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

P0240 OBD-II Trouble Code: Turbocharger Boost Sensor B Circuit Range/Performance
P0240 code definition Turbocharger Boost Sensor B Circuit Range/Performance What the P0240 code means P0240 is an OBD-II generic code triggered when the Engine Control Module (ECM) detects the intake boost...
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...
Veteran and Military Driver Laws and Benefits in New Mexico
The state of New Mexico offers a number of benefits and perks for those Americans who have either served in an Armed Forces branch...


Related questions

Q: Gasoline

Hi. Your Kia Sportage should be rated to use regular unleaded gas that is 10% ethanol 87 octane or higher. It will not hurt your car if you go back to using 10% ethanol gas while you are on you...

Q: Idle Problem/Engine Misfire Code P0300 P0301 P0303

Hi there. Check the spark plugs and fuel injectors for cylinder 1 and cylinder 3. Both cylinders are misfiring. If the plugs are good and the fuel injectors are firing, then there could be a problem with the internals of...

Q: Engine feels like it is getting no fuel and won't start.

First, it must be determined whether you have an engine that doesn't crank at all, or an engine that cranks but doesn’t start. If the engine doesn't crank at all, you have a problem with the starting/charging system or the...