My Car Won’t Start After Getting Gas & How I Fixed It

A few months ago, my 2007 Hyundai Accent had a bizarre problem. After I filled it up at the gas station, it would not start unless I depressed the gas pedal while cranking.

Other days it started right up, but any amount of fresh gas created start-up problems. It didn’t matter how much gas was in the tank, and there was no check engine light or codes.

Turns out this also happened to others that own Accents and Sonatas, and there could be a few fixes.

Troubleshooting Different Gas Fill-Up Scenarios

I work with some knowledgeable people here at 1A Auto, so after sharing this with them, a few experts gave me a some “tests” to try first to make sure there wasn’t an outside cause.

Before spending money on parts, here are the scenarios I tested for:

  • Try different gas stations
  • Slowly remove the gas cap
  • Don’t place the gas nozzle in all the way
  • Fill up to different amounts
  • Drive different distances before filling up (e.g. one mile, ten miles, twenty miles, etc.)
  • Try starting the engine in different temperatures

None of these options fixed the start-up problem, and some of our experts had never heard of this happening, so I searched online for help.

A Part that May Be the Cause

After some quick Google research, I found threads on and with others who had this exact issue and solved it by replacing the vapor canister purge control valve. Since most of the people had success with this replacement, I took a chance.

How I Replaced the Purge Control Valve

You can find the purge control valve right behind the throttle body.

 location of purge control valve behind the throttle body


It was fairly easy to replace and took about 10-20 minutes.

under the hood of 2007 Hyundai Accent

Replacing the Purge Control Valve

  1. Loosen both hose clamps on the air intake tube
  2. Unclip the air box housing clips
  3. Lift the air filter housing cover and remove the air intake tube from the cover
  4. Loosen the vacuum hose clamp with needle nose pliers
  5. Disconnect the vacuum hose from the air intake tube
  6. Remove the air intake tube from the throttle body
  7. Disconnect the connectors from the purge valve
  8. Loosen the hose clamp on the fuel hose, connected to the purge valve
  9. Remove the hose from the purge valve
  10. Release the purge valve from the bracket
  11. Loosen the hose clamp on the fuel hose connected to the purge valve
  12. Remove the hose from the purge valve
  13. Remove the purge valve

Reinstall is a reverse of the steps above.

The Purge Valve Replacement Fixed It

After I replaced the purge control valve, she starts up fine.

Since my valve was stuck open, the purge valve sent fuel vapor into the engine at start up. Excess fuel vapor collected in the engine, flooding it before start-up. This explains the need to depress the gas pedal, which opens the throttle body up and brings in the extra air needed for combustion.

So good luck! This might not work for everyone, but for me and many others this solved a unique problem.

Jeremy Nutt

Hi, I'm Jeremy.

2 thoughts to “My Car Won’t Start After Getting Gas & How I Fixed It”

  1. I did this replacement and it did not work. Also the vacuum tubing was so difficult to remove from the old purge valve it tore. You may need a $2 piece of 3/8″ vacuum tubing handy. I also replaced the purge solenoid by the evap tank. Very easy replacement but I still cannot start the car after filling up unless I put the pedal to the floor, etc. This thread and others seem to point to cleaning the throttle body. So I will look this up.

  2. Similar Problem:
    When car is hot, or if car was just filled at gas station, the car won’t start. Engine cranks very slowly.
    Battery Tests good with load tester.
    2. Popped the hood and wiggled the purge valve.
    3. I hear a “CLICK!” when the purge valve UN-sticks.
    4. Then the car starts right up.
    Many people believed this was caused by a bad battery, corroded or bad battery starter cables, or a bad starter. But it wasn’t any of those things apparently.
    5. Will report back after more tests, but I’m going to change the purge valve and confirm if that stops the problem from happening.

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