Can Bad Gas Cause Check Engine Light To Come On? (Explained)

There are times that cars get harmful gas because of many reasons. For example, a low gas level can cause it, or debris can block your engine. 

So, can lousy gas cause the check engine light to come on? Yes, it can trigger the engine light. However, there are different patterns you should know about your engine light. For example, a blinking engine light means that your gas storage or level should be checked immediately, while the steady engine light means you can check it later. 

Engine light is an alarm that there is something wrong with your engine. When this happens, you need to act immediately, or you’re going to end up in an accident.

This situation always happens to all cars. Hence it is why getting your car checked and maintained is a must to prevent this from happening. 

There are instances that you’ll get lousy gas due to natural phenomena like getting your gas storage hit by a big rock or having an old car. By any means, you should be prepared or know the basic alarm that your car is having a problem with. Below is the information that you should know about engine lights.

Can Bad Gas Cause Check Engine Light To Come On

Can Bad Gas Cause Check Engine Light To Come On?

Your car engine light monitors the performance of its engine, along with other components in your car. Also, it keeps you on track about the health status of your engine parts. 

Your car can detect automatically if its engine has a specific issue, like low-level gas, engine failure, and many more. When this happens, the car engine light will light or blink to let the driver know that something is wrong with the car. 

What Are The Symptoms Of Bad Gas?

The symptoms of your car have a harmful gas if it starts rough idling, higher emission, pinging sounds, and difficulty in starting up. You can check your engine light to see it illuminating when this happens. 

However, there are times that engine lights don’t illuminate even if there is a problem, so the best you can do is be anxious and cautious about your car; it might get you in danger.

What Codes Will Bad Gas Cause?

There is no direct code for harmful gas; hence it may trigger rich codes only if your car oxygen sensors light up. 

But it will not cause that you have the wrong fuel, so to check it properly, you can pour water into your car’s tank, and by that time, you’ll get the correct code for lousy gas. 

How Long Does It Take For Bad Gas To Get Out Of Your Car?

Usually, the shelf life of regular gas is only up to 6 months; after that span, it becomes a harmful gas. You can state that the gasoline is already impaired due to its looks and smells. Harmful fuels become darker or muddier, giving you a sour odor. 

In this matter, you need to remove the lousy fuel from your car’s tank. Not only because your car won’t start using lousy gas, but it will also damage your engine’s internal system. It will leave residue and blockage if you push to use this gas.

Later on, if you continue using a lousy gas, you are not just getting yourself from problems, but also it will become costly to repair when its engine gives up. 

Can Bad Gas Ruin An Engine?

Yes, it can ruin an engine slowly. Harmful gas creates a residue that slowly blacks small parts of your engine until it reaches its core. 

Harmful gas also becomes toxic because it will blow black smoke to other cars behind you. You are not creating trouble, but you are also risking others’ health. 

What To Do When You Have Bad Gas?

If you observe that your gas smells unusual, pour it out. An unusual odor is one of the alarms that your gas is already spoiled. 

To remove it, you need to open the lid of your gas tank below then the sour gas will flow out. You can let a skilled mechanic do this job because it could be messy for you.

Also, skilled mechanics use a machine that blows out those extra gas inside your vehicle tanks so that there is no remaining spoiled gas inside.


In summary, the engine light is your safety alarm. Check it right away when you see that your engine light is illuminating. Also, know the meaning of its two basic patterns, such as the blinking and its steady light. 

When you see either of these two lights in front of you, be responsible, and don’t continue driving. Check it out first if it is urgent or not. Moreover, if it appears urgent, act right and never risk anything.

Also Read:


Image credits – Canva

Share on:

My name is Hank, and I've been in the automotive industry for 27 years. I've been working in my own auto repair shop for the last 13 years, and now I want to help you here, on my blog. Let me know if you have any questions. Read more