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Sugar in my tank | Diminished value claim?

by Donavan
(Ogden, UT, USA)

I've recently discovered that someone has put sugar in my gas tank in my 2007 Ford Focus and I can't get a straight answer on what can be the long term damages to my car from the dealership.

I've even considered trading my car in just to not have to deal with the long term problems that might arise due to this vandalism.

Even when I was at the dealership I asked the question about trading it in and I was told I would get a poor offer because of what has happen to my car.

How do I handle my insurance claim with my company and also am I entitled to Diminished Value on my car.

Thanks Donavan


Hello Donavan,

Well, there are two issues here.

1. Sugar in the tank might not harm the car (common myth often denied by insurance companies). As you know, sugar dissolves and gas can clean the residual. I used to have this claim all the time and it would be denied on those grounds. If what you have on your gas tank is "Honey" or a substance like that, damage would be ensue.

You can argue over this theory and show that it does cause damage and …. Keep fighting…. Let us know how it turns. All I am saying here is that the insurance company will raise an eyebrow and you would have to show the actual damage NOT what if could hypnotically happen later on. That would be a hard claim to win.

2. Diminished value, please see:

Vandalism is a first party claim. You are not making against anyone else but your own policy. Most policies and states do not allow you to make this claim against your own insurance company. If you find out who did it, you can make the claim against that person. Check with a local attorney to see if First Part Diminished Value is allowed in your state. If you are, follow the tips on our articles. If they are not, then you are likely barred from making such claim.

I hope this helps.

Good Luck,

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