How to mess up a car engine? (+ undetected)

This blog post will answer the question, ‘How to mess up a car engine?’, and cover topics like ways to know a car engine is messed up, ingredients that can mess up a car engine, and how engines are messed up over time.

How to mess up a car engine?

These are the following ways to mess up a car engine:

  • Hard revving after a cold start 
  • Engine lugging
  • Irregular vehicle maintenance and oil changing
  • Riding the clutch
  • Turning off turbocharged cars immediately after stopping
  • Engine idling
  • Regular and unnecessary speeding

When a car engine is messed up, there is a certain knocking sound coming from under the hood, which is an indicator of engine bearings failing. The engine bearings are responsible for the crucial operations of the engine their seizing results in the cracking of the engine.

How to mess up a car engine undetected?

These are the following ways to mess up a car engine undetected:

  • A type of paste known as valve grinding paste when mixed with the engine oil breaks up or grinds down the internal components of the engine
  • Making holes in the engine block by using a powerful drill bit and an electric drilling tool for less noise
  • A piece of gallium when coming in contact with heated engine components like pistons can lead to a bond formation and destroy them, causing a lot of waste metal to accumulate
  • Mercury can also be used to react with the components of the engine made of aluminum so that they undergo amalgamation and transform into dust-like substances

How to know if the car engine is messed up?

The following are the different ways to recognize a messed up car engine:

  • Check engine light turns on
  • Strange and unusual noises from the car
  • Engine stuttering and shaking
  • Oil patches under the vehicle 
  • Bad odor from within the vehicle
  • Visible smoke from the exhaust

Ingredients that can mess up a car engine

The following ingredients if added to the gas tank of a car engine can seriously mess it up.


Pouring coke into the gas tank can ruin an engine completely, although it depends on the quantity poured. It is to be noted that any other soft drink when poured into the gas tank can severely mess up the engine.

The chemical composition of coke reacts with gasoline and forms a caustic sludge that can clog up the engine. It can be identified if the car produces a high amount of fumes.


Mixing water will prevent the engine from running fast. It can detach the engine from the engine mount once mixed with the fuel. This is why a car engine should be washed without water.

The ways to notice an engine messed up by water can be identified if the engine:

  • Misfires
  • Accelerates roughly
  • The check engine light turns on
  • Rough engine idling

In this case, it is better to displace the engine or change the gas in the engine tank or seek help from a professional mechanic.


Bleach can corrode and destroy parts made of metal and rubber inside the engine and it has a higher corrosion rate than normal. The reason is that bleach is primarily made of water and chlorine, which makes it caustic and corrosive.

This will cause the engine to rust and will most likely need replacement. Using bleach to mess up a car engine can be done undetected.

Brake fluid

Brake fluid is meant for hydraulic brakes and hydraulic clutches. This is detrimental for ca engines and we must always check the brake fluid level and ensure it is not full in a car engine.

Hydrogen peroxide

Hydrogen peroxide when mixed with gas can boost the engine power and make it run very fast, similar to NOS. However, this boost raises the engine temperature and can burn and mess it up in the long run if used regularly.

Wrong fuel in the tank

Pouring the wrong type of fuel into the gas tank is not only wrong but also a costly fix for the car engine. The following steps must be followed if such a condition occurs:

  • The car engine should not be started
  • The gear should be in neutral
  • The vehicle should be moved to a safe place manually
  • Seek professional help
  • Inform the car insurer about the situation

How car engines are messed up over time

The usage of the following substances in the car engine is responsible for messing it over time.


Adding ethanol gasoline is one of the most damaging things that can be done to a car engine. The reason is that ethanol can absorb water and dissolve polymers. 

It can create a strong molecular bond with water that in turn corrodes valves, piston rods, cylinders, fuel injection systems, fuel lines, and crankcases.

Oil sludge

Irregular oil change leads to the buildup of oil sludge. This occurs when the unchanged oil undergoes transformation and forms a sticky and sludgy substance that accumulates in critical regions inside the engine.

This can potentially act as a seal or block oil flow to the parts that need it, thus causing crucial engine parts to retain the excess heat and thus mess it up over time.

Inadequate fluids

The following fluids should always be kept at an optimum level

Engine motor oil and coolant level

Both are very crucial for the engine to function properly. The coolant level should be checked once a week and motor oil almost all the time.

Clutch fluid

Should be checked every month as low clutch fluid will cause hard shifting of transmission leading to gear mashing.

Steering fluid

Monthly checking should be done as driving without steering fluid can potentially mess up the steering pump.

Brake fluid

Should be checked monthly. If not full, can be fatal for both the vehicle and its passengers

Wiper fluid

While not directly related to engine damage, it should be checked regularly along with the other fluids for safety purposes.

Cold start

Usually occurs in colder countries and can potentially mess up the following parts:

  • Battery
  • Starter motor
  • Alternator
  • Cylinder
  • Pistons

It is advisable in such cold conditions to get an engine heater that is easily connected to the car radiator. This will save the worry of engines not starting in the cold.

Inadequate maintenance

Maintenance is necessary for every car engine and should be followed like a deadline. If not done regularly, it can scrape off many years from engine life.

Research has shown various ways to destroy an engine undetected.


This blog post answered the question, ‘How to mess up a car engine?’.

We came across the various ways to identify a messed-up engine and certain ingredients that can mess up the engine when added. Furthermore, we learned about the factors that mess up an engine over time and are often overlooked. Please feel free to comment on the content or ask any questions in the comments section below.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs): How to mess up a car engine?

What can you put in someone’s gas tank to destroy the engine?

Some sweet and sticky liquid can be poured into the gas tank to clog up the engine and fuel filters.

Will bleach destroy a car engine?

If the fuel tank has little quantity of fuel and an entire gallon of bleach is poured into the tank for 5-10 minutes, it can destroy the car engine completely.

What happens if you put salt in a gas tank?

Salt cannot be soluble in gasoline and hence it stays in its original granular form inside the tank.