Top 3 Reasons Why a Car Won’t Start After Getting Gas

Top 3 Reasons Why a Car Won’t Start After Getting Gas, How to Diagnosis and Fix, Step by Step (DIY)

Diagnosing why a car won’t start after getting gas can be tricky to figure out without the correct information. Here, you’ll find the most common reasons why a car won’t start after getting gas, along with the proper diagnostic method that should lead to the solution.

These solutions have helped millions save money. So if you don’t want to be exploited, read carefully and follow the steps.

To start, here are the top 3 reasons why a car won’t start after getting gas:

Reason #1. Ignition Issues

Automobiles have an ignition switch system that controls all necessary components in the vehicle. The engine starts by turning on the ignition. If your car is having issues starting shortly after filling up with gas, you’re not alone. Ignition issues are a common problem with gas-powered vehicles and can lead to the car not starting after getting gas.

How to detect Ignition issues

Here are a few of the most common ignition issues that you should look out for:

  1. If your key refuses to turn.
  2. If you’re experiencing fluctuating dashboard lights, it indicates trouble with the ignition.
  3. No noise from the starter motor after turning the key.
  4. Worn-out ignition parts (Coils and spark plugs)

Step by step solution on how to solve Ignition Problems (DIY)

Step 1: Begin by checking the ignition switch or starter 

Step 2: Open your bonnet 

Step 3: Look at your battery. If there’s a drop of liquid dripping from it, the battery is low. 

Step 4: Next, you can check your fuel system by taking a look inside the gas tank. You may notice a light indicating the level of fuel in the tank. 

Step 5: Next, check the spark plug by getting into the car and sticking a plug end inside the cylinder. 

Step 6: Lastly, check your spark plug socket to ensure that the spark plug is correct by putting it in the socket and turning the spark plug to check that the spark plug is plugged into the spark plug socket.

Reason #2. Failed Fuel Pump 

A car’s fuel pump is the part of the car’s engine in charge of converting the fuel from liquid to gas and injecting it into the machine. Fuel pumps are not made to last forever. As time goes by, they will deteriorate and stop working. Most manufacturers usually recommend replacing a fuel pump every 60,000 – 100,000 miles.

How to detect failed fuel Pump 

Here are a few ways you can check to see if your car has a failed fuel pump:

1. If your Car jerks when you turn on the ignition;

2. If you are facing difficulty in starting your car;

3. Your fuel pump might be failing if you experience an incorrect fuel gauge;

4. You might be experiencing fuel pump failure if you hear a loud whining sound from the fuel tank.

5. Completely clogged fuel filter.

Step by step solution on how to fix a failed fuel pump (DIY)

Step 1: Open your bonnet. 

Step 2: Take out the gas cap and, if the fuel pump is installed directly on top of the gas cap, gently tap it to make sure it is secured.

Step 3: Take a peek at the inside of your fuel pump. If there are two metal parts – the part that pushes the fluid back and forth in the pump and the part that presses on the pump shaft – then it’s a good sign that the fuel pump is attached to the pump shaft.

Step 4: Check the fuel pump itself to ensure the metal parts aren’t broken and the wires aren’t pulling out of the engine.

Step 5: Look to see if the fuel filter looks dirty and try to clean it out with a vacuum cleaner. Once the filter is clean, you will have the proper fuel to fire up your car. 

Step 6: Finally, check the connections between the fuel pump and the electronic control unit (ECU) to ensure they are not loose.

Reason #3. Compression Issues

A gasoline engine works under three principles; Ignition, Fuel, and Compression. Another reason a car might not start after getting gas might be low or no compression in the engine cylinders. Suppose there is no interruption of fuel supply into the engine and there are no ignition issues. In that case, it will be time to investigate the cylinders for proper compression. A compression problem is a leakage in any of the cylinders, resulting from normal engine wear and tear. Running a compression test for accurate diagnostics would help in solving this issue.

How to detect Compression Issues

A compression gauge is needed to perform this test. Once the compression gauge is available, take the following steps;

Step 1: Make sure the engine is switched off.

Step 2: Take out all spark plugs and disable the ignition coils to keep them from firing.

Step 3: Set the compression gauge in the spark plug socket.

Step 4: Open the throttle and have a second person crank the engine for several seconds.

Step 5: Record the readings for the maximum compression.

