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Two stroke engine oil's been dumped in both of our minivans by vandals.. please help we're desperat

Please help! We have someone causing lots of heartache for us, killed our dog, etc… now both of our cars are disabled. We had purchased the Kia to sell to pay for our daughter’s first year of college. I noticed our newly filled 1 gallon can of two-stroke oil was on it’s side, I yelled at the kids thinking they dumped it - however there was little spilled I could see. We drove our 2006 Chrysler Town and Country for about 15 miles when the check engine light came on. We were making a three hour drive, so we decided to bring it home and take the Kia we had just bought. We drove the Kia Sedona 2002 about 28 miles, noticing it had begun decelerating very poorly. By 30 miles we were pulling in for gas and noted acceleration was slamming into 2nd gear. We filled up with gas, started the car, and nothing. The car sounded right as rain, but is not getting fuel I guess, because once it turns over we get nothing. We had a sweet kid with a Snap On code reader which said it was throwing a MAF air flow sensor, which the kid said he had A. never seen and B. did not look gummed up in any place that he could see. We have yet to figure out what the engine light is in for in the Chrysler, but it has never gone on before today and 2 + 2 is starting to add up. We are in a small city with no police department that has been overrun by meth dealers - we have people driving up to our house in broad daylight, taking our mail right out of our box! My husband has raised hell, chased them down with a gun and a dog at his side, and now we are being targeted. I put everything I had saved into buying that Kia. Now I don’t know how we are going to pay for parts to fix them, assuming my husband and I can even get around to get under them, we are both on oxygen, I have MS and muscuar dystrophy and he has congestive heart, kidney and pulmonary failure. We love cars, worked on tons in our time, but now we have a dirt drive and not even a pair of ramps to get the cars up. Other than the obvious, syphoning and testing the fuel, trying to drain a freshly filled 15+ gallon tank and pulling both cars tanks, switching out fuel filters… what else can I do to protect these cars from further destruction? In older cars a little oil would have been no biggie… but this was a mix for a 2 stroke Ryobi multi tool trimmer. Will I be able to save these engines? Where would you start? I don’t want my husband overexerting and getting sick, but if we are unable to get these cars running I don’t know what we’ll do. We won’t be able to pay our daughter’s tuition this summer, and our nearest city is 38 miles away for groceries… we have 5 kids at home! I did just buy him a mechanics tool set, so we do have that. I can do thermostats, plugs, starters, alternators, fuel pumps, some belts, throttle cables, timing, oil on the newer vans but I am self taught and this is beyond what I know how to do or can understand alone.Thank you so much for your time and sharing any ideas you have.

The gallon container had 2 stroke oil in it? Or, had the gas/oil mix in it?

That is exactly what I was wondering about, also.
If it was actually a gas/oil mix, it is very unlikely to have caused damage to a 4-cycle engine unless–perhaps–there was almost no gas left in the car’s tank.

Several times over the years, I have added about 1/2 gallon of 2-cycle gas/oil mix to the tank of my cars, and no damage has ever taken place. This was essentially the same as adding a can of “top oil” to the gas, which many people used to do in order to clean and lubricate the valves.

If your two vehicles had little fuel in them, jus filling the gas tank is probably enough to cut the concentration of oil to the point that they will run reasonably well.

If you don’t have local police, contact the state police. You always have someone to help.

You state this was a mix for a Ryobi string trimmer. The addition of that to either vehicle should not affect it other than MAYBE generating a little smoke. Someone would have to enter the vehicles to release the gas lid catch also.

I think there is something else going on with the vehicles. What that is I have no idea as the possibilities are numerous.

I’m not trying to be too critical here but your post is very lengthy and goes on quite a bit about health issues, meth dealers. small town/no cops, etc, etc, etc. That can make it much, much more difficult to even hazard a wild guess.
That’s not meant to make light of your issues because I know exactly where you’re coming from on health issues, small town, and around here at least; a very small number of meth heads.

One other thing I don’t understand is the bit about buying a Kia to sell to pay for college. Are you trying to flip cars for profit or what?

I’ve never seen 2 stroke oil sold by the gallon. Even a gallon should mix in OK if the tank had 10 gallons of gas in it.

The cars are 10 and 12 years old so just about anything can be going on with the cars.

Better story would be:

  1. Someone put oil/gas mix in car.
  2. Maybe 1 gal?
  3. Car runs poorly.
  4. How do I fix it?

Thank you to those who replied to my questions. I apologize to those who felt my information was less than desirable. What we think went in was one gallon of newly mixed two stroke fuel mix and the one gallon of gasoline needed to mix and run the trimmer. Unfortunately both cars would have been at about 1/4 of a tank. The kia was at least running, until we stopped and filled the tank. That is what we all found odd, given the extenuating circumstances. After the code was read some tweaking did keep it at idle, but very rough, very heavy fuel smell and in a short period of running a very heavy sulfur smell. I wouldn’t think ADDING gas would make the situation worse, however in the Kia’s case it’s kind of a toss up - is the system too gummed up benefit from the better gas/oil ratio? Am I making things worse, and in either case what do you suggest I do with both cars now It’s 30 miles to fill up the 2006 Chrysler Town and Country with gas. The Kia was towed home - it wouldn’t make it around the block right now. So now what? We are working up how to siphon the gas and see what we have. My husband plans to drive the Chrysler into town to buy parts for the Kia. I think both cars need to be left till we get a better picture of what is going on with them, (it’s close to an 80 mile round trip to get parts and fill up with gas). Is there something else that could have been put in the tank that would make the car run worse when more fuel was added?
Further, ok4450, there is no in cabin release mechanism for the access door to the gas tanks on either van. One simply needs to open the access door and neither van had a locking cap - if we get them through this they will, but too late for now. Thank you for the idea, however…

UncleTurbo, ok4450, jtsanders, VDCdriver thank you for your thoughts on these cars… we appreciate it very, very much.

I think the vandals may have put something else in the tank as well as the fuel/oil mix. I wonder if they did something like pour the mixture into one of the tanks, then filled the can with water or even urinated into the can and then emptied the can into the gas tanks.
Perhaps the solution to your situation is to get locking gas caps and have your mail held at the post office.

I agree with the others. This has nothing to do with a gallon of 32:1 fuel mix being put in the tank.It’s possible something else was put in, too, but that wouldn’t explain a MAF error code.

I've never seen 2 stroke oil sold by the gallon.
Go to any chain auto parts store, WalMart, or marine store. You'll see lots of it in gallon jugs.

This may sound insensitive . . .

Perhaps it has absolutely nothing to do with the 2-stroke fuel at all

Could be the vehicles had some issues, even before this latest incident

Maybe the MAF sensor failed all on its own, and is causing the the vehicle to be undriveable

Another unhelpful thought . . . buying a Kia in what seems to be a somewhat sketchy area may not be the best idea. Lack of parts and service comes to mind

It sounds to me like the best thing for you to get would be a home camera system. They are getting pretty cheap now. Then get another dog. If someone kills the new dog and you have them on video, post the video on YouTube and the local Sheriffs will spring into action. Your county Sheriffs should be the responsible police department if you town doesn’t have its own. Animal cruelty gets the publics attention, more so than people cruelty.

As for the empty cans, you can’t assume that what was dumped into your gas tank is what is on the cans label. Both 2 cycle oil and the cans of premixed gas/oil are pretty expensive to waste on vandalism, unless the vandals stole it from someplace else. More likely they picked up the cans fro the trash and put in some water. A can of “gas drier” from your nearest autoparts store might help with that, but if they dumped in a whole gallon, one small can won’t do much good.

But if they put in much water, the van should never have made it out of the driveway. Gas floats on water so the water would have immediately gotten into the fuel pump.

Your symptoms do exactly match a bad MAF sensor though and that would have nothing to do with what is in the gas tank. MAF sensors do go bad suddenly. Some engines will run if you simply disconnect the MAF sensor, putting the computer into a default program, so you could try that. It won’t run all that good and you will not get very good gas mileage, but it could serve you until you get a new MAF sensor.

thank you all.

