Car won’t start after getting gas – easy fix

Are you frustrated because your car won’t start after getting gas? You’re not alone! In this article, we’ll provide clear steps to help you identify and fix the issue. Get ready to understand why your engine isn’t turning over and how to get it running again.


Have you ever faced the situation where your car won’t start after getting gas? You’re not alone. This issue is quite common among car owners and can be caused by various factors. The most common among them is a loose, damaged or faulty gas cap.

When the gas cap is not tightened properly or is damaged, it can cause the fuel tank pressure to fluctuate, triggering the check engine light and preventing the vehicle from starting. Other reasons might include a clogged fuel filter, a failing fuel pump or fuel injectors, or other electrical issues in the car’s system.

If your car won’t start after getting gas, the first thing to check is the gas cap. Tighten it properly or replace it if it’s damaged. If that doesn’t work, consult a professional mechanic to diagnose and resolve the issue.

Reasons Why Car Won’t Start After Getting Gas

Several reasons can cause your car not to start after getting gas. The most common causes include:

  • A faulty fuel pump, which prevents the adequate supply of fuel from the gas tank to the engine.
  • A clogged fuel filter, which can cause a drop in fuel pressure, leading to engine failure.
  • Vapor lock, which occurs when the fuel gets hot and vaporizes before entering the engine, causing an engine stall.
  • A malfunctioning vent system, which could be faulty or clogged, leading to the development of pressure in the gas tank, which could prevent fuel from reaching the engine.

To prevent such issues, it is recommended to ensure proper maintenance of your car’s fuel system, including regular inspection and cleaning of the fuel filter, and replacing the fuel pump when necessary.

Common Causes of Car Not Starting After Filling Up

One of the most common causes of a car not starting after getting gas is a fault in the fuel system. When you fill up your car with gas, the fuel pump brings fuel from the tank to the engine. If there’s an issue somewhere along the line, your car may have trouble starting.

Here are some of the most common causes of cars not starting after filling up:

  1. Vapor lock – fuel vaporization causes a block in the fuel line, leading to starting issues.
  2. Faulty fuel pump – fuel pumps can malfunction or wear out over time, leading to starting problems.
  3. Clogged fuel filter – If the fuel filter is clogged, it can lead to a decrease in fuel pressure, causing starting issues.
  4. Faulty Evaporative Emission Control (EVAP) system – The EVAP system prevents gas vapors from escaping into the atmosphere. Any issue with this system can cause starting problems after filling up.

If you face the same issue, it is always recommended to get in touch with the professional as trying to fix issues with fuel systems can be dangerous for any non-expert.

Diagnosing the Problem

If your car won’t start after getting gas, it is likely due to one of several possible problems. Here are some possible reasons your car won’t start:

  1. The fuel pump isn’t working properly, preventing the engine from getting enough fuel to start.
  2. A clogged fuel filter is blocking the flow of fuel to the engine.
  3. The gas tank might contain contaminated or low-quality fuel, making it difficult for the engine to start.
  4. The vapor recovery system might be malfunctioning, causing too much pressure to build up in the gas tank and preventing fuel from reaching the engine.

Diagnosing the problem involves checking the fuel system components, inspecting the gas tank, and possibly running diagnostic tests on the engine system. It’s best to have a mechanic diagnose and fix the problem if you’re unsure of what to do yourself.

Pro tip: To prevent future issues, make a habit of filling up the gas tank before it gets too low to avoid getting any contaminated fuel.

Solutions to Fix the Issue

If your car won’t start after getting gas, try these solutions to fix the issue:

  1. Check your car’s battery: Starting problems are often caused by a weak or dead battery. Make sure that the battery’s connections are clean and tight, and try jump-starting your car if necessary.
  2. Inspect the fuel system: If there’s a problem with the fuel system, it could prevent your car from starting. Check the fuel pump, filter, and lines for any signs of damage or wear and tear.
  3. Look at the ignition system: Faulty spark plugs, a broken ignition coil, or a malfunctioning crankshaft position sensor can prevent your car from starting after getting gas. Inspect the ignition system and replace any parts that are worn out or damaged.
  4. Check the gas cap: A loose or damaged gas cap can cause a vacuum leak in the fuel system, preventing your car from starting.
  5. Call a mechanic: If none of these solutions work, take your car to a trusted mechanic to diagnose and fix the problem.

Preventative Measures to Avoid Car Not Starting After Filling Up

Cars not starting after filling up is a common problem that most car owners face, and there are a few preventative measures that you can take to avoid this issue.

  1. Don’t “top off” your fuel tank, as this can cause the fuel to enter the vapor collection system, leading to starting problems.
  2. Avoid using your phone while pumping gas, as phone signals can cause sparks that can ignite the gasoline.
  3. Make sure your gas cap is tightly sealed, as loose gas caps can cause the check engine light to turn on and starting problems.
  4. If you have an older car, consider replacing the fuel pump, as it may not be functioning correctly and causing the starting issue.

By following these preventative measures, you can avoid the frustration of your car not starting after getting gas.

Pros and Cons of Different Solutions

One of the most common issues faced by car owners is the car not starting after getting gas. Here are the pros and cons of three different solutions to overcome this problem:

  • Solution 1: Wait it out.
    Pros: Sometimes, the issue can be caused by the fuel pump trying to build pressure, and waiting a few minutes can allow the buildup of pressure, making the car start again.
    Cons: Waiting may not solve the problem if the issue is more severe and requires further action.
  • Solution 2: Turn the key a few times.
    Pros: This method can help to prime the fuel pump and get it going.
    Cons: Excessive usage of this method can damage the starter or ignition, leading to additional repairs.
  • Solution 3: Check the fuel pressure release valve.
    Pros: Testing the fuel pressure release valve can help identify if there is a pressure buildup issue.
    Cons: Testing this requires specialized equipment, and if there is an issue, additional repairs may be needed.

Pro tip: If you frequently face this issue, getting your car diagnosed by a professional mechanic can help identify and fix the root cause, preventing further inconvenience.


In conclusion, if your car won’t start after getting gas, there are a few things you can try before taking it to a mechanic:

  1. First, check for any visible signs of damage or wear and tear on your car’s fuel cap and fuel lines.
  2. Next, try turning the ignition key on and off a few times to help prime the fuel pump and get fuel flowing to the engine.
  3. If your car still won’t start, try jump-starting the battery or replacing it altogether.
  4. Make sure to also check your car’s spark plugs and air filter, as these components can also affect your car’s ability to start.
  5. If none of these solutions work, it’s best to consult with a qualified mechanic for a proper diagnosis and repair.

Pro-tip: Regular car maintenance, such as getting your fuel system inspected and replacing worn components, can prevent issues like these from occurring in the future.


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