Q: I put rusty fuel in and now no power and engine warning light with lightning bolt on it.

asked by on

Good day. PLease may you advise me 1) what should I do to fix the below problem and 2) can i drive with it like this? I am i a very small town with no mechanic and home is 400km away. So about a month a go I had my car serviced by my mechanic and then about 3 weeks ago I out rusty fuel in not knowing it was rusty, now i filled up at a garage 2 days ago and the warning light with a lighting bolt on the engine came on and there is hardly any power, I then changed the fuel filter which was dirty and it had a bit more power but its still not working properly and where I live is 400km away, it drives reasonably fine as it is but I am worried that if I drive it I could do further damage?
My car has an automatic transmission.

I wish I could tell you that it would be OK to drive to the next town, but I can’t. I’ll bet that the rusty fuel you put in your car had a high water content. Now the water is gathering in the bottom of the tank and causing you trouble. Unfortunately, manufacturers no longer put drain plugs on the bottom of the fuel tank, so the only thing you can do is siphon the tank empty and replace it with good fuel. Trouble is, when you siphon the tank there will still be a small portion of fuel in the bottom, and that is where the water will be. But you might get away with it if you siphon the tank empty and then fill it up with fresh fuel. I don’t recommend the fuel additives that are marketed for this, I’ve seen them cause more trouble than good. You could try contacting Your Mechanic, they might have a technician in your remote area that can come to your home and check out your car. and help you solve this problem.

Was this answer helpful?

Need advice from certified mechanic? Get help now!

Over 1,000 mechanics are ready to answer your question.
The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details

Ask a Mechanic
(100% Free)

Have a car question? Get free advice from our top-rated mechanics.

Ask A Mechanic
Over 10,000 questions answered!
  1. Home
  2. Questions
  3. I put rusty fuel in and now no power and engine warning light with lightning bolt on it.

Get an instant quote for your car

Our certified mechanics come to you ・Backed by 12-month, 12,000-mile guarantee・Fair and transparent pricing

Get a quote

What others are asking

Q: Emission garage

For this issue you should have the engine scanned to see if you have a code that can be diagnosed. You may have a problem with your Exhaust Gas Recirculation (EGR) valve. The EGR valve may just need to be...

Q: Q: Fuel leak

A fuel leak in the engine compartment is likely caused by the flexible fuel line coming off the fuel filter that is going to the fuel rail. A fuel leak is a large safety concern. While this repair may seem...

Q: Overheating when driving

Thermostats can only be installed in one orientation. Unless the thermostat that was installed is the wrong one, or was defective out of the box, the thermostat is probably not the cause of the issue. Inasmuch as the overheating is...

Related articles

P0052 OBD-II Trouble Code: HO2S Heater Control Circuit High (Bank 2 Sensor 1)
P0052 code definition HO2S Heater Control Circuit High (Bank 2 Sensor 1) What the...
How Much Does a Mechanic Make in Vermont?
Automotive technician jobs in Vermont have an average mechanic salary of $37k, with some mechanics earning a salary of $53k.
P2103 OBD-II Trouble Code: Throttle Actuator Control Motor Circuit High
P2103 means there is a fault with the throttle actuator control motor circuit, likely due to a defective electrical component or part.