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Questions about Fuel Systems

Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaMember Posts: 64,482
This forum is a "catch-all" for any questions about Fuel Systems on any car. This would include things like fuel leaks, injector problems, fuel pumps and relays, types of gasoline, additives, fuel filters, etc. It's about WHAT THE FUEL ACTUALLY TOUCHES, okay?

This forum is NOT about engine management systems, like computers, throttle bodies, air filters, sensors, etc.


  • steve2005steve2005 Member Posts: 1
    I have a 1999 Chevy Venture. When I got this (at approx 100K mile), I was told that the fuel filter had been recently changed. After a couple months, I had a strong gas smell which I traced to leaks at the press-on fittings of the fuel filter. I replaced it, and all was well for another 20K, then the same leak showed up again.
    Is it common for these filter fittings to leak? What can I do to prevent it? I can't believe it to be the normal way to indicate it's time to replace the filter. Any GM recall on this topic?
  • mitkelmitkel Member Posts: 1
    Where is the fuel filter located in a 1998 Dodge Intrepid?
  • john500john500 Member Posts: 409
    I currently own a 2003 Honda Civic SI. Based upon information in Civic SI forum, the dealership, and the owners manual, it appears that fuel filters are NOT a maintenance item for this type of car. An acquantaince owns a 2002 Toyota Tacoma and he commented that the Tacomas are similar (i.e. filters are not part of the maintenance program).

    This brings up several questions:
    1. What is the filter material in the current Civic SI's and why is it impervious to all contamination in gasoline and incapable of a pressure drop?
    2.. How can something actually be filtered if it doesn't require maintenance (i.e. it would seem that a screen mesh would have a pore size too large to be effective)?

    As a sidenote, the person who owned the Tacoma hit 80,000 miles and went to the dealership (complained of sluggishness) and asked for the filter to be changed. The dealer insisted that it wasn't the filter without any checking. After 20 minutes of arguing, the dealer finally conceded and changed the filter (sluggishness went away). Is there some type of conspiracy here by Honda and Toyota to complicate fuel problems?
  • burdawgburdawg Member Posts: 1,524
    I don't think that there's any type of conspiracy involved. The owners manual for my 04 Pontiac also states that the fuel filter shouldn't need to be changed "under normal use". Probably since the quality of pump fuel has improved greatly in the past couple of decades (at least in this country). It also seems to me that the filters are physically larger than in the past.
    If you experience other than "normal use"; off highway, questionable sources of fuel, etc; then you may want to change it for peace of mind. In my own opinion it probably good advice to change it out at 100K miles, which is when major service is recomended for most models today.
  • ladyluck1577ladyluck1577 Member Posts: 1
    '99 Dodge Grand Caravan, problem with the fuel system. If this vehicle had a carberator, you would think the problem was an accelorator pump going bad. Anybody have any idea what could cause this problem on a mult-port fuel injection system?
  • mjohnson4mjohnson4 Member Posts: 1
    My son had the same problem with his. He could pump the throttle and it would start but was real sluggish, on the road. There was very little pressure on the rail at check point. We changed the filter and fuel pump. It runs great. Hope this helps you.
  • bobbrenbobbren Member Posts: 1
    I have a 1991 tracker. I was driving and the thing just stopped. It did this one year ago and I discovered it was a problem with the computer. The computer was not telling the fuel where to go I guess. It happened to me again. If I manually put fuel in the vehicle will start but will not stay running. When this mysterious thing happens it just quits with no warning. Is it possible that there is a fuel problem that will keep persisting if I don't fix it or would it simply be that the computer has a bad connection. Any suggestion will be helpful, I am stumped.
  • sthompson2sthompson2 Member Posts: 1
    i ran my ford ranger out of gas. Put gas in it and nothing it just wouldn't start , i have put a new fuel pump in and a new filter ,new gas and a lot of time while trying to start i have now ran my battery down , i went and brought a quick start jump thing and tried to start it, and it almost started sounds like it wants to start but just not getting enough gas i then tried getting the air out of the line, but still no start and i now need to recharge my new jump start thing, while doing this a friend suggested changing the in line filter so i did ,now with the jump start thing i try again and now i am not getting any gas . the pump is running ok when i turn car over but no gas getting to injector. hey guys i'm just a girl and i have had it ! i need some help , what do i do now?
  • alcanalcan Member Posts: 2,550
    The Tracker computer supplies the 12V feed to the fuel injector, and turns the ground on and off to fire it. You can verify the wiring connectors between the computer and injector, but it's usually a defective computer. They're so common where I live that even the recycling yards carry rebuilt ones.
  • alcanalcan Member Posts: 2,550
    Has the pump operation been verified? Has fuel pressure been checked? Is there a strong blue spark at the plugs? Throwing parts at it can get expensive in a hurry.
  • flintskiflintski Member Posts: 1
    What is the locations of the 1998 dodge grand caravan fuel filters.
  • alcanalcan Member Posts: 2,550
    Left side of the fuel tank. You'll probably have to lower the tank to access the quick connect fittings.
  • rnickersonrnickerson Member Posts: 1
    i have an 89 gmc 4x4 with a 350 throttle body fuel injection and it idles high how do i adjust it down
  • peter21peter21 Member Posts: 1
    Can anyone help me locate a picture of a3.4 chey engine that would show me locations of the parts Thank you
  • alcanalcan Member Posts: 2,550
    Which parts?
  • hzlholmeshzlholmes Member Posts: 1
    why is my car cutting off and won't stay running
  • harrybulldogharrybulldog Member Posts: 5
    anyone know where the fuel filter should be? I have tracked up and down the frame along the fuel lines with no luck. I removed the skid plate over the tank, no luck. Truck is idleing rough so I replaced plugs, wires, etc, BUT I CAN"T FIND THE FUEL FILTER! Truck was wrecked by previous owner. Is it possible that when fixed, person repairing decided to run lines straight to engine from tank? If this has happened, should I install a filter, and if yes, where?

