Every machine needs some sort of fuel to work and cars are not different. Cars mostly use gasoline or diesel to power their engines, the engine, in turn, moves them from one place to another.
Good quality fuel is necessary to get the best out of your vehicle, however, problems can still arise even if you use a good quality fuel.
Sometimes the fault may be due to your negligence and other times it may just be a simple problem that has arisen due to normal wear & tear.
Any system can cause a problem in your car and the fuel system is one of those systems. A fuel system is one of the most vital components in any vehicle and a car won’t be able to move if there is any fault in it.
Most of the time it is the debris that has clogged the fuel filter, but there are some other reasons why a fuel system can be a cause behind a car that isn’t starting.
There are times when a person pumps gas into his car but the car doesn’t start after getting gas. Many people have to face this issue and there can be several reasons behind this, we have discussed every possible cause and its solution below:
Why Won’t My Car Start After I Put Gas in it?
EVAP Purge valve
The purge valve is a vital component of an evaporative emission control system (EVAP) and it restricts the harmful fuel vapors from escaping into the atmosphere.
The vapors are passed through a charcoal canister where harmful elements are filtered out. A faulty purge valve can flood the engine with fuel while you are pumping the gas and will cause problems when you start the car.
The purge valve is generally located under the throttle body, close to the firewall. It is an easy job to replace it since it is placed in an accessible area.
The price of the valve varies from car to car however it should not cost more than $70 for a mid-size sedan. However, you might not have to pay even $70 if your car is under warranty since this issue will be covered under a car’s warranty.
Faulty gas cap
I know this sounds weird that a gas cap can cause trouble while starting your car after a fuel refill, but it is possible. A fuel cap with leaked sealing can cause an EVAP system leak which can lead to cranking problems in a car.
Fuel caps are removed and tightened frequently which can make their seal come loose, a loose seal means that you will have to replace the gas cap.
Gas caps are cheap and should be replaced every 50,000 miles even if there are no problems related to it. This is because a faulty fuel cap can land you in trouble at any time even at a remote place where you cannot even buy one. So it is better to be safe than sorry.
Burned out the fuel pump
There is a good chance that your fuel pump might have burned out if you were running very low on gas before refueling your car.
A fuel level of less than ¼ of a tank can put a strain on the pump and it will have to work harder and eventually it will just burn out.
A sufficient amount of fuel not only allows a stress-free ride but also lubricates the pump for its smooth operation. Therefore it is always advised not to wait for the last drop of fuel as it can damage important parts.
There is a proper procedure that you need to follow while starting your car and it is better not to rush it. You have to turn your ignition key just towards the ignition side and wait for approximately 10 seconds without cranking it.
While waiting you may hear a buzzing sound, the buzzing sound is the sound of a fuel pump trying to prime the fuel system. It is a good idea to let the fuel pump do its job before cranking the engine.
Not letting the fuel pump do its job can result in a car that might not start when you turn the key. Therefore, the solution might just be as simple as waiting for a few seconds before cranking the car.
Low octane gas
Every car requires a certain kind of fuel that has the right composition of octanes in it which will allow it to start and run efficiently.
Unfortunately, sometimes the fuel sold to us is sub-standard which does not fulfill certain parameters and can cause problems while starting or accelerating a car.
You can try to add a fuel additive or try to add high-quality fuel into your car’s fuel tank if bad gas is the cause so that the low-quality fuel gets diluted with the good quality fuel. The diluted fuel might help in starting your car effortlessly if the problem is arising from low-quality fuel.
Ethanol blended gas
Most of the gasoline sold in several countries is blended with ethanol to increase the octane number. However, some performance-oriented cars might not work perfectly with ethanol-blended fuel.
Such fuel can also cause some damage to a car’s engine over time especially if the car wasn’t meant to run on it. You should try using pure gasoline in your car after you have tried all the other ways of getting rid of this problem.
Engine flooded with gas
Though it is not a common phenomenon it can occur in some modern cars. An engine can sometimes get flooded with gas, meaning there is a huge amount of gas in contrast to the air which may cause problems while starting the car.
However it is fairly easy to get rid of this problem, you just have to open the hood for a while when cranking the car. Make sure that you don’t crank it for more than 40 seconds as it can drain the battery.
Also, try to push the gas pedal the first time you try this procedure. If the car doesn’t start after the first time then try it again but crank it less this time and do not push the gas pedal.
Precautions You Need to Take if Your Car won’t Start after Pumping Gas
As with any problem, always start with the easiest and cheapest solution and then move on to the next solution. Contact an authorized dealership or an experienced mechanic if the problem persists even after trying every above-mentioned solution.
Robert Anderson is a world class motorhead who rebuilt his first carb at age 10, his first engine at age 15, and completed his first full hotrod build when he was just 18! Previously, he has ran a part warehouse, delivered pizzas, and managed the service department for a $20 million/year revenue dealership. Robert knows cars like few others and he is passionate about sharing his knowledge.