Car Won’t Start After Getting Gas – 4 Causes (With Fixes!)

It is indeed quite frustrating if your car doesn’t start even after getting gas. The situation could be worse when you are in a rush or in an emergency. The first thing that most people get when their car won’t start is a dead battery. But that’s not the case here! In fact, the reason is nothing related to the car battery like a poor connection, malfunctioning alternator, etc.

The main reasons why your car won’t start or struggles to start after putting gas in the fuel system are gas fill-up issues, faulty fuel pump, clogged fuel filter, or faulty purge control valve. Don’t worry, we shall discuss all these causes in detail and also provide solutions to fix them in this article.

4 Reasons Why Your Car Won’t Start After Getting Gas 

Car Won't Start After Getting Gas - 4 Causes

#1 Improper Gas Fill-Up 

Your car might not start even after getting gas if there is a problem with filling up the fuel tank. We often think that the issue might be internal and complex. However, it could also be outside the vehicle. There could be problems with the gas nozzle, ignition temperature, gas cap, etc. Most of these can be solved easily and on your own.

Solution: Execute the following steps one by one to diagnose and get rid of an improper gas fill-up problem:

  1. Remove your car’s gas cap gently and check how the vehicle gets affected.
  2. Don’t place the gas nozzle in.
  3. Now, vary the level of filling the tank. Suppose the fuel tank capacity is 45 liters, try filling it to 40 liters only to check if anything changes.
  4. Try igniting the engine at various temperature levels.
  5. Ride the car for ten to twenty miles or so to check if the problem has gone.

The above points should get rid of the problem if it is something related to fuel filling. Else, move on to the next section.

#2 Fuel Pump Problems

Fuel Filter

If your fuel pump gets too heated up, it can malfunction if you add cooler fuel into your car’s tank. You can also get engine performance problems and other problems while driving. Look out for the symptoms given below to check if your car is not starting after getting gas due to a fuel pump issue:

  • The engine sputters while driving at high speeds.
  • Whining noise from the fuel tank (indicates lack of fuel or presence of contaminated fuel in the tank)
  • Car loses power when under stress.
  • Low mileage.

Solution: Check if the fuel pressure is fine or not. This will allow you to diagnose if the fuel pump is working fine or not. If it is not working, then the voltage delivered to the pump might have malfunctioned.

If you find that the voltage is running across the unit, then the fuel pump is damaged and requires replacement. You just need to buy a fuel pump model that is compatible with your car model and replace the old fuel pump.

It can be done on your own and you’ll find instructions to access the pump and make replacements or repairs in your car’s manual. 

Here’s a video tutorial on how to replace the fuel pump of your car:

#3 Blocked Fuel Filter

If your fuel filter is dirty and clogged due to the accumulation of dirt, it might not be able to do its job correctly. The fuel filter is responsible for cleaning the oil before it is supplied into your car engine. If your fuel filter is blocked, you might have to deal with poor engine performance among other things. This could lead to your car not starting after getting fuel.

Fuel Filter

A clogged fuel filter can block all the gas you put in your car from reaching your engine’s fuel injectors. Check if your car is showing any of the following symptoms to be sure if a clogged fuel filter is the reason or not:

  • Acceleration problems
  • The car often idles and hesitates to run
  • Exhaust fumes emission 
  • Engine misfiring

If you find your car showing a combination of the above symptoms, then the reason why your car won’t start even after getting gas is a clogged fuel filter. 

Solution: This problem can be avoided if you clean your fuel filter for every 10,000 miles you travel. Also, you should replace the fuel filter from time to time. You should go for an entire maintenance cleaning process every year. This will clean your car’s fuel system entirely and keep it from getting clogged.

#4 Purge Control Valve Problem

This is most likely the reason why your car won’t start after getting gas. If your purge valve is stuck in the open position for a bit too long, then it can get damaged. The purge valve will supply fuel vapor into your engine at the time of ignition if left in this open position. This will lead to excess fuel vapor accumulation in the engine that would flood it.

By all means, a flooded car engine will require you to press the gas pedal repeatedly to open the car’s throttle body so that air can enter the engine for combustion. This is why the faulty purge control valve can cause your car to not start even after getting gas.

Solution: If you have found your car to show the above symptoms, you are probably dealing with a damaged purge control valve that needs replacing. You need to access the EVAP system to replace the faulty purge control valve with a new one. Make sure you read your car’s manual beforehand because it contains instructions on accessing the EVAP area and replacing your purge control valve. Given below is a video that will help you with the same:

Final Thoughts

Given above are all the reasons why your car isn’t starting even after getting gas. We have also provided ways to fix each of the causes that might be behind this issue. More or less, a car not starting despite having gas is pretty easy to fix and you’ll be able to do so on your own. Also, if you keep your fuel filter and entire fuel system clean and regularly maintained, this problem can be prevented.

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