How And Why: Cleaning Your 4x4's Fuel System
|Replacing all of your fuel filters are very important steps to keeping your 4x4's fuel system, and your motor, running smooth and strong. Photo Credit: Eric McGrew|
Don’t you just love it when you’re out in the middle of nowhere and your 4x4 breaks down on you? Only for the night to get worse as you find yourself under your 4x4 with fuel running down your arm, dripping on your face, and splashing in your eyes and mouth. If you’re fortunate, you’ve never had to undergo that kind of “Off-roading fun”. From time to time, these oddities do happen. You can avoid most of these situations though. All you have to do is regularly maintain your fuel system. Here are a bit of information on why it's important and how to do the maintenance.
Why It Needs Maintaining
Put basically, your fuel system gets dirty. When it’s dirty, trash and debris tend to clog your lines, filters, pumps, and possibly even your injectors.
How It Gets Dirty
Generally there is a small amount of trash in the fuel as it gets put into the service stations storage tanks. If a service station has old, or damaged tanks, the fuel can become even more contaminated.
With time, your fuel tank on your 4x4 also gets trash in it from filling it up. Using “Jerry Cans”, or other long distance fuel storage canisters can introduce trash into your system also.
Tips For Maintaining Your Fuel System
|Fuel filters are you last defense for keeping debris out of your injectors and motor. Changing them regularly will insure a better, cleaner, and safer running 4x4. Photo Credit: Eric McGrew|
Change your fuel filters regularly. If you’re using fuel storage containers, it may be a good idea to change your filters even more frequently. Make sure and clean out your fuel storage containers too. Having less trash in them, means less trash in your 4x4"s fuel system.
Dropping your fuel tank and cleaning it is also a good idea. If it’s extremely caked up inside, or if fuel has sat in it for some
time, you’re probably better off swapping it out.
When you change your fuel filters, don’t forget to change the in-line filters, as well as, the in-tank fuel pump.
Another good idea is to unplug each section of fuel line and blow the lines out with an air compressor. Make sure to disconnect all fuel filters before blowing out the line.
If fuel has been sitting in the system for years, then you will want to evaluate the condition of the fuel lines. If they’re cracked, gunked up, or clogged, you may want to replace them all together.
Fuel injectors can also become clogged with time, from regular use, or from having old fuel sit in them for long periods of time as well. Inspected, clean, and calibrate them as needed. In time you may need to purchase new injectors.
Cleaning and maintaining your 4x4’s fuel system may seem like a lot of work, but it’s really not that bad once you learn how your system is installed, and what tricks are needed. More often than not, after cleaning the system a couple of times, you’ll find it becomes much easier. Plus, you're less likely to break down in the rain, having to suck on a clogged fuel line on the side of the road.
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