Salt In A Gas Tank: What REALLY Happens?! (Explained)

A lot of people are wondering what would happen if someone would put salt in a gas tank. If you are also curious about that, keep reading and learn everything you need to know about this matter.

So what happens if you put salt in a gas tank? Salt can clog and corrode some internal parts of a vehicle.

If you think about it, why would someone put salt in a gas tank? But you will never know. Some people would do it for various reasons. Some people would even report that they have noticed a lot of salt in their gas tanks. 

So this is proof that it is possible and that it can happen to anyone. Many people are curious about what would happen if anything other than gas was put in the gas tank. This is a question that almost everyone would be curious about. 

So if you are also questioning this, this article is for you. At the end of this read, you will be able to know what will happen if you or someone else would put salt in a gas tank. So without further ado, let us start.

Salt In A Gas Tank

What Happens If You Put Salt In A Gas Tank?

Putting salt in a gas tank is no joke. The activity can cause damage to the car and even to the person driving the car. The activity has short-term effects and long-term effects. 

When we say short-term effects, it is the first thing that will happen if you put salt in your gas tank. However, the long-term effects can be more damaging and can cost you more money. So here are the short-term effects and long-term effects.

Short Term Effects

The short-term effects of putting salt into your gas tank will be experienced already, especially if you are driving your car. You have to make it a habit to always check your gas tank. Though it is doubtful, you would not know who will put salt in your gas tank. 

Always check your gas tank for any residue. Salt will not dissolve in gas. What will happen is that it will sink in the bottom of the gas tank. 

It will stay there and cause corrosion to the parts of the engine in the long run. These are the short-term effects. It is essential to do something about this scenario already so that you will avoid the long-term effects.

Long Term Effects

The long-term effects are more damaging and will cost you more in repairs. The short term effects are just the salt preparing to corrode and rust the components of the vehicle. However, if the salt stays in the gas tank for a long time, the salt will damage the fuel tank, the different filtration systems, and the fuel pumps. 

When this happens, the salt will then cause corrosion and will also clog these parts. If this happens, you will need intensive repair and cleaning. But, with that, it will cost you more time and even more money. 

So as much as you can, never let it reach the long-term effects.  Always check for any foreign matter in your gas tank. If you noticed something, remove it immediately.

Can Salt In A Gas Tank Damage An Engine?

Yes, salt in a gas tank can damage an engine. However, if you put salt in a gas tank, the result will not take effect immediately. This is because the salt can still be in the gasoline for a good few minutes. 

After that, the salt will not be dissolved, and it will settle in the bottom of the gas tank. If this happens, the salt will be in the bottom of the gas tank. It will stay there and will cause corrosion. 

The engine parts will become rusted, and it will damage the entire engine. In the long run, the salt will cause rusting in the components of the car. 

With that, you will have to do a lot of cleaning and even a lot of repair because of the damage. Therefore, it is essential to act fast if you notice a lot of salt in your gas tank.

How Much Salt In A Gas Tank Will Ruin It?

Ideally, the gas tank should only contain gas. No other foreign objects or even liquid must come inside the gas tank. Any liquid will cause damage to the vehicle. 

The amount of salt is not definite. If you put a pinch of salt into a gas tank, it is possible that it will not have any effect. However, it is still not advisable to put any salt in your gas tank. 

If you put a lot of salt in a gas tank, it will indeed have adverse effects. So for the rule of thumb, any amount of liquid other than gas can ruin the gas tank and the vehicle. So with that, it is best to avoid any foreign objects and liquid in the gas tank.

salt in gas tank

Can You Tell If Someone Put Salt In Your Gas Tank?

Well, it can be yes and no. But, of course, if you had not seen the person who put the salt in your gas tank, then you would not know. 

It is also tricky because if the salt had already settled at the bottom, it might be hard to notice the salt. But still, it can be noticed. You can ask an expert how to notice and check if there is something foreign in your gas tank. 

You might notice the salt if you will look and observe closely and thoroughly. However, remember to act fast and remove the salt to still prevent any damages to your car.

How To Get Salt Out Of A Gas Tank?

If you have noticed that there is salt in your gas tank, you can clean your fuel tank. You can drain all the fuel from your tank. You might also have to replace the fuel filter of your vehicle. 

It would be best if you also changed your fuel pump. However, if you are not confident, you can always go to a mechanic shop and have them remove the salt out of your gas tank.


In summary, putting a foreign object in a gas tank can cause a lot of problems. First, you have to check your gas tank now and then. 

Second, you might notice foreign objects. Second, salt in a gas tank can ruin your engine. It can cause corrosion and will rust your car’s engine.

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Image credits – Canva

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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