  • alcanalcan Member Posts: 2,550
    4 Runner 4WD, Pickup 4WD, T 100 4WD? Which flavour Toyota 4X4 do you have? My crystal ball is in for service.
  • harrybulldogharrybulldog Member Posts: 5
    In 94, they just called it a "pickup". Since then it has become the Tacoma. It is a 4 cyl. with the 22RE engine. It has a manual transmission.
  • alcanalcan Member Posts: 2,550
    My info's a bit vague on that one, but here's what I have. Might be under the injection manifold: 00823d8015fdfa.jsp
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaMember Posts: 64,482
    We'd need year make model engine and better description of symptoms.
  • harrybulldogharrybulldog Member Posts: 5
    I think you may have hit the nail on the head. We have not checked under the injector manifold. BUT, I did get the idleing problem fixed today. Tightened a pin under the throttle linkage and it smoothed right on out. Thanks for the help. Now it's time to work on the Volvo. :)
  • alcanalcan Member Posts: 2,550
    Glad to hear you got one sorted out. Good luck with the Volvo.
  • harrybulldogharrybulldog Member Posts: 5
    Thanks. Working on that thing is tight quarters and the parts aren't exactly cheap. I just hope I can get another 185k out of it.
  • ttvjottvjo Member Posts: 4
    yes, i have a 2003 ford expedition with 55,000 miles on it i raned it low of gas a few times now it is hesitating when i'm trying to accelerate, it goes real slow and then gradually pick up then start fading out again and sometimes jerk a little bit what is wrong anyone know should i change the fuel filter or is it my fuel pump.. also where can i get cheap parts from the dealership is so high....i have tried gas treatment but it didn't got worser at a half of tank of gas :cry: please help me out i just a little old lady...thanks
  • swschradswschrad Member Posts: 2,171
    try replacing the fuel filter first. it's a little interesting to work on... bolted underneath, has those silly spring clips on it, you have to bleed the pressure off first at the fuel rail... but you're due on that. aftermarket filters from a quality source like wix should be less than the dealer cost. any decent auto parts store will have a filter for that vehicle in stock.
  • noobie1noobie1 Member Posts: 326
    2002 Silverado, 8.1L, 73K mi. - This truck has seen a gradual reduction in fuel mileage over the last six months. Besides plugs, what constitutes a tune-up? Should the injectors be removed and cleaned? as well as O2 sensors? Thanks.

