Water instead of gasoline?

Auto Motor Klassiek » Practice and technology » Water instead of gasoline?


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

Could there be a blockage in the carburettors? The lids were removed and the burning cigarette was extinguished before further inspection. Gasoline and fire are not friends. But to my amazement there was no petrol in the carburetors but water! The fuel filter was opened to find that it also contained water. If it hadn't been so dirty on the outside I could have seen it. A sample was taken from the gas tank: gasoline mixed with water. A car won't start there. The tank was sucked empty and fresh gasoline was poured into it. The pipe to the carburettors was disconnected and a glass bottle was kept ready to collect the first liquid. After the water had been pumped out of the pipe, the pipe was tightened again and it was possible to start. It wasn't long before the engine gave its first thuds and coughs. Just restart and carefully step on the accelerator with the right foot and the familiar Alfa sound was heard again. One pressing question remained. How did that water get into the gas tank? Was it condensation or was the tank leaking? I had done that completely unconsciously myself. At that time I had also bought a few demolition Supers of which the tanks were not yet empty. At that time, gasoline was just as unaffordable as it is today. For reasons of economy, I had thrown the contents of those tanks into my driving Giulia. Neatly with a sieve in between because some rust could get into the tank. But you can't stop water with that.

Photo and text: Jacques van den Bergh


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