Last time we talked a bit about the check engine light and the ramifications that it can have on emissions testing. This time we wanted to talk a little bit about the fuel system in your vehicle and what you can do to extend its life at home. At Kearny Mesa Automotive and Transmission, we are committed to the needs of our clients and their vehicles. We know what it is like to have a broken down vehicle at the worst possible time and we will do everything we can to do our job right, so you can drive with confidence. We specialize in transmissions and general automotive repair; proudly serving San Diego for over 30 years. We have been repairing cars since Oldsmobile was still around and plan on remaining your local automotive and transmission shop for years to come.
The Fuel System
An efficiently operating fuel system is essential to having a good running engine. Your engine needs three things to fire and stay running; fuel, spark and air. The process works like this: outside air is sucked into the engine and fuel is introduced at some point. Where the fuel and air are mixed is dependent on the type of fuel system that your vehicle has. An old style carburetor mixes the fuel and air in the manifold and is very inefficient compared to modern fuel injection systems. Currently fuel is delivered to the engine through a high pressure fuel system and injectors. In order to make the most of the fuel in the cylinder it must be properly atmoized. A high pressure fuel system is ideal for atomizing the fuel for efficient combustion. The atomized fuel and air mixture is then ignited by a spark, provided by a spark plug. The process is pretty simple, but take away one of the components and the whole system collapses.
Most of us do not give much thought to the type of fuel that we are putting into our vehicles. It’s much like many of us do not pay enough attention to what we put into our bodies. Using the best fuel is critical to vehicle performance and is equal to eating a whole bunch of kale (yuck). It is important to pay attention to the recommended fuel for your vehicle. Many regular engines run better on fuel that is above 87 octane. Higher performance engines may require even higher octane to avoid what is known as destination.
Regardless of where you get your gasoline there is bound to be a large number of contaminants in it and this is due to how we store gasoline. Almost every service station that you go to had huge tanks buried underground, full of gasoline. These tanks naturally introduce water and other impurities into the mix. This is where your fuel filter comes in, it is responsible for straining the bad stuff out of the gasoline before it gets to the injectors. A fuel filter should be changed at least every six months but qualified shop. If you need your fuel filter changed or your fuel system inspected please do not hesitate to contact us.