  • alcanalcan Member Posts: 2,550
    "Besides plugs, what constitutes a tune-up?"

    Plug wires, air filter, PCV valve, fuel filter.

    "Should the injectors be removed and cleaned?"


    "as well as O2 sensors?"

    No. Oxygen sensors will gradually deteriorate, and when they do they'll tend to slow down their response to changes in exhaust gas oxygen content. The proper way to check an O2 sensor is to monitor it's activity on a scan tool, watching for swings between low and high voltage output.
  • noobie1noobie1 Member Posts: 326
    "watching for swings between low and high voltage output"

    Is that a good thing or bad thing? :)
    And, what kind of scan tool? Thanks alcan.

  • christylovechristylove Member Posts: 2
    I have a 2000 Ford Windstar that "lurches" for lack of a better description, while driving it. It is barely noticable but the engine light has come on. Does that sound like a fuel system problem?
  • alcanalcan Member Posts: 2,550
    Oxygen sensors generate a voltage signal relative to the amount of oxygen in the exhaust stream. The engine control computer uses this signal to fine tune the air/fuel mixture. The voltage should be constantly changing from about 200mV to about 800mV as the computer increases/decreases fuel delivery.

    Scan tools display data stream, the actual signals being received by the engine computer from all input sensors, and can range from Actron's $300 CP9135 to Snap-on's $5000+ MT2500.
  • pinevideopinevideo Member Posts: 1
    I'm getting the same problem on a '98 Expedition. I used to have a '97 Tahoe & its fuel flter was near the right side just under the passenger door. Is the Expedition filter similarly located?
  • swschradswschrad Member Posts: 2,171
    just about any OBD-II adapter that allows for a PC or Palm display will allow you to watch the crossings of the oxygen sensors. I built a BR-1 adapter and use a junkpile laptop for the purpose. some scantools with complex LCD screens might allow watching the crossings directly on the tool, Alcan would know more about that grade of tool. you can check directly in the reviews at to see if they have reviewed any that will do it.

    you can also use thin wires slid into the connector to bring the signals out to a general-duty oscilloscope.
  • swschradswschrad Member Posts: 2,171
    the two fords I've owned plus one my sister had a few months all had the fuel filter inside the chassis rail under the drivers side, position varied from ahead of the seat to behind the seat. think like a designer who doesn't want to be sued for a moment. they want the fuel lines and filter protected, but availiable for repairs. so it has to be inside the chassis box someplace and behind the engine. the fuel lines are usually way high next to the body near the top of the chassis. they'll dip down to a fuel filter. look with your hands if you don't see it right away, there's one there.
  • mommymousemommymouse Member Posts: 1
    I have a 1995 hyundai accent that was stored for 4 years. Now with a new battery and fresh fuel there is no fuel getting to the engine. Does anyone know if there is an access pane under the rear seat to get to the fuel pump? Or any other uggestions would be greatly appreciated.
  • andreusandreus Member Posts: 1
    My truck is seems to be losing power to the fuel system. I have changed the fuel pump and filter 10 months ago (8000kms) so I don't believe that it is that. The fuse is good. I changed the fuel pump relay and that masked the problem for a week or so. I seem to only have the problem when the engine warms up (after 15 mins). It sometime hesitated kinda like the fuel filters plugged and then it just stopped and I can't get it started again. Any Ideas?
  • joehilbillyjoehilbilly Member Posts: 2
    1991 suzuki samurai i just bought it starts good and idles good drive 1/4 or 1/2 1/4 just like its runs out of fuel.but can start it back up but dose the same . changed the fuel felder didnt help
  • 0patience0patience Oregon CoastMember Posts: 1,712
    Air filter good?
    No restrictions in the intake? collapsed hose and that sort.

