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In Back to the Future Part 3 Marty follows Doc back to 1885 to rescue him from being shot at the hands of Buford 'Mad Dog' Tannen. He arrives in 1885 some time after Doc has written the letter that Marty receives in 1955. Unfortunately for them the DeLorean springs a leak and loses fuel, which leaves them short of a way to get the DeLorean up to 88mph. The Mr Fusion only powers the time circuits, but the engine runs on standard gasoline and always has.

Why don't they just use the other DeLorean?

There are now TWO DeLoreans in 1885. The one Marty arrived in and the one Doc has hidden in a mine with repair instructions for his 1955 counterpart. Why don't they just syphon the fuel from that DeLorean?

This may be a plot hole, but there may be perfectly logical explanation for it.

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Maybe Doc used up the gasoline for one of his experiments. After all, the 1955 versions of him could easily refuel the DeLorean, so why let perfectly good gasoline rot for 70 years? –  Oliver_C Oct 23 '12 at 21:05
There were gas stations around in 1955 so the Doc woulda filled it up so i think it's a plot hole personally. –  user6511 Oct 23 '13 at 20:20

4 Answers 4

up vote 20 down vote accepted

You do have a point on that the fuel could have been syphoned. However, it's more likely that there just wasn't any. When the doc gets back to 1885 with broken time circuits, he first tries to fix it. When he realises it can't be fixed, he buries the car in the mine after first draining it from all fluids.

While it is unclear if the car could be dug up, it wouldn't have had any fuel. The doc would have had to keep all fluids that he drained from the car. You could argue that some gasoline could always come in handy but, as the doc mentions in his letter, he is concerned about the space time continuim. Keeping it around in his shop would be dangerous (what if someone found it) and he wasn't going to use it in a car (as he specifically forbids Marty to rescue him). To avoid disrupting space-time, the simplest thing would have been to dispose of all fuel.

edit: I looked some more and the official explanation can be found here. Apparently the time paradox for going back into the mine was too dangerous too go back in. However, Doc could have still drained it and kept it in his shop. Either he didn't want to keep it around (for the danger of discovery) or he didn't see the point in keeping it.

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Draining the car of all fluids before storage for decades seems to be very likely explanation. That answers my point sufficiently, thanks. –  Cage Oct 23 '12 at 21:13
Also the car was future-fitted it may not have been running on gas or had any in it for awhile. –  Kevin Howell Oct 24 '12 at 13:54
Keeping it around in his shop would be dangerous (what if someone found it)... oh, Doc could easily have hidden a canister of gasoline behind the MASSIVE refrigerator ;) –  Oliver_C Oct 24 '12 at 15:18
@KevinHowell the car always ran on gasoline –  Origin Oct 24 '12 at 15:52

If Marty & Doc would have dug up the 1885 Delorean, then it wouldn't have been in the cave in 1955. Therefore the Marty in 1885 would possibly cease to exist.

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Because if he used the gas in the car in 1885 they wont be able to use the car in 1955 cause theres no gas because they used it in the past there for doc is dead

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There is gas in 1955, and i don't think a tank of gas lasts 70 years. –  Cees Timmerman Apr 21 '14 at 18:35

Major plot hole they didn't even need the gas they now had a working time circuit that they could place on the DeLorean that doc arrived

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