An internal combustion engine relies on a consistent and steady flow of fuel to power the vehicle. Fuel is managed by many different components in the fuel system as it travels from the tank to the engine. All these components must be operating in prime condition to ensure optimal performance. It’s kind of like a weak link in a chain; if one component is a weak performer, the entire system suffers and fails to work properly.
5 signs your fuel system needs an inspection:
1) Sputtering engine
If your engine has sluggish sputtering episodes, it could mean something is wrong in the fuel system. Chances are the engine is not receiving a consistent supply of fuel. Inconsistent fuel flow could be the result of a failing fuel pump, carburetor or fuel injector. You should check the condition of all three components.
2) Surging engine
This problem is really the opposite of a sputtering engine. Instead of sluggish performance, a surging engine will exhibit bursts of power. This unwanted issue is also often caused by fuel system problems due to the engine receiving excessive fuel delivery at random times. Surging engine performance can also originate due to fuel pump, carburetor or fuel injector problems.
3) Starting problems
Difficulty in starting a vehicle can often be attributed to electrical issues with the starter, alternator or battery, but it can also be caused by fuel system failures. After all, if the engine can’t get a reliable supply of fuel, it won’t easily start. One component to inspect is the fuel solenoid, which opens and closes a valve to manage the flow of fuel.
4) Poor mileage
If your fuel economy is decreasing, you might consider the fuel system as a source of the problem. Sometimes it’s as simple as giving your fuel system an overhaul with a fuel system repair kit. Worn components can diminish fuel economy.
5) Fuel system leaks
Fuel spotting on the ground or driveway is an indicator of a leak in the system. Leaks can occur almost anywhere in the system, but a defective fuel system hose and clamp should rate high as suspects. Inspect hoses for any cracks or holes, and check clamps for looseness at connection points. You can expect to replace these parts periodically as part of a general maintenance routine.
Fuel System Maintenance Improves Performance
Fuel to an engine is like food to a body. You need just the right amount to expect healthy performance. That’s why you should inspect your fuel system to make sure all components are working effectively and efficiently. Doing so will provide a reliable performance that keeps you moving forward.