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If you put Coke in your car’s gas tank, bad things will happen

Published Dec 21st, 2017 11:15AM EST
coke in gas tank

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You don’t exactly need a deep understanding of how internal combustion engines work to know that putting something other than a combustible fuel inside of them will produce undesirable results. Nevertheless, infamous YouTuber TechRax decided to see what would happen if you swap proper gasoline for good old Coca-Cola, and he used a 2003 BMW as a testbed. You can probably guess what happens next.

TechRax has made a name for himself by doing smartphone torture tests that range from reasonable to absolutely ridiculous, so this kind of an experiment isn’t very far out of his usual ballpark, but his faux surprise that sugary soda in a gas tank can kill a car could use a bit of work.

The experiment was pretty straightforward. TechRax pours a two liter bottle of Coke into the BMW wagon’s gas tank and then attempts to drive it away. With a bit of proper gas still making its way through the car’s fuel system the BMW manages to coast along just fine for a minute or two before bad things start happening. Eventually, the car outright dies, refusing to start back up.

It’s (obviously) a dumb test to conduct, but that’s not what many of the video’s comments find most disturbing about it. The decision to actually drive the Coke-filled car on a public road with cross-traffic and pedestrians milling about was a really, really bad idea.

We all knew the car’s engine would eventually seize up, and I have to imagine TechRax knew the same. When that happens, a number of the car’s systems shut down immediately, including power steering which sure does come in handy if you’re trying to avoid hitting another motorist or bystander. Thankfully the vehicle decided to take its dying breath while it was stopped at an intersection and it was pushed off to the side of the road without much incident.

The video wraps up with the BMW being taken to a repair shop where the mechanics drop an estimate of over $1,000 for the repair. To be totally honest, that actually sounds pretty low for a full fuel system purge and pump replacement on an aging Bimmer, but it’s also possible that the final bill would climb a bit higher.

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