What happens when you put bad gas in your car?

 Blake Slade
  Jan 03, 2018

Owning your own vehicle is great for many different reasons and purposes. One of the most beneficial is the convenience that a car actually provides. Also, based on the area in which one lives today, a car is a necessity and not a luxury. Specifically, for those who live on the outskirts of large cities and in rural areas. Aside from this, it is also important to note that this added convenience does come with a price, and that is the responsibility of keeping a car maintained properly so that it will always run smoothly. Fortunately, there some maintenance repairs and issues that can be avoided. One, in particular, is the problems that stem from using bad gasoline in your tank. So, for those you who are interested in what you can do to minimize and eliminate these possibilities and the damage that comes along with bad gasoline, here are some invaluable information that you should know in advance.

What is Bad Gasoline?

First of all, you may want to know, is there really such a thing as bad gas? According to experts in the gas and oil industry, bad gas does exist and there are a number of reasons why. Some of which are noted as follows:

High water content: Typically, before gas is sent to the fuel stations for distribution, it is mixed with 10% ethanol. So, a few drops of water in the tank may really not hurt the performance of your vehicle. However, if there is higher water content during the delivery and/or storage, potential problems can occur.

Sediment in the tank: Another common issue that can occur is sediment built up in the tank. Unfortunately, these problems normally occur when small particles of sediment are not caught by the filters in the nozzle. As a result, the sediments can affect the engine over an extended period of time.

Lower level octane: Each vehicle has been designed with a certain octane level and is required for the ultimate performance of that particular vehicle. These requirements should be adhered to as recommended to prevent potential damage to the engine. For instance, if you are filling your vehicle with a lower octane level, it may be just like using bad gas for your car and can affect the car’s overall performance.

Old Gas: Some people may not know that gas is made up of a mixture of components that can break down when not used within a year’s time. So, old gas should not be used in your car.

Signs and Symptoms of Bad Gas

Now that you know how to identify bad gas and what actually causes it, the next step is to learn what happens when you put bad gas in your car?

1. Poor start or the vehicle will not start at all.

Though there are many different reasons for startup problems in any vehicle, one of the more commonly known involves the use of a bad gas. For instance, if the car has water in the tank, it may render the gas that is in the tank completely useless. Therefore, when the driver begins to start the car, the car may act like it is empty by hesitating or not turning on the engine at all.

3. You hear a knocking or pinging sound.

Knocking and pinging is also a tale tell sign of bad gas in your tank. Usually, this sound is a good indication that there may be problems with the combustion process. In some cases, these problems may be solved by refueling with a higher level octane gas.

4. Your car may run rough.

According to Car Care Ninja, when the engine is adversely affected by bad gas, you may find that your car will run much rougher than usual. These problems are normally easy to recognize and identify since the acceleration of the vehicle is no longer smooth but lacks in performance. In some cases, the vehicle may even spurt out the bad gas from the tailpipe sporadically and it also feels like the car will eventually cut off at any time. The engine line may come in some of the latest designed cars to show that there is a problem with the engine.


If you are concerned about taking care of your vehicle properly, there are many different things that you should know in advance. One, in particular, involves learning about the negative impact that bad gas has on the performance of your car. Also, to minimize these repair problems, you should know the different causes along with the signs and symptoms that appear when bad gas is in the tank.

What happens when you put bad gas in your car?

Blake Slade

Blake Slade is the owner of CarCareNinja and an experienced car mechanic. He always provides the latest information about car care. He likes to share his own experiences with all of us.

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