Common Fuel System Problems in Automobiles

When dissected, your vehicle’s fuel system is an amazing series of parts and hoses that gets the gasoline out of the tank and into the engine exactly where it needs it. Trinity Auto Care services fuel systems to make sure they remain safe and reliable every time you start and run your car. We see common fuel system problems every day. Here are five of the problems we fix the most.

1. Clogged Fuel Filter

The fuel filter prevents sediment and other contaminants from getting into the engine by trapping them much like your air filter traps dirt and debris. Over time, the fuel filter will get clogged with the very contaminants it removes from the gasoline, and a fuel filter replacement is just what the car doctor ordered.

2. Clogged Fuel Injectors

The fuel injectors have special nozzles that spray just the right amount of fuel into the combustion chamber, the cylinders or intake manifold to be exact, so that the spark plugs can ignite the fuel to get your car started. The fuel injectors can be clogged over time by carbon, which is deposited during the combustion. The fuel injectors can also crack and leak gasoline into the engine.

3. Low-Octane Gasoline

If your vehicle is high-performance and requires higher octane than 87, putting gas with an 87-octane rating into the tank will create detonation issues in the combustion chamber. A consequence of this is that you will hear your engine knock. These detonation issues can damage the engine if you continue to use the wrong gasoline. It’s important to check your owner’s manual and make sure you always put the right octane into the tank.

4. Malfunctioning Fuel Pump

There are a couple of things that can go wrong with the fuel pump. It can get clogged, but more likely it will malfunction. Most fuel pumps today are electric and their motors can overheat and/or break down. If the fuel pump dies completely, there won’t be any gas drawn out of the tank and you won’t be able to start your engine. Fuel pumps last on average about 100,000 miles.

5. Rich Air-to-Fuel Ratio

Finally, if there is a problem with the mass airflow or oxygen sensor, or an issue with the fuel system that pushes too much gasoline into the combustion chamber, you will have a rich fuel mixture that can cause engine performance issues and black exhaust. If the rich mixture is so full of fuel, you might flood your engine trying to start it. You’ll smell gas in the vehicle cabin, too.

Trinity Auto Care has two shops, one in White Bear Lake and one in Blaine, MN. Call us today for help with your vehicle’s fuel system problems.


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