Have you ever heard someone saying that putting sugar in the gas tank of your car could kill the engine? Can the heat of the engine caramelise the sugar and the sludge ends up jamming the engine’s parts? Will the disgusting carbon deposits render your engine useless? If you are planning to do this to someone you truly hate as a prank, you better learn the truth about it first.
Sugar in your engine will be lots of trouble for you and your car, but it is not just sugar. Any particulate will be a problem if it gets to the fuel injectors or cylinders and does not necessarily have to be sugar. The fuel filters manage the particulate problems for your engine.
Sucrose is insoluble in gasoline, so it will not circulate through the machine even if you add it to the tank. A forensics professor at the University of California, Berkley, John Thornton performed an experiment in 1994 to measure the solubility of sugar in gasoline. He marked sugar with radioactive carbon atoms and mixed it with gasoline. Then he used a centrifuge to extract the undissolved sugar and measured the radioactivity of the gas. The gas only had less than a teaspoon of sugar per 15 gallons. So, a tank full of gas just does not have enough solvent to dissolve the amount of sugar that may cause a problem. If you add a lot of sugar to the tank, it will just sink to the bottom, reducing the amount of gas that can be filled in the tank.
If this sugar gets suspended in the fuel due to a bump in the road, the fuel filter is enough to catch it. So the sugar won’t be getting anywhere inside the fuel line, even if it is an entire bag poured out. The fuel filter will require being changed more often, but there is no way that you would need to replace the entire engine. You can easily get your gas tank removed and cleaned out which is not a difficult job for a mechanic.
While we are at it, just remember never to get water in your gas tank. Your fuel filter sure won’t catch it, and the mixture of gasoline and water in the fuel tank will disrupt the combustion, and the engine would need a fuel treatment for a few hours before it gets to functioning properly again.
Don’t believe us? Watch for yourself: