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Fuel Lines & Hoses

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Fuel Lines & Hoses

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What are the fuel lines and where are they located? 

Fuel lines carry fuel from the fuel tank to the engine.  These rubber hoses or steel lines run from the fuel pump to a fuel filter, which may be located in the rear of the vehicle near the fuel pump or in the engine compartment. They then transfer fuel from the fuel filter to the carburetor, throttle body, or a fuel injection rail.  The hoses carry fuel, under pressure, to the engine to keep it running. 

How do I know if my ­­­­ fuel lines need to be replaced?                 

The biggest problems that affect fuel lines are clogs and leaks.  Fuel lines can become clogged if debris finds its way into the fuel tank or if the fuel tank begins to rust.  Rubber fuel lines can crack with age, leading to leaks.  They can also wear out from rubbing against nearby metal parts.  A clogged fuel line can sometimes cause an overflow elsewhere, resulting in a leak. 

Since both clogs and leaks reduce the amount of fuel reaching the engine, they can cause many of the same symptoms.  If the engine isn’t getting enough gas, it may have a hard time starting, or it might not start at all.  If it does start, it might stall out later. 

Fuel line leaks present their own particular signs.  The most obvious of these would be a fuel leaks underneath your vehicle.  You may also smell gas fumes when you are driving.  If the gas is leaking onto something hot, then you may see or smell smoke.  Obviously, fuel leaks are a fire hazard, so you’ll want to replace a leaking fuel line as soon as possible. 

Can I replace the fuel lines myself?  

Although you can replace your own fuel lines, you should be forewarned that it is a tough job, and a messy one.  We recommend doing this job yourself only if you have some serious automotive experience under your belt. 

Of course, as it’s always a good idea to wear safety glasses when doing automotive work, it is especially important when you’re working with the fuel system.  The fuel is highly pressurized.   You’ll have to depressurize the fuel system before you begin.  To do that, remove the fuel pump fuse from your fuse box, start the engine, and run it until it stalls. 

At this point, you can raise and secure the vehicle and disconnect the fuel lines from the fuel filter.  Be sure to have catch pans ready for any fuel that leaks out.  If you’ve had clogged fuel lines, you may also have problems with your fuel filter, so this is a good opportunity to replace it.  You can then disconnect and remove the old fuel lines.  Before you install the new one, make sure it is as long as, or longer than, the old one.  Kinks in the hose can restrict fuel flow, and any chafing will eventually lead to more leaks.  Without a proper fit, you could end up right back where you started.  Once the new lines are installed, be sure to carefully clean up and properly discard of any leaked fuel.  

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