and he only charged me 100 bucks.

You are very lucky…Perhaps a locking gas cap is in order, if they still make them…And thanks for closing the thread…

Thank you for the follow up report - and let me say that at $100 that mechanic sounds like a keeper.

Keep that mechanic and I believe you can add his name to the list of trusted mechanics on this web site.