First, you will need to closely inspect your fuel system—do this by driving the vehicle to see how it performs. It should be driving smoothly, you should accelerate with ease, and should increase and decrease your speed easily. The condition of the engine and the mileage on the vehicle will have an impact on how the vehicle will drive.
If your vehicle’s fuel filter is clear, look at the color of the fuel. If the fuel appears to be dark, you will need to flush the vehicle’s fuel system. Open the cap to the fuel fill area, and smell the fuel. If it has an odor-like varnish, the fuel is no good.
Inspect the fuel tank and fuel lines in order to determine their condition. If any fuel lines are cracked, this will allow condensation to enter. Over time through normal use, the fuel tank may become brittle or rusted.
Causes of Clogged Fuel Systems
Whenever a vehicle’s engine is turned on, the combustion chambers allow leftover fuel to hang around. When the engine cools down, the gasses that were vaporized will settle on each surface in the chamber, even the fuel injector and nozzle. As this happens over time, the residue may reduce the efficiency of the fuel injector and its ability to deliver fuel to the engine. This is not exactly preventable, but when the engine has worked especially hard (such as high temperatures or a lot of uphill driving), it may be wise to allow the engine to cool prior to shutting it off. When you drive more careful at the end of a trip, it may help to extend the life of the fuel injectors.
The heating and cooling cycles of a vehicle’s engine can leave impurities like residue on the injectors. This will also make cleaning them significantly more time-consuming and difficult. While it may be done at home, take caution to only work on it if you have the proper knowledge.
Various types of debris can clog up fuel injectors due to the fuel system itself, as well as gas. Though gas that is filled with impurities is rare these days, many major gas stations will have high-quality gasoline. Even so—debris will still make its way in and harm the fuel system. The fuel filter will catch the majority of the impurities, but a small amount will still be able to make its way inside.
How to Clean the Car’s Fuel System
It is important to always have on protective eye-wear when working on a vehicle. Other personal protective equipment should be worn as necessary, such as close toes shoes or latex gloves.
- To do a basic clean, use a fuel system additive in the fuel tank and top your fuel level off with new gas in accordance with the instructions on the fuel system additive. Take the vehicle for a test drive to check for improvement. Drive on a normal street under regular driving conditions while accelerating to full throttle safely on the highway.
- When there is residue inside of the fuel tank, it is possible for the tank to be removed and then flushed out. This service is very labor-intensive and should not be performed as regular maintenance.
- When there is debris in the fuel lines, they can be flushed out, but when the soft fuel hoses begin to show their age, they can be replaced. It is possible to flush fuel injectors in order to remove debris, but to get rid of baked on residue, the injectors will need to go through a full cleaning. They will need to be removed, cleaned, and then tested.
If there are still problems, you may need a deeper inspection of the fuel system as well as the drive train. Consult a professional if your problem is larger than what you can deal with at home.