The Car Will Not Start after Getting Gas (7 Reasons and What to Do)

You’ve just filled up the gas tank to your car and you are ready to hit the road, but the engine won’t start. This is what it means and how can you fix it. While you might be panicking, there are some valid reasons the car won’t start after getting gas.

The most common reason a car won’t start after getting gas is due to an EVAP purge control valve stuck open. The fuel vapor will get pushed to the intake manifold. A bad battery, clogged filter or bad fuel pump are other common reasons.

In this article, we evaluate the various reasons why the car won’t start after a fill-up. This article will also explain what happens when you get low gas mileage and the ways that you can prevent it. 

Índice de Contenido
  1. 7 Reasons Car Won’t Start After Getting Gas
    1. 1. Bad EVAP purge controller valve
    2. 2. Dead Battery
    3. 3. Fuel filter clogged
    4. 4. Defective Fuel Pump
    5. 5. Bad Starter
    6. 6. Failing Alternator
    7. 7. Spark Magazine Issues
  2. What to Do When the Car Won’t Start After Getting Gas
  3. Bad Gas: Signs and Symptoms
  4. Questions
    1. My car is sputtering after I get gas.
    2. After running out of fuel, how do you turn on a fuel pump?
    3. What happens if my vehicle is not starting because it has bad gas?
    4. My car won't start when I pump gas into it.

7 Reasons Car Won’t Start After Getting Gas

1. Bad EVAP purge controller valve

Evap Control Valve

The most common reason your car won’t start after filling gas at the gas station is due to an EVAP purge control valve stuck open. Overpressure from fuel causes the car to not start after filling it with fuel. The fuel nozzle may be too tight. The valve should not be stuck closed. It will force the intake manifold into place.

It will make it difficult for your car to start because too much fuel will be entering the combustion chambers.

2. Dead Battery

Dead Car Battery

If the battery has died or if the connections are loose, your car won’t get the starting power it requires. Car batteries typically last three to five years. Additionally, there are signs it may be starting to fail. 

The car battery may need to be replaced if it is dimmer than usual or if you have trouble using the accessories. To ensure a strong connection, you should check the battery for corrosion and clean it with baking soda.

Push the vehicle away from fuel pumps if you have to jump-start the battery. You don’t want to do anything near the pumps that could create a spark.  

3. Fuel filter clogged

Fuel Filter Replacement

Fuel filters prevent contaminants from entering the engine. The fuel filter removes dirt and debris from the fuel. This can lead to a blockage of the filter. 

You should also notice any other signs that could indicate the problem. Fuel efficiency and performance slowly decline. Once the filter becomes totally blocked, the engine won’t be able to get the fuel needed, causing a no-start situation. 

Regular maintenance is recommended by most manufacturers. You might need to change it every 20,000 to 30,000 miles, based on the recommendations in your owner’s manual. It’s also important to use top-tier fuel to keep the system clean. 

4. Defective Fuel Pump

Car Fuel Pump

To ensure that the fuel pump runs at lower temperatures, it is kept submerged within the tank. You should not allow fuel levels to fall below the recommended level. This can cause the pump to overheat, and eventually become damaged. 

The fuel pump is essential to move gas into an engine. The fuel pump may also fail, causing other symptoms. You might notice a whining or stalling sound coming from your engine while driving fast.

You will first need to test the fuel pressure using a gauge. It can be difficult, as it is often necessary to replace the fuel pump.  

5. Bad Starter

Starter Motor On Car

If the starter fails, you won’t be able to crank the engine. The starter motor activates your engine by turning the key and putting the key into the ignition. This could cause a clicking sound when you try to turn the key.

There are some tips that can get your engine running with a bad starter. It could be worth trying to bang the engine on a hard surface in order to get it moving. You could bump-start the engine if you have a manual transmission car. 

6. Failing Alternator


Sometimes, you might have to replace your car's battery again in order to experience the same issue. The alternator could have a problem, and the battery may appear to be dead.

It charges the battery when the engine runs. If it isn’t working, the battery will die prematurely.

A multimeter can be used to test the health and condition of the alternator. Turn off the engine and test the voltage of the battery. You should get a reading between 12.5 and 12.8 Volts. You can take another reading while the engine is still running. It should still show significant increases. If not, it’s time to replace the alternator. 

7. Spark Magazine Issues

Ignition Timing

The spark plugs ignite the fuel-air mixture within the engine. If a plug is fouled or becomes contaminated, it can cause the engine to misfire. This condition may also make it difficult to start the engine. 

The ignition system could also be at fault. Spark plugs may not be the only problem. Also, you should consider the spark plug wires as well as ignition module circuit, switch and switch. To prevent problems, you should change the spark plugs based on the service recommendation outlined in the owner’s manual. 

What to Do When the Car Won’t Start After Getting Gas

Being stuck at the pump with your car not starting can make it difficult and overwhelming. However, it’s important that you remain calm and level-headed, so you can make the best decisions. Below are some suggestions to assist you.

  1. Start the engine once more. It might work again.
  2. Take off the cap and inspect the connection to the battery. If the connections aren’t secure, try to reattach them. 
  3. The battery may be dead. You will need to pull the vehicle away from the pump so it can jump start. 
  4. You will need to get the car moving at this stage. If further diagnostics are possible, you should get out of your way.
  5. If you can’t figure out what’s wrong, you must have the vehicle towed. 

If you aren’t sure how to resolve the problem, you want to reach out for some professional support. Don’t take on more than what you are capable of or you could risk causing further problems. 

Bad Gas: Signs and Symptoms

There’s always the chance that the gas you put in the tank was bad. “Bad gas” means the fuel can’t combust as it should. Bad gas can cause a rough idle or other problems, such as stalling and pinging. You could get the Check Engine Light on, which can cause problems starting your car. 

The fuel station can be contaminated by gas either at the pump or in the tank. Proper storage could lead to a high level of water in the fuel. The fuel can also leak water if it is stored in an unsealed tank. Sadly, bad gas can cause a dangerous buildup in your car’s engine, leading to permanent failure. 

Avoid putting poor gas in your vehicle by visiting only a reliable station. It’s best to purchase the fuel from top-tier stations that are held to a higher standard. If you think you have gotten bad fuel, don’t visit that station again. To keep your engine working properly, make sure you use the correct octane. 


My car is sputtering after I get gas.

It’s possible that your car is sputtering after getting gas because you’re not using the right type of fuel. Another possibility is that there’s something wrong with your fuel system. Fuel can be pushed into your intake manifold if the EVAP purge valve is defective.

After running out of fuel, how do you turn on a fuel pump?

An electronic fuel pump powers modern gasoline cars. This pumps fuel within seconds of turning the ignition. You only need to start a modern gasoline vehicle by turning the ignition. Wait a few seconds.
It can be difficult to start diesel engines. You may have to turn the ignition several times in order to increase pressure. The process is made more challenging if the diesel engine does not include a tank pump.

What happens if my vehicle is not starting because it has bad gas?

Bad gas can cause your car to not start. When the fuel in your car’s tank doesn’t burn correctly, it can leave a sticky residue on the parts inside your engine. These residues can make your engine stop starting or cause it to fail to fire properly. You should take your vehicle to the mechanic for a test. They’ll be able to tell you if the problem is caused by bad gas and will be able to clean out the residue so that your car starts up again.

My car won't start when I pump gas into it.

Your car may shut down when it is filled with gasoline for a variety of reasons. A bad EVAP control valve could cause fuel to leak into the intake manifold when you refuel your car. You should never refuel while your engine is running. However, the problem must be addressed.

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