Service P+us Car Care Centre
Sep 19, 2016

Common Fuel System Problems

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A car’s fuel system stores and delivers gasoline to the engine, so it can run, start the car easily, and make it drive smoothly without sputtering, stalling or breaking down. It is therefore essential that each component of the fuel system is kept in tip-top shape: clean, free of debris, and functioning properly. And if that’s the status quo, the fuel that feeds your car will flow easily to the engine in just the right quantities, and your car will thank you for it by starting on command and driving reliably.

Car’s Fault Fuel Systems

The basic setup of the fuel system

When you get gas at the gas station, the fuel is stored in the fuel tank and a fuel pump pumps it through the fuel lines delivering it through a fuel filter to fuel injectors (carburetors in older cars). Fuel injectors then move the gasoline into the engine in a carefully engineered way so combustion can proceed properly—smoothly, and as cleanly as possible.

Clogged fuel filters

The most common problem with a fuel system is a clogged fuel filter. This can cause your car to sputter at high speeds, or even not start at all. Make sure you change the filter as recommended by your car’s manufacturer.

The fuel filter usually does a good job of filtering the fuel but it is not infallible, and over time deposits and particles build up within the injectors and clog them. This results in the engine not getting the fuel it needs. To fix this problem, mechanics offer an injectors cleaning service—they disconnect the fuel line and flush a cleaner through the engine.

Fuel pump problems

Problems with starting the car can also be related to the fuel pump. Fuel pumps can usually be heard when your turn the car on—if you don’t hear it, it’s not working properly. If there is nothing wrong with the relay that sends power to the pump, and the engine won’t start, then the pump needs to be replaced.

The effects of a faulty fuel system

If your car is not accelerating quickly, stalls, or jerks noisily while it idles, chances are there is a problem with its fuel system. A glitch in the fuel system can also cause occasional power loss, high levels of engine smoke, and fuel odours (not to mention wasted gas and money). In other words, the car becomes quite unreliable, and it needs to be checked out by a mechanic.

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