    Another common cause of that symptom is a clogged cat.
  • maxeybillymaxeybilly Member Posts: 29
    The fuel warning light started flashing. Manual says it means gas cap loose, bad gasket on it , not put back on properly or a "fuel Leak" somewhere in the system. The cap seems tight enough so I started talking to mechanics. One mechanic said he could do a "smoke test" to see where the leak is but this could be costly. Another one said "buy a new cap; the gaskets do wear out." Even caps for MB's aren't cheap ( especially if that's not the problem) Does anyone have any ideas on how to proceed? Also, the retractrable hardtop has just stopped working...HELP.
  • paisanpaisan Member Posts: 21,181
    I'd go for the gas cap. That is 99% chance the problem. Heck it takes a few re-test the system so it may only be that it was loose. Gas cap from pep-boys should fit even a MB.

  • shirlee1shirlee1 Member Posts: 3
    I have a 1992 Lincoln Town Car Executive that I am being told that the fuel pump is going out. Where is it located and how would someone know this?
  • 0patience0patience Oregon CoastMember Posts: 1,712
    fuel pump is in the fuel tank.
    What kind of problem are you having?

    The only way to confirm if the fuel pump is having a problem is to check the fuel pressure and see what it is.
    Or, if it is making unbearable noise.

    But before replacing the pump, the fuel filter should be changed if it has been a very long time since it was replaced.
  • shirlee1shirlee1 Member Posts: 3
    car is making a whistling sort of noise and someone told me it was the fuel pump. It does need a new fuel filter so I will do that and have the pressure checked. Thanks so much for your reply
  • 0patience0patience Oregon CoastMember Posts: 1,712
    Is the whistling noise a bussing noise or a whistling noise?
    Is it coming from the engine compartment or the rear of the vehicle.
    If it isn't coming from the rear of the vehicle, in the area of the fuel cap, then it isn't the fuel pump.

    If it is a whistling noise in the engine compartment, then it could be a belt or pully.
    Hard to say.
  • shirlee1shirlee1 Member Posts: 3
    It is a whistling sound and I hear it when I am in the car so hard to say where it is coming from. It does not make the sound all the time. Another question I have is how do you get to the fuel pump? Does the whole gas tank have to be dropped and access gained that way?
  • 0patience0patience Oregon CoastMember Posts: 1,712
    Another question I have is how do you get to the fuel pump? Does the whole gas tank have to be dropped and access gained that way?
    yep, the tank would have to be dropped.

    Honestly though, if it is a whistling noise, I seriously doubt it is the fuel pump.
    I Can't hear the noise, so I could be wrong.
  • kerasenekerasene Member Posts: 2
    Question. The new 2007,2008 Dodge Rams, in the event of an emergency, could a person run A-1 kerasene without damaging the diesel engine, or would it even start using kerasene? I understand the new engines, that the computer won't like the stuff. The new low ultra sulfur stuff is all it takes. Some one told me that kerasene would destroy the fittings, seals, fuel lines, fuel pump ad fuel injectors. Again however, in an emergency, how far could you drive and would it damage anything electrical? I understood that you could run kerasene and that in fact thats basicly what was being used in the winter time from the gas pumps. However, hearing about the new ultra low sulfer diesel makes me a little worried. What do you think anyone. Thanks
  • 0patience0patience Oregon CoastMember Posts: 1,712
    Some one told me that kerasene would destroy the fittings, seals, fuel lines, fuel pump ad fuel injectors

    Yep, pretty much.
    The new engines aren't as forgiving as the older diesels.
    I wouldn't run kerosene.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaMember Posts: 64,482
    I can't imagine an emergency where kerosene would be easier to find than diesel fuel anyway. Diesel fuel is not particularly volatile, so it could be carried in the truck, if securely fastened.

    I would imagine you'd destroy your injection pump using kerosene, which has no lubricating properties whatsoever----diesel fuel does.

    I think you've been misinformed. Some people have added small amounts of kerosene to diesel fuel in brutal winter conditions (the Russians did this to their tanks in WW II, before the Germans copied the idea) but those were primitive older diesels.

    Modern diesel engine are pretty fussy as to what you put into them.

    So, in short---don't even THINK about doing this. ;)
  • ebalibanebaliban Member Posts: 1
    Hello everyone,
    I need some help. I have a 2001 Chevy 3500 van with a 5.7 v-8 engine. When I turn the key to start, the starter works and the motor runs. As soon as I let the key go, the motor dies. Happens everytime. Any ideas?
    My E-mail is [email protected]
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