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Q: 1988 F-150 loses power while accelerating

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I have a 1988 F-150 and I started losing power when accelerating. We narrowed it down to the fuel filter or the fuel pump. We changed the filter and got brown, dirty gas out of the filter. Is this an indicator of water in the tank? The tank has no leaks.

A: This is an indicator that something is wron...

This is an indicator that something is wrong with the gas tank. My advice is to pull the gas tank off and have it steam cleaned. There are places that do that kind of work. When they get dirty like that the filters only work to a certain extent. Particles like rust and other buildup will not be cleaned out by the filter very well. I’ve had a customer with that car and it had rust in the tank. The filter couldn’t clean out the small rust particles. The rust that passes through can clog up the fuel injectors and ruin everything.

I’d advise you to have the gas tank taken off and steam cleaned. Also, change the filter to see how it goes from there. If you do have it steam cleaned and removed, the guys look inside of it and see how bad the rust damage is inside. If it’s bad then you are better off getting another tank than trying to clean it because the rust will continue to come back. This is probably the problem with you particular car because it’s old enough and is equipped with a steel tank. New cars have gas tanks made out of plastic, which of course doesn’t rust. I’d recommend having a certified technician diagnose your acceleration issue accurately and fix your problem.

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