Step 6: Repeat the test for other cylinders

Step by step solution on how to fix Loss of Compression

Step 1: Perform a leak-down test using a pressure gauge (leak-down tester) to help depict the exact amount of leaks in the tested cylinder. Follow the steps below to perform a leak-down test;

Step 1a: Remove the spark plugs.

Step 1b: Rotate the engine until the piston is at the top dead center for the cylinder you are testing.

Step 1c: Insert the leak-down tester hose into the spark plug socket and connect the tester to a compressed air source of about 100psi (pounds per square inch).

Step 1d: Read and note down the reading on the second gauge on the leak-down tester.

Step 1e: Subtract this reading from 100psi to determine the percentage of leak-down. (Some leak-down testers might give the exact percentage of leak-down, eliminating the math).

Step 2: Examine the piston rings, gaskets, camshafts, intake and exhaust valves, seals, timing belts, etc. Look out for holes, cracks, worn areas, leaks, or damages. Once discovered, repair or replace the parts.


How do you prime a fuel pump after running out of gas?

Step 1: Open the bonnet, locate the fuel pump and locate the manual primer on the pump.

Step 2: Open the fuel supply valve and allow fuel flow from the pump to the filter.

Step 3: Prime the engine by either lifting or lowering the lever

Step 4: Continue priming until fuel escapes from the bleed-plugs

Step 5: Insert the key into the ignition and turn on the engine (repeat the steps until it starts)

What happens if I overfill my car with gas?

For cars with four-cycle engines, such as V8 engines, overfilling the fuel tank leads to severe engine damage. The best technique is to stop fueling as soon as the tank is full.

What causes fuel pumps not to prime?

#1: Bulb of the fuel pump not working, damaged, or broken. 

#2: When the fuel pump motor is overheating due to high temperature inside the car, excessive driving, or long idling periods. It will cause the fuel pump to malfunction and not respond to the signals coming from the key.

Can bad spark plugs cause crank no start? “When I fill my gas tank it keeps stopping” – Why?

The reason your car won’t start after getting gas is not that the fuel pump or spark plugs are “out of order.” It’s because your carburetor is terrible! That’s because the carburetor controls how much gas goes into the engine, and it determines how much air into your tires to improve gas mileage.

There are tons of people who believe that bad spark plugs can cause crank no start. This belief may be right for some specific situations, but it’s a myth in the case of Subaru engines. A lack of compression usually causes a lack of power in a Subaru engine. The spark plugs have to have good energy in the spark travel to burn the spark to provide good compression.

Why is my engine not getting gas?

Checking your vehicle’s fuel gauge with a car diagnostic tool is the best way to find the source of your engine problems. If your car does not start when you’ve filled the tank, check the fuel gauge to see if it reads below 30%. If it does, it’s time to get your vehicle inspected. 

Why does my car sputter after I put gas in it?

Most of the time, your car starts to sputter after you fill it up. However, before you give your car more gas, you should run it for at least a couple of minutes. Doing so will provide you with the exact distance the car sputtered, and you can see what is going on inside the vehicle. The problem with running the car for a couple of minutes is that you won’t know why the car sputtered. The quick fix is to use your test drive to find the cause of the sputter. Once you’ve determined the cause of the sputter, you can test various ways to fix it.

Why do I have to hit my gas tank for my car to start?

If you have to hit your gas tank for your car to start, you are most likely experiencing a faulty fuel pump issue. Due to the pump becoming old and worn out, its internal parts might not run properly. So hitting the tank makes the pump jar’s internal components up and allows the pump to spin briefly. To solve this issue, replace the fuel pump.

What are the signs of a bad ignition switch?

Problem No. 1: The engine will not start immediately after getting gas. It seems like the engine cranks, but instead of starting, the car decides to roll into neutral and won’t even turn over. 

Problem No. 2: Bad electrical wiring in the car may cause the vehicle to stall.

Problem No. 3: Key not turning. 

What are signs that your fuel pump is going out?

#1: Excessive fuel consumption is a sign. The engine will run too rich at idle car runs smoothly with fuel injected. 

#2: Whining noise from the fuel tank. 

#3: Engine sputtering indicates issues within the fuel pump. In this case, the fuel pump won’t provide a constant stream of fuel to the engine at the ideal pressure.


In this article, you’ll find that if your car doesn’t start after filling it with gas, the chances are that it is likely to be a combination of one or more of the three reasons; Ignition Issues, Failed fuel pump, and compression issues. You’ll also find an easy-to-follow step-by-step diagnostic method that would lead to the solution to the problems. These solutions have helped millions of people save money. 

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