Before we get into the fuel system problems that we fix regularly here at Kirk’s Auto Care, it’s important to know that most new cars rarely experience fuel system problems. Rather, older cars with miles under their belts can start to suffer in the fuel system because the various parts are showing their ages. You can avoid this with fuel-system maintenance, just take a look at your owner’s manual to see when the system should be serviced in your vehicle make and model. Here are three common problems.
1. Clogged Fuel Filter
The fuel filter is responsible for removing dirt and sediment out of the gasoline before it is pumped into the engine. Obviously, the filter gets clogged by the very things it removes from the gas. Once the filter is clogged, less gasoline makes its way into your engine, and this can affect your engine’s performance. If the fuel filter is clogged completely, you might not even be able to start your car because there is no gasoline that is making its way into the engine. Change the fuel filter every 20,000-to-40,000 miles.
2. Dirty Fuel Injectors
The same somewhat holds true for the fuel injectors. The fuel injectors are responsible for spraying gasoline into the combustion chamber through specially-designed nozzles that allow just the right fuel flow. These nozzles can be clogged by sediment, and they can also get clogged by carbon buildup from the engine’s combustion process. Clogged fuel injectors will affect your engine’s performance, including causing rough idling, sputtering, and even stalling. In rare cases, your engine might even backfire.
3. Malfunctioning Fuel Pump
Finally, the fuel pump can also get clogged. The same signs of a clogged fuel filter or fuel injectors accompany a clogged fuel pump. Your fuel pump can also malfunction, especially if you’ve driven your automobile for 100,000 miles or more. If your engine is overheating yet you have plenty of fresh coolant in the radiator, it could be the fuel pump motor overheating. If you hear whining or grinding sounds when you start your car, it could be the fuel pump motor malfunctioning or it could also be the alternator.
With a shop in Livonia, MI, and one in Farmington Hills, MI, we’ve got you covered here at Kirk’s Auto Care. Give the stop closest to you a call to schedule an appointment if you think your vehicle’s fuel system is in need of service or repair.