How to sabotage a car undetected

obi_waynne

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I guess this is of interest to divorcees, people with a grudge or looking to get even and it is a question we keep getting asked!

After posting helpful tips to help drivers avoid damaging their cars, we had the following emails, in significant numbers.

  • How do you sabotage a car in a way that cannot be detected?
  • How would you ruin a car without leaving any evidence?
  • How can you wreck a car engine without getting detected or caught?
  • How can I sabotage my exes car without her knowing?
  • How can I kill a lease car without leaving evidence?
  • How to ruin an engine without leaving evidence?
This is certainly a worrying trend! But I thought it would make an interesting discussion on here.

The most common suggestions we get to ruining a car is generally by putting stuff in the gas tank, but in most cases these may cause a breakdown but will not damage the engine.

What about putting bleach in the fuel tank? Or some other corrosive nasty? Do you have any experience with this in real life or a lab setting?
  1. Bleach - acid will degrade the metal surfaces but likely will just destroy the injectors before engine damage happens.
  2. Battery Acid - see above - fuel injectors will be damaged but not much else.
  3. Brake Fluid - this doesn't seem to have any effect on the engine, but seals and pipes can be damaged.
  4. Sugar - will not dissolve and will collect at the bottom of the tank or in the filter
  5. Soft Drinks - may soil the o2 sensor
  6. Wrong fuel - obvious and will smoke
  7. Bleach in the engine oil - this will degrade the internal components and will affect lubrication as well.
Sugar in the fuel tank is a popular urban myth with people thinking it will cause no end of problems but I'm sure this could be detected if it even worked at all.

Most of the above are actually detectable and fairly obvious when stripping down an engine and inspecting the damaged components, so it's proving quite hard to achieve engine damage or sabotage without leaving evidence.

This list of nasties could equally go in with the engine coolant, and will potentially wreck havoc over time as it cycles around the engine, but would suggest this is most likely to damage the water pump before any other damage is caused.

I've known people wanting to get rid of company cars, or lease cars to put the wrong grade of oil in them, and this very quickly deteriorates the engine. Thick cheap oil in a high performance engine means it's just a matter of time before the engine dies.

It worries me that people ask this because some car sabotage methods could potentially cause some pretty serious accidents and injuries which could leave you open to very serious criminal charges.

How would you go about wrecking a car for someone without them knowing you had a hand in it? Perhaps you have a lease car you want rid of, or a company car is annoying you and it's hasty demise will mean a brand new car?

Here is an article along the line of things people often do by mistake that will kill a car on our main site...
https://www.torquecars.com/articles/killing-cars.php

It's actually scary how many of these things we do every single day to our cars eventually resulting in it's untimely demise.
 
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TCJBOLDIE

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Obi do you have a bitter and vexatious divorce coming :confused::eek:

Just don't get caught putting builders expanding foam up the exhaust pipe or in the inlet manifold tract or in the petrol filler pipe :)
 

obi_waynne

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No not me but I get emails about twice a month asking this very question! Not answered any yet but I thought it would be interesting to see what our devious minds could come up with.
 

T9 man

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There are a few on here who frighten me with their thinking ?-/ Hate to cross their path on a dark night if they are upset o_O
 

old-git

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I guess this is of interest to divorcees, people with a grudge or looking to get even and it is a question we keep getting asked!

How do you sabotage a car in a way that cannot be detected?

Sugar in the fuel tank will cause no end of problems but I'm sure this could be detected. How would you go about wrecking a car for someone without them knowing you had a hand in it?

Sorry, but sugar in the tank is a myth :-( Sugar does not dissolve in petrol or diesel so will not affect the engine. The only possible result is if you put enough of it in so it covers the tank's filter it could block the filter. However, this will require many bags.


However, if you pour bleach into the tank all sorts of horrible things happen in short order................................apparently :)
 

Eddie208

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Don't know much about cars but if it has a cold air intake or even short rams you could try squirting with a watergun some water inside, boom goes the engine :)

I remember once seeing a Russian dude squirting superglue into the exhuast, that may do something? ^^

What about putting sand in the gearbox, or engine oil? That would do damage surely? Although I suppose you'd find that out as soon as you drained off the oil.

