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– You’ve all heard about somebody getting sugar in the gas tank, and you probably knows
that it screws up a car, but what in the heck does it do? Does it make the gas a solid
and screw everything up? Does it turn it into
some kind of weird goop? Let’s try something where
we know what’ll happen. We’re gonna dissolve sugar in water. Wow! That’s right, we’re
doing this stuff again. Wouldn’t it be great if that magic had also gotten me a magic stirring straw? (snaps fingers) – [Computer Voice] Wow.
– What? Great. Look, it’s almost gone. Sugar is actually tiny little crystals. The molecules of sugar are
attracted to each other, and they form tight little lattices. When those crystals are
surrounded by water, the water attracts the
surface sugar molecules and surrounds them and
then it’s dissolved. Slowly, it grabs more and more of those tiny sugar molecules, gets rid of the crystal lattice, and they’re suspended in the water. Aw, bees love sugar. Water is polar. What that means is that
molecules have a slightly different charge at one
end than on the other. Here is what it looks like. These two hydrogens, H₂O,
are slightly positive, and this O is slightly
negative, neutralish. But because of this energy, molecules of water can
attract other polar molecules. And sugar is slightly polar. Wait a minute. You mean to tell me that sugar responds to an electric charge? Yeah, watch this. Yep, yep, look at that. – [Computer Voice] Wow. – Philippe, how’s your hair? Pretty dry? You got a a dry scalp? Let me prestato that hair of yours. – That’s very relaxing. – Oh, yeah, that’s it. – Oh, there you go. (balloon pops) – So because it can respond to a charge, the crystalline structure can be disrupted by the polar water molecules and it can squeeze between them, loosely dissolved in polar water. And that’s how things dissolve, like salts and minerals, and that’s why your body works! Now, what happens with gas? It’s water, and then
that’s gas floating on top. The water, we just determined, was polar. Gasoline is non-polar. It’s got long chains of hydrocarbons that don’t have different
charges on different ends, so the energy of a polar water can do nothing to really pull ’em apart. Even if I shake it. What’s that? Oh. Eddie has a thing about water fires. An ocean fire. Eddie’s deathly afraid of ocean fires. (woman screaming in the roaring flames) And he wants me to tell you
this is how ocean fires happen. Sugar, as we just demonstrated, is polar. Gasoline is non-polar. Sugar is polar. What do you think is gonna happen when we mix the sugar in gasoline? Eddie, what do you think will happen? (woman screaming in the roaring flames) So, it’s gasoline. Whew, I’m getting a headache. It just (bleeped) explodes. (laughing) Sugar, gasoline, stirring it. Nothing, it just sits there at the bottom. Because the sugar is polar, gasoline’s non-polar, it doesn’t dissolve. See? It’s just sugar. Putting sugar in a gas tank is kinda the equivalent of putting
sand in a gas tank. It’s just gonna sit at the bottom. If you’re lucky, it’s not
gonna make it up to the engine. You’re just gonna need a new fuel filter, gotta drop the tank. So what’s so special about sugar? I don’t know. I don’t know where that started, we should do a WheelHouse on it. Maybe finally a WheelHouse
on car related topics. I’m just kidding, I really like that show. We’re gonna put this in a truck, and we’re gonna run it, and we’re gonna see what happens. What, you never see a guy
fill up a tank of gas before? Jeez. This feels wrong. Doesn’t this feel wrong? – [Crew] Dan, what do you
think is gonna happen? – Well, I’ve heard for my whole life that it’ll ruin the engine, it’ll gunk up and clog up
all the lines and stuff. But in our research, we
found that might be a myth. I hope it (bleeped) it up. (laughing together) One thing we found out that for sure is it’s not easy. (laughing)
– It’s not easy. (laughing) – It’s not a thing where you can just like sneak up to your enemy’s house and quickly fill it full of sugar, because it gets stuck in the fill tube and then you have to flush it out. If you’re gonna sabotage
somebody’s vehicle, bring some extra gas to flush it. Pro sabotage tip from
your friends at Donut. (NBC’s The More You Know jingle plays) (engine starting) – Ah, bad news, guys. Check engine light’s on. – Yeah, but who knows. I have a feeling this
engine just smells weird. – Stop. – [Dan] Try to start it again. – [Bart] All right. It started up. – It smells like caramel corn back here, which means the sugar is
burning through the engine and it’s going through and coming all the way out the exhaust. – Yeah, we’re just gonna
run it ’til it don’t. It’s not even dying. What are we doing, guys? We put sugar in the tank. Look at this. (surprised exclamation) We think that, yeah, some sugar crystals might have gotten in there and burnt when it got sucked up into the engine just from there way things smelled and the way things smoked. But by the end of the hour, it was just idling like we
hadn’t done anything to it. Even going into this thinking that the sugar wouldn’t do too much, I’m impressed with actually how little it did to the engine. Now, most of that sugar is probably just sitting back there in the tank. Sounds like sugar in the tank’s
a pretty sweet experiment. (explosion and hair metal scream) So, sugar in the gas tank? It sucks! But it’s actually more like sand in there than some Frankenstein goop. It will probably do some damage. You’re gonna have to drop the tank, probably get a new pump, but hopefully it’s not
the end of the world. And thanks to Honey for
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in just two clicks. Get Honey for free at That’s Like the video. I want to see how many
likes we can get on this. Please like me so I don’t get fired. Oh, we got a new show. Check out a new episode of a new show. Check out this episode of WheelHouse. Follow us on Twitter and
Instagram @DONUTMEDIA. Follow me @BIDSBARTO. You like this shirt, guys? You can go get some apparel
at Sugar in the tank was one of your ideas. Let us know what you want
us to do an episode on. We want to hear from you in the comments. Don’t tell my wife why we’re out of sugar.

