Signs It's Time for a Fuel System Cleaning & Why It's Good Preventative Maintenance

Keeping your car running properly requires preventative maintenance. You need to do routine services, such as changing the oil, along with other services to keep the engine running correctly and to avoid a breakdown. Your vehicle's fuel system is an important component that must be maintained regularly. Getting the fuel system cleaned can help to avoid serious issues down the road, figuratively and literally.

Problem Signs

Proper maintenance of your fuel system helps to catch common issues, such as faulty sensors or buildup on components. Buildup can degrade components and cause them to stop working or lead to clogging that prevents the system from operating properly. Monitor your vehicle for the following indicators that a fuel system cleaning is needed:

    • Starts roughly
    • Shudders when idling
    • Loses power when going uphill or towing
    • Slow engine response when pressing the gas pedal
    • Slow acceleration

Servicing Your Vehicle

Once you notice signs that your fuel system is not working properly, you should get it serviced to avoid serious issues with your vehicle's operation. When a fuel system gets clogged, it affects the performance of your vehicle. Not only may you have issues with accelerating and stalling, but you may also notice your fuel costs increase. The inability to properly regulate fuel use is directly related to a clogged or dirty fuel system. By getting the system cleaned, it can be restored to like-new condition where your vehicle can once again operate with efficiency.

The Process

When you take your vehicle in to get the fuel system cleaned, technicians will go over the system carefully ensuring each component is properly cleaned and maintained by using a comprehensive fuel system cleaning process. This process allows technicians to carefully clean your system without causing damage to the delicate components.

Here is a look at what they will be doing as they work through the four steps in the cleaning process:

1.  Clean the Injectors

The fuel injectors take the gasoline you put into your vehicle and spray it as a mist. It requires careful work to ensure the injectors are cleaned of any possible debris which can clog them and stop them from working. The technician will remove any debris and fuel buildup. Injectors need cleaning on average every 30,000 miles.

2. Remove Fuel Varnish From the Throttle Body

Varnish can easily build up within your fuel system. This can cause the throttle to stick, which makes it impossible for it to control air intake. A part of the throttle body, the main butterfly valve, may get stuck open because of deposits. When the technician cleans the throttle, he or she also will clean the related sensors to ensure they operate efficiently.

3. Clean the Varnish From the Valves

Varnish also affects proper valve operation. It can cause them to stick and create a layer on the valves that prevent them from making a complete seal. The valves and seals are cleaned carefully by the technician.

4. Change the Fuel Filter

The fuel filter, as the name suggests, filters fuel in your vehicle to help keep impurities out of the delicate parts. Over time, the filter gets dirty, so it has to be changed. It is similar to an oil filter that needs changed every so many miles. The technician will remove the old filter and put in a new one. Do note that some newer models of vehicles do not have a removable fuel filter. It is part of the fuel pump, so your vehicle may not need a fuel filter change.

5. Add Fuel Additive

Fuel additive goes directly in your fuel tank and helps to get rid of any moisture within the system while also maintaining the injectors and other parts to extend the effects of the fuel system cleaning. The technician will add this as the last step in the cleaning process.

Schedule a Cleaning Today

Following these steps in the process allows the technician to ensure your fuel system is completely clean. The process is done with care, attention, and using the correct tools to ensure no damage is done and your vehicle is handled properly. A cleaning can help make your vehicle run smoother and more efficiently. If you are unsure of when to schedule a cleaning, just talk to your Sun Devil Auto Service Writer to develop a maintenance plan that includes a fuel system cleaning.