Water instead of gasoline?

ER Classics Desktop 2022


Handy strainer does not stop water
Handy strainer does not stop water
Gasoline and spark, but the car does not start. That is an impossible combination. But with a grumpy Alfa Romeo Giulia Super it really looked like it in 1981. There was a nice powerful spark and the clear fuel filter was full of fuel.

Could there be a blockage in the carburetors? The lids were removed and the burning cigarette extinguished before looking further. Gasoline and fire are not friends. But to my surprise, there was no gas in the carburetors but water! The fuel filter was opened to be able to detect that there was also water in it. If it hadn't had that much dirt on the outside, I could have seen it. A sample was taken from the gas tank: gasoline mixed with water. A car does not actually start there. The tank was sucked empty and fresh gasoline was thrown in. The pipe to the carburetors was disconnected and a glass bottle was kept ready to collect the first liquid. After the water was pumped out of the pipe, the pipe was fixed again and a start could be made. It was not long before the engine showed its first flops and coughs. Start again and carefully step on the gas pedal with the right foot and the familiar Alfa sound was heard again. One urgent question remained. How did that water get into the gas tank? Was it condensation or was the tank leaking? I had done that unconsciously myself. At that time I had also bought a few demolition Superties whose tanks were not yet empty. At the time, gasoline was just as priceless as it is today. For economy reasons, I had thrown the contents of those tanks into my moving Giulia. Neat with a strainer in between because there might be some rust in the tank. But you don't stop water with that.

Photo and text: Jacques van den Bergh

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