Thinking further about this dropping shards of metal in the spark plug holes will rattle around and cause quite a bit of internal damage and it will look like a piece of metal from the engine caused the damage. I don't know but it would probably rattle like crazy as it does it thing.
 

obi_waynne

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It is funny how this thread keeps on popping up and it's had so many reads now it must show how many devious people are out there!
 

TCJBOLDIE

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Not necessarily BUT there may be some very angry people with an axe to grind OR having an outstanding debt with no hope of collecting ;b/ :lol:
 

obi_waynne

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Just spotted that this thread has been read over 40,000 times out there. Does that mean there are 40,000 ruined cars?
 

manosamos

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Back in 1986 when was serve air force i put one potato in the exhaust of VW Transporter.Driver wondering how the car became noiseless....after 30 meters of driving Boooom-exhaust broken and VW became a race car since then
 

thexav

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That's funny @manosamos

Putting in a thicker heavier grade of oil will quickly cause wear to the engine.

How about a chunk of metal in the air intake, this will break up in the head causing scratching, ruining the valves and possibly even scoring the cylinders.

Putting a bleach or acid in the fuel tank and or water channels is likely to wear out the seals causing a lot of damage, but you can smell most of these so it would be obvious.

The electrical system can be a pig to diagnose faults, sandpapering off some of the wires in the loom will look like it's worn and you'll create random electrical problems and failures, but this is getting in the realms of being dangerous.
 

esmiran

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I don't get it. It's not the fault of people that people can't find common ground.

Pulling an ignition lead or plug or burning out a few fuses will disable the car and look like a breakdown.

Pour gelatine in the water tank and this will thicked up and restrict the flow of water around the engine.
 

mycarmer

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Sorry, but sugar in the tank is a myth :-( Sugar does not dissolve in petrol or diesel so will not affect the engine. The only possible result is if you put enough of it in so it covers the tank's filter it could block the filter. However, this will require many bags.

However, if you pour bleach into the tank all sorts of horrible things happen in short order................................apparently :)

I wouldn't want to experience that.

But there are those who believe that they can splash out howler negativity on the car. In YouTube a lot of videos there are angry ladies who crumble a car or a stick or an axe or kicks.
 
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wigguy4

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Don't know much about cars but if it has a cold air intake or even short rams you could try squirting with a watergun some water inside, boom goes the engine :)

I remember once seeing a Russian dude squirting superglue into the exhuast, that may do something? ^^
Water won't hurt the engine. We used to pour cold water in the carberater while running to brake up carbon in the combustion chamber. Pour it in while not running and engine won't start untill it drys out then it will.
 

Anthonyrazor3

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Sorry, but sugar in the tank is a myth :-( Sugar does not dissolve in petrol or diesel so will not affect the engine. The only possible result is if you put enough of it in so it covers the tank's filter it could block the filter. However, this will require many bags.


However, if you pour bleach into the tank all sorts of horrible things happen in short order................................apparently :)
Does it really work and cannot be detected I have a truck that I’ve been buying that is in the shop repeatedly over and over again and without destroying the motor they won’t give me a different vehicle
 

TETWIN

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Sorry, but sugar in the tank is a myth :-( Sugar does not dissolve in petrol or diesel so will not affect the engine. The only possible result is if you put enough of it in so it covers the tank's filter it could block the filter. However, this will require many bags.


However, if you pour bleach into the tank all sorts of horrible things happen in short order................................apparently :)
Why talk or learn about this, Who Will do that to anyone. That a Mean Thing to do.
Be happy, and help People. It's contagious.
 

5000rpmz

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How about ruining the paint? Asking for a friend of a friends great uncle’s cousin from another mother...It’s a complicated family.
 

obi_waynne

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There are some very worrying people around who take petty to a whole new level. I hope you get to the bottom of it, and I'm sure you are not alone I've heard from a few people who have had issues and suspect foul play after reading this article.

I'm going to lock this thread to new replies, it keeps on popping up and nothing new or helpful has been added.
 
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