What Happens if You Put Coca-Cola in Your Gas Tank?

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The internet: answering questions no one asked since the early ’90s.

Now, tech destruction YouTube channels aren’t usually our thing, but when YouTuber TechRax posted a video titled, “What Happens If You Fill Up a Car with Coca-Cola” we had to have a look. Please note, one BMW was harmed in the making of this video. Now, how or why he decided to do this video is beyond us. He says something a “little different”, which we think means he’ll destroy something other than a phone. His typical videos involve destroying iPhones in strange ways.

On to the “test”, a 1999-2004 BMW 3 Series wagon that he later says he picked up for $1,000 will be the guinea pig for this. He gets right to it and dumps a 2-liter of Coke into the tank, which appears to be about 1/4 full before the prospective fuel additive addition.

Coca Cola in Gas Tank

Anyone who’s tried to run bad fuel out of a project car that’s been sitting for a while knows it takes a while for anything in the tank to reach the injectors. The same is true with TechRax’s tasty beverage. A ways down the road he starts hearing some odd sounds from the BMW, which he says he thinks is the carbonation from the soda. It’s at this point we remind you: you don’t have to know much about cars to A) destroy one, or B) have a popular YouTube channel.

Guess what happened next. C’mon, guess… Here’s a hint:

Pushing car

In predictable fashion, the car stalls and won’t restart. He pushes it to the side of the road and ends up taking it to a shop to get a quote for fixing the damage. The first line of the invoice only hints at how awkward the conversation must have been: “Customer states that there was soda put in the fuel tank. Vehicle doesn’t run. Check and advise.” They quoted him $1,502 to go through the fuel system and replace the fuel pump and filter. And lots of cleaning. The shop warns that it could be even more if cleaning isn’t enough to get it running again.

Repair Bill

Take away information from this? Don’t put Coca-Cola in your BMW, or your Mustang.

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Austin Lott is a longtime professional automotive journalist who learned the ropes after landing a stint writing for the iconic magazine MotorTrend after earning a bachelor's degree in English from Vanguard University in Southern California.

Lott is a regular contributor to popular Internet Brands Auto Group websites, including Rennlist and Ford Truck Enthusiasts. Austin is published regularly in Super Street and is a frequent contributor to Honda-Tech and 6SpeedOnline. Although he's partial to Japanese imports, he'll give anything cool a shot.

Austin can be reached at [email protected].

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