Water in Gas Tank – What To Do?

Your car should be run only on gas. Anything else, including water, could be extremely dangerous for your engine. If you have noticed that your vehicle has water in gas tank, you should take immediate action.

This problem may cause several other issues, and your vehicle may end up completely broken. To solve this issue, you will have to visit a mechanic or do some actions yourself.

Why Is Water in Gas Tank a Problem?


In general, water in a gas tank can be a huge problem for your vehicle. Water can be in a gas tank for many reasons. Moisture, splash, or rain can enter the gas tank and create excessive water inside the tank.

At the same time, if your car sits for a long time, the water and gasoline get separated in the tank. This leads to problems with a car that are very damaging to the engine and other car parts.

You need to act appropriately and save your car from further damage.

Symptoms of Water in Gas Tank


There are several symptoms if your car has water in a gas tank, and we speak more about them below.

  1. White smoke from the exhaust

You can notice white smoke from the tailpipe for many reasons. You may start your car on a cold morning or there is some other situation.

However, one of the most obvious reasons for white smoke from the exhaust system is the water in your gas tank. The smoke will be very dense and it will be present as you start your car and press the gas pedal.

  1. Car performance significantly changed

This will be the symptom that you should not overlook. Your car performance can change in a day, and this will be the reason to act fast and take your car to a mechanic.

You will notice the difference when you start a car. At the same time, you may notice that your car struggles when you accelerate or change the shifts accordingly.

  1. Other performance issues

There are many performance issues when a car has water in fuel tank. You will notice that the car sputters or hesitate when you accelerate it. The more you step on the pedal, the more obvious it will be that a car needs a mechanical service.

  1. Checking the engine light

The engine light may be turned on when there is a problem with a water tank. In many cases, the vehicle’s ECU (Engine Control Unit) will trigger the engine light to show some of the issues. 

If you notice that the engine light is turned on and other symptoms are present, you can realize there is a problem with water in a gas tank.

  1. Impossible to start the car

To start a car, an engine needs a good ratio of air and fuel. When there is water in a gas tank, it might be impossible to start a vehicle.

The ignition is possible only when there is enough fuel. If the fuel is mixed with water, the ignition will not happen and you will not be able to start your vehicle.

All of these symptoms are very common if you have water in a gas tank. If you do not act immediately, the problem can become bigger, and you may harm other parts of your vehicle.

For all these reasons, it is good to know how to get water out of the gas tank.

How to Get Water Out of Gas Tank?


If you wonder how to get water out of a gas tank, there are some good solutions.

First of all, you must be sure that you have water in a gas tank. This may be noticeable if you experience some of the symptoms mentioned above.

When you are sure that there is water in a tank, you can ask your mechanic to perform certain actions.

You can also remove water by yourself by following a few steps.

  1. Empty the tank

One of the best ways to remove excess water from the tank is to empty the tank completely. This can be done with a vacuum machine.

If you do not have a vacuum machine, ask your mechanic to do this for you. A vacuum machine will suck out the water from the tank, and this will be an ideal option.

Also, you can use the inbuilt fuel pump to remove water. But there are some downsides to this method.

The fuel pump is usually fitted up from the bottom of the tank, and this could be a problem during the water removal. Some water will remain at the bottom and you will not be able to suck it out completely.

In general, it is best to use a professional vacuum machine that you can find at the mechanic workshop.

  1. Replace the filter

Once you suck out the water from the tank, you should take care of the filter.

Many people forget to replace the filter and this could be a problem. The filter is very important and it is affected by the water in a gas tank.

That is why you need to replace it once you remove the water completely. [2]

  1. Using methanol and fuel additives

If you have a small amount of water in a gas tank, there is a good way to remove it with the use of methanol or special fuel additives.

It is good to know that this action cannot remove all the water from the tank. This works only if you have small amounts of water in a tank.

Methanol and fuel additives can be very harsh and these can produce damage if not used adequately.

  1. Gas refilling

When you suck out the water completely or when you use the fuel additives to remove the excess water, you can refill the gas tank.

This action is the most important and you must pay attention to the gas that you put inside your vehicle.

It may happen that some gas stations have gasoline that is not adequate for your engine. If there is a problem with the gas, you should avoid these gas stations.

Be very careful about what gas you put into your vehicle because there might be problems with the gas tank afterward.

Only gasoline that is of good quality can be an adequate solution for your car.

What Is an Average Repair Cost?


There are many different predictions of average cost for this issue.  However, we can get the calculation from the previous experiences of the drivers.

In general, the water removal from the gas tank will cost you around $200. This sum is an average repair cost.

There are differences that depend on many factors, like the age of the car and the amount of water that needs to be removed.

However, we can agree that the costs are not small.

If you want the job to be well-performed, you should visit a mechanic workshop. The best way to remove water is to empty the entire volume of the gas from a tank.

If there is a smaller amount of water, a mechanic will use fuel additives. These additives are a good option only in certain situations.

There are very good fuel additives on the market, and the mechanic will know which one to use for your car.

However, when there is more water, a mechanic will need to apply the process of immediate displacement.

This process involves removing all of the gas from the tank and putting high-octane gas into the tank. The high-octane gas must be put immediately after the removal of the old gas.

In other cases, a mechanic can decide to leave the tank empty for some time. This solution depends on the amount of water that was in a gas tank.

A mechanic will decide which kind of action to apply in order to solve the issue of water in a gas tank.

What Happens If You Have 3 Gallons of Water in Gas Tank?


In some situations, you will not be able to start a car if you have excessive water in a gas tank.

Having 3 gallons of water in your car tank can be a huge problem. Do not try to run your car with that amount of water in your gas tank. You will need to act accordingly and remove the water completely!

It is your car that needs attention and you are responsible for the condition of your car. Apply the mentioned steps for removing water from a gas tank as soon as possible.

Read Also: Petrol in Diesel Car Symptoms


As you can notice, there are some good solutions to fix this issue. This is not a problem that can be overlooked. You should act immediately after you notice this issue.

However, a good mechanic will help you solve the issue and your car can run for many miles afterward.

Try to reveal all of the symptoms first and take adequate action. Be sure that your car has this issue by testing the car.

You should remove the unwanted water. In this manner, your car will serve you better in the days to come.