Water in Car Gas Tank – 7 Fixes

Water in a vehicle’s gas tank is a big issue that requires immediate attention. Water can enter a car’s gas tank in various ways, often by mistake when washing the car or due to natural water condensation in which water can accumulate in the gas tank.

Another possible cause is a broken lid cap, rain, or even a regular car wash can be detrimental to the gas tank. 

Did you also know that when you fill up your tank at a gas station, water can get into your tank? It could be due to a faulty filter. Well, gas undergoes different processes before coming to the gas station. It is distilled from refineries and pushed through pipelines before being delivered by vehicles. 

Water contamination of the fuel can occur if it is not handled correctly during these stages. It can also happen if groundwater leaks into the gas station’s storage tank. As a result, the fuel pump circulates water throughout the fuel lines and injectors. 

Okay, enough of how water gets into a gas tank, let’s now see how to fix the water in your gas tank.

How Can You Get Water out of a Gas Tank?

1. Drain And Refill Your Gas Tank

An effective way to remove water from your gas tank is to drain and refill it. It may seem like a costly option; but, the damage to your vehicle that you will prevent is very well worth it. Because gas has a lesser density than water, it floats on top. 

2. Use Fuel Additives

If there is any fuel remaining in the tank, you can fill it up with high-octane gasoline and quickly empty the tank. This action will completely dry the tank and remove all moisture.

HEET is a fuel additive designed to remove water from the gas tank. HEET contains unique gasoline additives and methanol, which aid in the elimination of water from the tank.

On the other hand, fuel additives will not work if there is more water in the tank than gas. If you lack the necessary skills to complete this procedure independently, it is worth your time to hire a professional mechanic. 

If not appropriately handled, water in a tank can cause severe damage to a vehicle. However, keep in mind that gasoline additives will not work if the amount of water in the tank is too high. 

3. Replace Your Fuel Filter

Water may have damaged your fuel filter, causing it to disintegrate or weaken, rendering it useless. Not only can contaminated fuel clog your filter, but you’ll also save time in the future when you need to change your fuel filter.

4. Clean out the Fuel Lines

These are designed to carry gas rather than water. If water enters the system, the lines will begin to rust. It could cause a small leak that is difficult to detect, but it would reduce fuel efficiency and pose a severe risk of causing a fire. Take it to your mechanic if you don’t know how to do it properly. 

5. Fill Your Gas Tank With New, Fresh Gas

While you’re at it, make sure the fuel system is clean as well. You’re ready to go once you’ve filled the car up. 

6. Choose a Reliable Gas Station

The reason is that some of these gas stations may dilute the gas to save money or purchase it from a low-cost or unethical supplier. If you’re paying a gas price that appears too good to be true, it could be polluted. 

7. Get a Locking Gas Cap

Finally, if your car lacks a locking gas cap, you may want to invest in a new one. Gas caps seal car fuel tanks, prevent fuel spillage, reduce fuel evaporation and prevent water, dust, and debris from entering the fuel system.

How Do You Know if Your Gas Tank Has Water in it?

A small amount of water in your gasoline tank is typical. However, if you observe these signs, you likely have enough water in your gas tank you need to deal with right away. 

Performance Issues

If there is water in your gas tank, you will notice difficulty with acceleration and hesitation right away. If you’re having problems getting up to highway speeds but nothing else appears to be wrong with your car, you should check for water in your tank. 

You may also encounter abrupt, dramatic changes in speed that occur without your input. It could also seem like a stumble. If your tank is full but your car still sputters when you step on the gas pedal, it means it is contaminated with water. The injectors have water slugs in them, which causes hesitation and sputters. 

Exhaust White Smoke

Because there is water in the combustion chamber or exhaust system, it will naturally evaporate and produce steam, resulting in a lot of white smoke coming out of your tailpipe. 

Hydro-Lock Engine

If the gasoline tank is clogged with water, the engine will not start or crank at all. It is referred to as hydro-locking. The cranking occurs because water cannot be compressed in the same way that air can. 

In normal operating conditions, the pistons compress air and push fuel into the carburetor. However, the engine will seize and lock up due to the water in the gas tank. Internal parts including the crankshaft rods can be damaged by friction. 


Water in a gas tank does not call for panic, but it is an issue that needs to be fixed. It can cause severe damage to your car or vehicle by gradually diminishing the engine’s efficiency and performance by wreaking havoc on the injectors and fuel pipes. 

Please note that If you are unable to remove the water from the tank properly, you should seek the assistance of a mechanic to aid you in resolving this issue. Identify how water could get into your gas tank and take steps to prevent it. 

However, if you notice any of the symptoms described above, which indicate water in the gas tank, make sure you take the necessary steps to drain the water in the gas tank properly.

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