The Problem with Water in Your Gas Tank

Water in your gas. You don’t want it.

But…it happens. Due to condensation or leaks at your fuel pump, small amounts of water can collect in your gas tank. While very tiny amounts will generally make it through your fuel system without damage or consequence, it doesn’t take much water to start to cause problems. Some of the symptoms of water in your gas tank include:

  • Difficulty starting your engine
  • Hesitation (may go away as you drive)
  • Engine sputtering and dying
  • Racing/uneven idle or cruising

If you detect any of these drivability problems, there’s a chance you have water in your gas tank. The major cause of water in your fuel system is the build-up of condensation in your fuel tank. You can minimize this effect by keeping your gas tank mostly full (which will keep the fuel:water ratio properly diluted, which minimizes symptoms). On the flip side, low fuel levels allow large amounts of air to enter your fuel tank which can, in turn, create large amounts of condensation.

A leaking gasket around your fuel tank can also allow moist air to enter your fuel tank. The suction of your fuel pump pulls air in whenever your gasket gets dry, brittle or cracked and can allow condensation to form water droplets in your fuel. When these droplets pass through your injectors, you get the characteristic rough idle or hesitation that we mentioned above.

Long-Term Issues with Water in Your Gas Tank

On top of the hesitation and stalling problems water in your gas creates, you can also do long-term damage to your injectors. Water can cause corrosion inside your fuel system and injectors and keep them from monitoring your fuel delivery rate properly. If left long enough, your injectors can eventually fail altogether, meaning your car won’t start at all. This, obviously, is bad news.

At the first sign of water in your gas tank, or if you live in a humid environment with drastic temperature fluctuations, consider using our Rislone fuel treatment products, particularly the Rislone Complete Fuel System Treatment, which includes eight additives including a gas dryer. Our formulations are proven to help clean your fuel system and remove water that has built-up in your fuel lines and tank. You can locate a local retailer that carries our products using this online tool or contact us for more information.

Trust Rislone’s experience and reputation to help you diagnose and correct problems due to water in your vehicle’s gas today. We see this problem a lot in our customer’s cars, so we have pretty deep experience with this and related fuel system problems.