Your car runs because of a combination of its many components. One of the primary components is the fuel line. This is the channel by which fuel from your gasoline tank is supplied to the gasoline intake in your car’s engine.
The Important Role of the Fuel Line
If the gasoline is not delivered to the intake valve of your engine, there will be no fuel that will be burned inside the cylinders, no revolution of the engine will occur, the engine will not run, and your car will be stalled in traffic.
Common Problems in a Car’s Fuel Line
Problems in the fuel line are varied. There may be a clogged portion along the channel preventing the fuel from passing through, or there may be some holes in the fuel line causing insufficient delivery of fuel, and a lot of fuel is wasted and just goes down the drain.
Causes of Fuel Line Problems
Most fuel lines are made of a type of reinforced rubber material. This material is specifically designed to withstand the elements and the harsh effects of the chemical components of the fuel itself.
But because of the nature of a car’s operation, rubbing of this fuel line against other metal components of the car cannot be avoided. Heat also takes its toll on the rubber material making it brittle, especially when it is already very old. Thus, cracks and holes may develop along the channel.
Solid particles from the fuel tank may also get inside the fuel line and cause clogging. These could happen if you are careless in opening the lid of the fuel tank for more than the time needed for gas refueling wherein solid particles from the environment can enter in.
Steps in Repairing a Fuel Line
Major fuel line problems are best left to professional mechanics such as Midas or Jiffy Lube to resolve. But if the problem in your fuel line is a minor one, it is certain that you can fix the problem yourself. Here are some suggestions on how you can do it.
- Prepare all the tools and materials that you will need. These may include drip pans, the right sized wrenches, a flat screw driver, a new fuel line (if you need to replace the old one), replacement fittings, some pieces of rags for wiping and cleaning, and of course your safety glasses or goggles.
- Secure the pans underneath the fuel line connection and directly on the leak spots. With your safety glasses on, inspect the fuel line and assess the extent of damage. You may need to jack up your car if its chassis is too low. Raise the chassis to a level where it will be safe and easy for you to check the fuel line. A creeper will be very useful in this case.
- Use a wrench to loosen the fuel line connections. Allow all the fuel to drain out before proceeding further. You can now disconnect the female fitting from the male fitting of the fuel line.
- Use a flat tipped screw driver to loosen up the clamps. These are the clamps that hold the fuel line in place. You need to take them out so that you can thoroughly check or replace the fuel line.
Check the damage on the fuel line and assess if the holes or cracks can be repaired. Also, figure out the cause of the damage so that you can prevent future fuel line problems. Fix the cause of the problem before repairing or replacing the fuel line.
If the fuel line is still repairable, make the necessary repairs. But if the damage is very extensive, there is nothing you can do but to replace the entire fuel line. Before refitting the fuel line, be sure that you already have fixed the cause of the problem.
- You also need to check the fuel line fittings before refitting the fuel line. Make sure that it is safe to use and that there are no sharp edges, or objects or any obstruction that will damage the fuel line later on. Use your wrench to tighten the fittings.
- Use your flat tipped screw driver and your wrench to install the repaired or new fuel line. You need to have this fuel line snugly fitting the contours of the bent area where the fuel line is supposed to be installed.
Use a new fuel line that is durable enough to replace your old and damaged fuel line. Buy one that is made of reinforced rubber. It is strong enough to withstand the elements.
Due to the nature of its function, any hint of trouble in the fuel line should be addressed immediately. If not, you may not only suffer insufficient supply of fuel to your engine, but worse, it may cause accidental fire. So, be attentive to the condition of your fuel line and you will be able to enjoy the services of your car for a long time.