Does Putting Mothballs in the Gas Tank Improve a Car's Performance?


Quick Answer

Putting mothballs in the gas tank does not improve a car's performance. That was not always the case, though. Gasoline used to have such a low octane rating that adding napthalene, which was the active ingredient in old mothballs, did in fact increase the octane rating.

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Full Answer

Most mothballs manufactured today are not made of napthalene, but of para-dichlorobenzene, which does nothing for a car's engine. While it is still possible to use mothballs made with napthalene in a gas tank, doing so is unnecessary with today's higher-octane gasoline. Also, mothballs have a tendency to gum up engine parts so are best left outside of a gas tank altogether.

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