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

P2159 OBD-II Trouble Code: Vehicle Speed Sensor B Range/Performance
Diagnostic Trouble Code (DTC): P2159 P2159 code definition Vehicle Speed Sensor B Range/Performance...
What are the Car Pool Rules in Hawaii?
Hawaii is widely regarded as a land of vacation and relaxation, and as such, its scenic roads and routes are far better known than the state’s freeways. But, as with all...
Auto Safety Tips
Driving is more than a way to get from point A to point B. Owning and driving a car can also be a highly enjoyable experience. Whether a person is driving...


Related questions

Q: Where is the fuel pump shut-off switch located?

Your car may have a fuel pump shut-off switch. This switch turns off the pump that sends gasoline from the fuel tank to the engine. It’s designed to activate during certain situations, such as during an accident. If you’ve been...

Q: Everything works but it won't crank

If the motor just stopped out of nowhere, this may suggest many different possibilities such as a loss of spark or a fuel delivery problem. If the motor does not crank, this may suggest an issue related to the starter...

Q: Fuel pump relay location on a 96 Ford Thunderbird.

Hi there. The fuel pump relay is located on the fuse box, the second relay on the bottom near the locking tab. The location port is C1051 for the fuel pump relay. If you need further assistance with the fuel...