What are the Top Fuel System Problems?

If your automobile ends up with a fuel delivery problem, you'll notice performance issues when the engine is running, or you might not be able to get your car started in the first place.

SPELAB lists the 3 most common causes of fuel delivery issues.


Failing Fuel Pump
The fuel pump is a non-serviceable part, meaning if it fails it will need to be replaced. 

SPELAB lists 5 signs you might need a fuel pump replacement.

  1. Fuel Tank Noise: A damaged fuel pump might make a loud, whining sound that you'll hear from your gas tank. The pump may also make this noise if you're low on fuel or the fuel in your tank is contaminated. The normal noise your pump makes is a low hum. Loud whining indicates there is a problem.
  2. Difficult Starts: The car will struggle to start and run because the pump cannot push enough gas through. A worn pump loses its pressure and the engine is being starved of gasoline.
  3. The Actual StallIf your engine is getting gas from the pump, even a lesser amount than needed, it won't likely stall. It will stall, however, if the pump causes your engine to overheat.
  4. Lower Fuel EfficiencyBecause your fuel pump is pushing too much fuel into the engine you'll burn more gas than normal. If you track how much mileage you get between fills and notice a drop, it could be your pump.
  5. Dead Engine: If the pump is dead, you won't be able to get gas into the combustion chamber to start the car.

Clogged Fuel Filter
Since the fuel tank constantly attracts dust, dirt, and debris over time, the collected particles can cause harm to the fuel filter and even risk the fuel pump as well. Eventually, all these contaminants will begin to clog the fuel filter and it will not work effectively to allow enough fuel to pass through to the fuel pump.


When to Replace Your Fuel Filter: For older cars and trucks, the recommended fuel filter replacement interval is usually between 20,000 and 40,000 miles. If the vehicle doesn’t get driven very often, you will still want to replace it every 2-3 years. 

Those with diesel engines will likely need to replace their fuel filters much sooner. For instance, GM trucks with the Duramax diesel engine need to have their fuel filters replaced every 22,500 miles for some of their newer trucks while many Ford diesel trucks have 15,000 mile change intervals.

SPELAB lists 5 bad fuel filter symptoms, which will help you identify the problem quickly

  1. Poor Engine Performance:Under heavy loads, a clogged fuel filter may cause the engine to randomly hesitate, surge or sputter. This tends to be more prominent when accelerating, especially up a steep incline.
  2. Engine Doesn't Start:Every car engine needs the combination of both air and gas to start. Therefore, without enough gas through the fuel filter, it will not start at all.
  3. Check Engine Light On:Even though Check Engine light can come on due to all sorts of problems with your car, a bad fuel filter itself can trigger it.
  4. Fuel System Part Failures:Clog causes fuel injector leakage and fuel pump damage, resulting in all types of engine driving performance problems.
  5. Random Misfire or Rough Idle:A clogged fuel filter causes low fuel pressure that results in a lean fuel condition and engine misfire. This can result in poor fuel mileage, rough idling and possibly cause the check engine light to come on.

Dirty Fuel Injectors

The fuel injectors are the last stop before the gas is sprayed into the combustion chamber. They can become clogged with carbon and other gunk that is a result from the harsh operating conditions they reside in.


Here are 5 signs there might be something wrong with your fuel injectors.

  1. The Engine Misfires: Dirty fuel injectors may cause your vehicle's engine to misfire.
  2. Idling Gets Rough: Does your vehicle sputter and shake when you're at a stop sign or sitting in traffic? It's not channeling a bucking bronco. It's telling you that there may be dirty fuel injectors at work.
  3. Your Fuel Mileage Tanks: Lousy fuel mileage could be a signal that something is wrong with your fuel injectors.
  4. The Rpm Needle Starts To Dance: With a dirty fuel injector, you may notice unpredictable movements of the needle on the tachometer.
  5. Check Engine Light: The check engine light should always alert you to visit your mechanic whenever the fuel injector dirty.

If your car also shows the above signs, check yourself first, and you will find the fuel system parts you want in the SPELAB store, which will save a lot of expenses.

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