What's with the water in my fuel?

Dear Car Talk

Dear Car Talk | Oct 01, 1989

Dear Tom and Ray:

My 1985 Volkswagen Jetta is hygroscopic. It attracts water in the fuel. Three weeks ago my car was towed to the dealer. They tested the gas in the tank and found it was 20% water. $450 later, I had a dry fuel system. Ten days later, the same symptoms came back. The dealer took another sample which again revealed 20% water. My wife bought gas at the same filling station I did, and her car has been fine, so it's not the gas. I say there must be a leak, but the dealer says that's impossible. I'm out another $450 and I'm sure it's going to happen again. What do I do?

TOM: Who did you tee off, Bill? Have you been feuding with one of your neighbors? Were you promoted over somebody at work recently? Did your teen age daughter jilt the schoolyard bully this year? We can't think of any way that much water could get into a sealed fuel system like yours unless someone is pouring it in there. The solution is a locking gas cap--and get one for your wife too so they don't start pouring the water in her car!

RAY: If we're wrong, however, we do have a way for you to get your $900 back. Ship this car to Saudi Arabia. A device that converts gasoline to water is just what they're looking for. This Jetta would be worth a fortune over there.

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