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Is Your Car Carrying “Bad Gas”?

Contrary to what you think, contaminated gas isn’t really that uncommon. In fact, you might have one right now–perhaps a water contaminant that resulted from idling your car for weeks or months, or the wrong measurement of additives were used during its refining process. In fact, even as simple as using a dirty nozzle while refilling can introduce a contaminant to your fuel.

What is Contaminated Gas?

Contaminated gas is often considered “bad gas.” They are called that way because they don’t combust properly, and can lead to problems that eventually result to engine or vehicle damage. And while the degree of destruction they can make on your car varies, there are some  general symptoms that indicate if your gas has been contaminated by these substances. They include:

  • High vehicle emissions
  • Rough idling and stalling
  • Difficulty in starting your vehicle
  • Increased fuel consumption
  • Engine knocking or pinging
  • “Check engine light indicator” turned on

 

How “Bad Gas” can affect your car

There are four serious contaminants that can easily cause premature or sudden engine failure in your vehicle. If you let this pass, then your vehicle will eventually breakdown in the process.

1. Soot

It’s normal to have soot in engine oils. However, too much of it is not normal, and can indicate engine problems (or perhaps a dire need for an oil change). Combustion efficiency is affected, causing poor ignition timing, cold-start problems, and increased fuel economy.

2. Glycol

This harmful substance occurs due to cracked cylinder heads, malfunctioning seals, corrosion, blown head gaskets, and even small punctures or holes. They can cause soot that can lead to sludge and other deposits, blocking oil flow and the filter. It can also stop oil and lubrication cooling.

3. Water

Harmless and nourishing as water is to our bodies, it can be highly destructive in many engine lubricants and additives. Long idling is one of its culprits and affect oil oxidation. There is also the case of emulsified water, where it can affect the filters and restrict oil flow to pistons, valve deck, and bearings.

4. Diluted Fuel Concentration

Excessive idling and frequent engine stop-starts can dilute your car’s fuel concentration, and can cause injector problems and leaks. This affects the efficiency of your car’s combustion system. Diluted fuel hastens wear and tear of your engine ring, piston and cylinders, affecting the combustion process drastically. It also makes common acids in the motor oil more corrosive.

 

How to avoid contaminated gas

The best way to lessen chances of contamination is to avoid using or recycling old gas, using the correct octane level for your vehicle, and ensuring the gas you’re buying comes from a reputable gas-refilling station. And while this isn’t 100 percent full-proof, this can significantly lessen your chances of introducing contaminants in your fuel system.

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