What Would Cause a Car to Die After Filling It With Gas?

by Tamela Carey

Little is more frustrating than having your car die after filling it with fuel. Causes for a car to stall after refueling can be within the fuel system itself. Contaminated fuel, the fuel pump, and the car's computer are often the cause.

Fuel Contamination

Newer model cars are often equipped with contaminated fuel detectors. Fuel contaminated with water or other fuel types will cause a car to not start or shut down as soon as the car is refueled. Extreme engine damage can occur if the car is accidentally filled with contaminated fuel, thus manufacturers are now installing detectors to prevent major damage.

Fuel Pump

A car with a malfunctioning fuel pump will not start after refueling. Electronic control units (ECUs) are safety features. ECUs that are not operating properly can shut off the fuel pump regardless if the engine is still running. Damaged circuits in the on-board computer may tell the fuel pump to shut down while the car is running.

Evaporative Control System

The evaporative control (EVAP) system is designed to capture, store and purge any raw fuel vapors that leak from any areas of the fuel storage system. Problems occur when your fuel tank is overfilled and/or gas flows into the EVAP line. A defective refuel and/or fuel cutoff valve prevents fuel from flowing and the refuel valve triggers the gas pump to stop, causing the car to stall.

About the Author

Tamela Carey began writing in 1987, contributing topics on equestrian training, sustainable living and South American travel to HomesteadingToday and AmericanPasoFinos.com. She has also published “The Dive Log." Carey received blacksmithing certificates and holds an associate degree in respiratory therapy from Houston Community College and an associate degree in business from the University of Northwestern Ohio College of Distance Learning.

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