Are you having car troubles? While there are a ton of issues that can negatively impact a car’s performance, there’s a common, yet often overlooked issue: the quality of the gas. A car and bad gas can cause a number of problems. Below, we highlight some of the telltale warning signs that you should be on the lookout for that indicate your car has bad gasoline.

How Does Your Car Act When You Get Bad Gas?

Discovering that you’ve filled your car with bad gas can be a frustrating experience, as it can have negative effects on your vehicle’s fuel system.

When you pump contaminated gasoline into your fuel tank, it introduces impurities and unwanted substances into the fuel system. These impurities can clog the fuel filter and potentially reach the combustion chamber, where they disrupt the proper fuel-air mixture necessary for efficient engine performance.

The consequences of bad gas may range from a decrease in fuel efficiency to more severe issues that can result in a hefty repair bill.

Illuminated Check Engine Light

The check engine light lets you know that there is something wrong with the engine. Gas makes its way into the engine, so when it’s bad, the check engine light will inevitably go on. It’s important to note, however, that there are many reasons why a check engine light might go on, so make sure you have your vehicle inspected to determine if it is a symptom of bad gas or if there is another cause.


If you’re driving along just fine and then suddenly, your car stalls out, the gas in your tank could be to blame. Bad fuel hinders complete combustion, leading to vehicle stalling.

Acceleration Problems

When you push the gas pedal, the engine should immediately respond. If it seems like your vehicle is hesitating to accelerate, you might have a bad tank of gasoline. When the gas is bad, you’ll likely notice more trouble the higher the speed you attempt to travel. If the gas is really bad, there’s a chance that your car won’t accelerate at all.

Using More Gas

One of the common signs of bad gas is a sudden drop in fuel efficiency. Contaminated fuel can lead to poor combustion within the engine, affecting its ability to convert fuel into energy efficiently.

Engine Sputtering

Your car’s engine may start sputtering or misfiring because of the irregular fuel supply caused by impurities in the gas. If you suspect bad gas, addressing the issue promptly is crucial. Start by checking the gas cap for proper sealing to prevent further exposure to fuel vapors and contamination. However, if you’re experiencing persistent problems, it’s advisable to consult an auto mechanic near you to diagnose and fix the problem. Possible solutions may include a fuel system flush or repairs to the fuel filter.

In some cases, this unfortunate incident may lead to an unexpected trip to the repair shop and an unexpected dent in your wallet. To avoid such headaches, always choose a reputable gas station and a well-maintained fuel pump to minimize the risk of bad gas.

Engine Fails to Start

If the gas in your car’s tank is bad, there’s a chance that your engine will fail to start. This might happen when you first try starting it up or after you’ve been driving it and it stalls out.

Either way, if your engine won’t start, that could be a sign that contaminants, such as water in the gas or any other type of liquid or debris. However, there are a lot of factors that can lead to difficulty starting, so make sure you have it checked out by a trusted auto mechanic in your area.

Delayed Shifting

Bad gas will negatively impact your vehicle’s performance in pretty much every way, including the transmission and gear shifting. If the gears are slipping, the gas in your tank could be the cause of the problem.

Visit a Local Auto Mechanic

Of all the different issues that vehicles can experience, bad gas is one of the most common.

“How do I report purchasing “bad fuel” or deceptive fuel sales?” NE Dept. of Revenue

If you’re experiencing any of the above-mentioned issues, poor-quality fuel could be the culprit. Have the car inspected and if bad gas is the cause of your issues, you’ll need to have your tank flushed.

Dave & Rays Automotive Repair Shop in Omaha, NE

Our team has learned one thing: automotive problems are as varied and unique as the customers who bring them to us. Fortunately, our decades of experience in auto service and repair also mean that our skilled network of professionals is ready to accommodate an impressive scope of automotive issues. Contact us today.

Recent Articles

How Do You Fix a Brake Light Warning?

Car Repair and Maintenance You Can DIY

Where to Start When Restoring a Classic Car

How Do I Find the Right Parts for My Car?

How do I Know if my Engine is Going Bad?