Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls
  1. Home
  2. Articles
  3. How Can I Keep My Fuel System Clean?

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

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.


More related articles

P0121 OBD-II Trouble Code: TPS "A" Circuit Range Performance Problem
P0121 code definition Throttle Pedal Position Sensor/Switch (TPS) A Circuit Range Performance Problem...
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...
Rules of the Road For Iowa Drivers
Driving on the roads requires knowledge of the rules, many of which are based on common sense and courtesy. However, even though you know the rules in...

Related questions

Q: When I start my 2012 Honda Accord gas just pours out and it looks like it's coming from the square box looking thing on the driver

Hello, thank you for writing in. There are several components in the fuel system that will only be pressurized when the vehicle is running. The best way to find the leak is with a visual inspection. From there you can...

Q: Gas needle changed from full to empty and a gas smell

Hello, thank you for writing in. The vehicle may be having issues with its fuel module. This component houses the pump, the electronics, the pump filter, and the level sensor. If the computer has detected issues with the amount of...

Q: Starting problems on a 2005 Honda Pilot

If it cranks but it doesn't start, I've got a video "fixing the car that cranks but doesn't start." You'd want to do all those tests. Check the fuel pump pressure and check if you are getting spark to the...