100 thoughts on “SUGAR IN THE TANK – What actually happens? | HOW IT WORKS | SCIENCE GARAGE

  1. You guys requested this one! How'd we do? Do you like the "in the world" stuff? What other things do you want to see?

  2. This is with modern gas with more ethanol in it I assume, what about gasoline from ye olden days…back when a car could sit for years with gas in the tank and still fire right up. Probably won’t change much but just a thought for the 6 people who will see this.

  3. You really want to fuck a motor, Bleach in the oil. Half a gallon to a gallon. That baby isn't going far!

  4. Wouldnt ethanol in the gas dissolve a bit of the sugar?

    And if it does, I want to see e85 and sugar in a tank and see if there is any noticable changes

  5. Was that car low on fuel?
    If you have sugar in your fuel tank and you keep the tank atleast half full then it shouldn’t get to the motor especially on newer cars but if you are going to drive low on fuel with sugar in the tank then most likely it will get sucked up and at the least you will need a new fuel filter on top of cleaning out the fuel tank. It will probably be a good idea to change the fuel pump while your there to just incase if the sugar didn’t make it to the fuel pump.

    It’s just like running a car low on fuel constantly,what that will do is suck up anything that’s in the tank and that can cause damage to your fuel pump since it uses fuel as a lubricant to keep the pump working,if you constantly driving low on fuel then evantually at the least you will need a new pump and filter. Worse case scenario is the pump sucking on vapor and any dirt that’s in your tank when you running really low on fuel.

    So the lesson here is not to run low on fuel if you have sugar in your tank and avoid driving low on fuel. Not good for your car if you constantly doing that. My friend was cheap and always ran low on fuel and would wait till the needle was below the empty line,then he would only add $5-10 dollars and do it again and again so within a few months he had issues.

  6. Aha Americans and their dumb wording, it's petrol not gas.
    Gas is the flammable shit that comes out of your gas stove.

  7. The myth is from way, way back in the day so I wonder how does sugar affect an older, more primitive engine

  8. It's official he seems like a meth head jaw rocker least he talks less like he's teaching a 2nd grade class

  9. Well I feel like if you drove around and shook up the sugar it would be easier for the pump to suck up and more would get into the engine or clog up the filter and even if enough of it got past eventually it might caramelise enough to stick the valves close when the engines turned off, cooled and then it hardens

  10. I feel like it would clog up the strainer on the end on the pump and that would probably burn the fuel pump up, that is if it’s fuel injected not sure what it would do to a carbureted engine, but I feel like that would be it tho.

  11. Maybe you need to drive it around for the sugar to mix with the fuel, if its sitting still the sugar stays at the bottom. But when car is driving around, going over bumps and corners it will mix

  12. I tried this with a 4stroke pushmower engine the shugar ended up filling the cylinder and it spat the piston

  13. You have just destroyed your wife’s truck and only worried about her searching for the rest of the sugar from the cupboard?

  14. You have to dissolve the sugar in water and then pour that in the gas tank the water will go to the bottom of the tank where the pick up tube is

  15. This wasn't a good test of this. The truck was sitting still the whole time. Driving the truck would cause the gas to swoosh around, stirring up the sugar, and a lot more would've gotten sucked up.

  16. Yea, I just had my Fuel pump replaced, the mechanic told me someone put sugar in my tank.. I even seen the sugar because I asked him to show me it. I drove it about 35 miles and it died… wouldn't start wouldn't do anything. and after the fact of cleaning the gas tank, and changing the Pump and filters.. it's still running bad… IDK what to do… I changed the Upstream O2 sensor, then the fuel pump, now idk what.

  17. What happened to this show? No vids since January? This was the whole reason I came to the channel in the first place.

  18. It would really fuck up anything that sucks the gas up from the bottom, which is everything I guess. I don't know how this runs tbh

  19. IF the gasoline contained Ethanol (a polar molecule), then it would have dissolved a small amount of sugar and thusly been picked up into the engine…I think….

  20. Its suppose to burn the pump up and require a tank cleaning. Not cheap to do as majority fuel pumps cost $300 or more. If it does make it into the fuel lines, you have to back flush it. Its a costly repair that wont total a vehicle. Especially since inusrance wont cover majority of it.

  21. can you guys do a burn out on some mayonnaise, i heard it adds stuff to the car. down force or something. weight reduction you name it, it does it all really. burnout on some mayonnaise plz

  22. A stationary test doesn't represent normal driving. A real test drive would vibrate/bounce the sugar around to have a different outcome..

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