I mixed the oil and gas, it wasn’t purchased. When I was given my Ryobi it had a little container to mix w/1 gallon of gas. It has something that neutralizes the ethanol plus the oil to be used in 2 stroke machines. I wondered if the ethanol neutralizer was the problem.

Both cars had impeccable service records, with receipts stapled neatly to the invoices and filled. The Kia was 1 previous owner with 101k, even it’s original widow sticker and one service center completed all of it’s work! the Chrysler was maintained as a fleet vehicle for it’s first 130k, and is only now at 143k. All of it’s maintenance was through 1 local dealer and can also be seen on it’s carfax report.

We had a mechanic look at the Kia and read the code for us. He said he has never had that sensor fail the way ours has. Nothing in the exhaust looks like the sensor had failed… I don’t know, except he was positive something else was the real problem. I maintained something had to have been done to the cars; having two very well running cars fail within 30 miles of an outbound trip is a big coincidence. I don’t believe in coincidences, 2 stroke oil can emptied, dog poisoned, cars failing.

Thank you for your ideas and information on what I should do next. I really need step by step diagnostics on what I should look for and do next. I will never save enough money to replace one of these cars.

I bought the Kia from an accountant in a college town three hours away. Not in the sketchy area where I live. I do have half a brain. Thank you.


As @keith already mentioned . . . unplug the MAF sensor and start the car

If it starts and runs better with it unplugged, you’ve confirmed you have a problem with the MAF sensor circuit. Quite possibly the sensor itself

If you confirm the MAF sensor is the problem, my advice is to straight out replace it. Don’t bother to try cleaning it. That would only kind of make sense if you had a P0171 lean code, for example. And it sounds like you probably had P0101 or something along those lines

If you are so sure something was poured in your fuel tanks, just have them drained. And then fill with fresh fuel. Replace any external fuel filters . . . I’m not even sure if either of your cars even have external fuel filters. They’re in the fuel tank, nowadays, at least for gasoline engines

Perhaps somebody poured diesel fuel into the fuel tank(s) . . . ?

That would be bad news

Thank you Keith and db4690. Thank you all for your thoughtfulness and consideration.

If anyone has methods for draining the fuel tanks, I would appreciate that, especially for the Kia I filled then had to have towed. We are not in the income bracket to simply have the tanks drained. Our one good mechanic is a month out on work, plus he is 47 miles away and I just used my one free tow getting the Kia brought home. That means I have two tanks to drain with whatever I have on hand here, including not being able to lift the vans off the ground, except some small and old jacks.

Thank you.

I hope the police are working with you to try to find the culprit. You’re describing clear criminal activity.

If I thought that had happened to my car, and the gas tank was less than half full, I’d fill the tank to the brim with fresh gasoline, hoping it would dilute the oil enough I could run it all out eventually by just normal driving. If that didn’t work, I’d ask a shop to drain and remove the tank and steam clean, then re-install it. Then I’d refill with fresh gasoline and hope for the best. Once it was running enough to be drivable I’d add a dose of fuel injector cleaner over the next few tanks of gasoline.

I suggest you don’t try to do anything like that yourself unless you have the proper training. It doesn’t make sense to risk life and limb over a car when there’s plenty of auto repair shops who know how to do it safely, and the appropriate tools.

If you think you’ll continue to be a subject of auto-sabotage, make sure to keep your cars locked. Then – at least if your cars are like my Corolla – the culprits won’t be able to easily open the hood or the gas cap.

You shouldn’t drain the fuel tanks on a whim, this will cost $200-300 per vehicle. Start with diagnosing the problem. You did not state how much oil was added, you first said one gallon but there may have been only 4 ounces of oil in the gallon container, insignificant.

Your fuel should be locked in a shed. With five children around having the fuel added to your vehicles fuel tank is nothing more than an inconvenience, you will have to buy more fuel for your trimmer. Something worse could have happened involving the fuel.