Cheap Gas Issues
by Pat Goss
The price of gasoline is hurting everyone. And certainly, if we could go back to the price we see on this antique gas pump, it would help everyone. But it isn’t going to happen. And that means you have to shop for a decent price on gas.
But, you have to be careful, you have to try to avoid very low volume stations. You see, gasoline, when it’s kept in storage, evaporates. But, the additives in that gasoline don’t. So if it’s in storage for too long a period of time, you may have an imbalance in the additives to the amount of gasoline.
Not that it’s going to destroy your car, or anything like that, but you may have some side effects that could cost you a lot of money. Number one is that you may, periodically, have a situation where you get a strong, rotten egg odor from the exhaust on your car. Now that could be from too much sulfur in the gasoline. The sulfur collects in the catalytic converter, and when you accelerate, it’s emitted in one cloud, and you smell it. And believe me, it stinks.
So you take your car to the repair shop, and the technician says “oh, you need a new catalytic converter. That’ll be blank-ety blank hundred dollars. Thank you very much.” Well don’t do it. You see, the reality is, there may be absolutely nothing wrong with the catalytic converter, it may just be the gas you’re using. So try several different tanks of different types of gasoline. Different brands. See if the problem goes away. And if it does, hey you’ve just saved a bunch of money.
The other thing is, that too much sulfur can react with the sending unit in the tank, that operates the fuel gauge on the dash. Now here we have a typical tank unit. Here’s the float, that goes up and down with the level of the fuel. And over here on the other end of it, we have a variable resistor. That varies the amount of voltage going back to the unit in the dash, and that’s what controls the movement of the dash gauge.
Well, a lot of these are made of silver. And we get too much sulfur in the fuel, and the silver reacts with the sulfur, and we get an oxide that causes problems with the fuel gauge. It may become erratic, swinging back and forth, it may be full all the time, or empty all the time.
Well in a lot of cases, that means that you have to replace the tank unit. Which can be several hundred dollars. But, we’ve found a couple of products, like this BG44K, that has done a good job of cleaning away that oxide, and restoring the function of the fuel gauge. So you might want to try a chemical to treat the system first, because it could save you several hundred dollars. And if you have a question or comment, drop me a line. Right here, at MotorWeek.