Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

How Can I Keep My Fuel System Clean?

Clean Fuel System

Proper maintenance of the fuel system is crucial for consistent long-term performance of a vehicle. The most easily clogged parts of the fuel system are the fuel injectors themselves. There are a number of ways this can happen:

  • Whenever an internal-combustion engine is powered down, the combustion chambers have leftover fuel/exhaust hanging around. While the engine cools, the vaporized gasses settle on every surface in the combustion chamber, including the fuel injector nozzle. Over time, this residue can reduce how much fuel the injector can deliver to the engine. There is not much to do to prevent this, but if the engine has worked particularly hard (lots of uphills or high temperature) it may be a good idea to let it cool down a little before shutting the engine off. Driving more gently towards the end of a trip can extend the life of the fuel injectors.

  • Heat in the cooling cylinders can also cook residue and other impurities onto the injectors, making cleaning significantly more difficult and time-consuming.

  • Fuel injectors can get clogged up by debris. This can either come from gas or from the fuel system itself. Gasoline with impurities in it is less common these days, and most major gas stations have consistently high-quality gas. Still, debris can get into the tank and, consequently, into the fuel system. The fuel filter catches the majority of impurities but a small amount could make it past.

  • If there is any water in the fuel, corrosion can happen within the lines and fittings of the fuel system. This corrosion can make debris that gets jammed in the injectors.

How to clean the fuel system

  • For residue in the fuel tank, the tank can be removed and flushed out. This is a very labor-intensive service, and does not need to be performed as part of regular maintenance.

  • The fuel pump is difficult to access as it is generally mounted inside of the gas tank. If there is a problem causing the fuel pump to malfunction, it will usually be replaced.

  • Fuel lines can be flushed out if there is debris causing problems, but soft fuel hoses should be replaced if they are showing their age.

  • Fuel injectors can be flushed to remove debris, but in order to remove baked-on residue from soaking and other tough problems, a full cleaning should be done to the injectors. This means removing the injectors and cleaning (then testing) each one.

A clean fuel system will deliver fuel more consistently and provide the owner with more reliability and higher efficiency.

The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details
Icon-warranty_badge-02

Skip the repair shop, our top-rated mechanics come to you.

At your home or office

Choose from 600+ repair, maintenance & diagnostic services. Our top-rated mechanics bring all parts & tools to your location.

Fair & transparent pricing

See labor & parts costs upfront, so you can book with confidence.

12-month, 12,000-mile warranty

Our services are backed by a 12-month, 12,000-mile warranty for your peace of mind.

Get A Quote

Need Help With Your Car?

Our certified mobile mechanics make house calls in over 2,000 U.S. cities. Fast, free online quotes for your car repair.

GET A QUOTE

More related articles

Symptoms of a Bad or Failing Flexible Clutch Hose
Common signs include difficulty shifting, low clutch fluid, and feeling no resistance at the clutch pedal.
P0222 OBD-II Trouble Code: Throttle/Pedal Position Switch/Sensor B Circuit Low Input
P0222 code definition Throttle/Pedal Position Switch/Sensor B Circuit Low Input What the P0222 code means The manufacturer specifies a range of acceptable voltage to be produced from the throttle position...
Veteran and Military Driver Laws and Benefits in Idaho
The state of Idaho offers a number of benefits and perks for those Americans who have either served in an Armed Forces branch in the...


Related questions

Q: Fuel gauge keeps jumping back past the E on the gas reader

Hey, thanks for writing in. There may be two different issues at play here. Your fuel gauge sending unit may be faulty which is what causes the fuel gauge to fluctuate erratically not reading correctly. This is a small...

Q: Fuel tank is so rusty, can a sheet metal shop fabricate a fuel tank made of stainless steel and will it not rust?

Hello. I do not think you will find a shop to make a fuel tank for the vehicle since the tank is very custom to fit only your vehicle. You should purchase a new one and try not to always...

Q: Difficulty starting and accelerating in 1996 Audi A4

Start with the basics. The first thing you want to do when you have a problem like that is change the fuel filter. Clogged fuel filters can do that. If changing the fuel filter doesn’t fix your problem, then have...