Last time out, an overview of the Intake System was looked into with emphasis on what’s needed for combustion to occur, which primarily involves fuel and air.
This week, the fuel system maintenance will be briefly looked into.
Fuel, is an essential element in the combustion process as it’s mixed with air, ignited and it’s combustion propels the vehicle forward. The fuel begins it’s journey from the fuel tank, mainly located at the back end of the car. With the aid of the fuel pump, strategically fixed inside the fuel tank, the fuel travels via fuel lines to the engine for combustion. But before it reached the engine, it is treated with the aid of a fuel filter. Newer vehicles have the filter located in the fuel tank with the pump, (so during service, it is essential the whole fuel pump assembly is replaced). A clogged or dirty fuel filter is unable to trap harmful particles from entering the engine and cause all sorts of damage. Once passed through the filter, the fuel reaches the engine and is injected into the combustion chamber to create combustion utilizing fuel injectors.
Having the fuel system serviced regularly can help prevent the inconvenience of a failed fuel pump, ensures optimal fuel efficiency, and the very best performance intended for the vehicle. Replacing the fuel filter as recommended in the users manual as well as a *fuel system cleaning* at a scheduled interval depending on the quality of fuel purchase from the stations, the environmental factors, are one of the best ways to ensure your vehicle continues processing and burning fuel properly. Schedule an appointment with your mechanic for fuel system maintenance, and this must include;
– Engine De-Carbon: This process breaks up the varnish in the engine allowing the valves to close completely, thereby attaining maximum engine compression and better fuel efficiency.
– Fuel Injection Service: This will enhance apart from a drip to a mist for better use of fuel by cleaning be the needle of the injectors. The use of fuel additives popularly known as “injector cleaner” when added in the fuel tank also helps to unclog the buildup of tiny particles which may have clogged the nozzles overtime.
– Throttle body service: As carbon builds up in the throttle body, closing the butterfly seal becomes more difficult and thus, stays slightly open, increasing idle and decreasing fuel economy. Additionally, the buildups are removed from vital sensors such as the MAF sensor to enhance performance.
In summary, symptoms to notice when the fuel system needs attention includes: engine stalling at cold start ups, engine surge when accelerating, car cranking but not starting (pump complete failure), vehicle lacking power especially when climbing a hilly terrain, engine getting hot abnormally, and car jerks during acceleration. When you experience any of these above, it’s as a result or inability of the fuel pump to properly dispense fuel to the combustion chamber, thereby forcing the engine to work harder. Also, driving on low fuel in the tank don’t just reduce the lifespan of the fuel pump, but also clog your injector nozzles. It is advisable to refill your tank when the guage reaches the quarter mark.