Usually, winter does not behave well with cars. There would always be several problems. However, starting problems are a common to deal with on cold days. Though a battery problem comes to mind at first when you cannot start your car, however, you will be surprised to learn about the unusual causes of struggle. It is frozen fuel line.
The fuel line is a hose that helps transport fuel from the tank to the engine. However, there are enough chances of fuel line becoming frozen in bone-chilling weather. In such a case, it is necessary to understand the frozen fuel line in detail.
What do you understand by “frozen fuel line”?
As it is clear, a fuel line should carry the fuel from the fuel tank towards the engine. Water in the form of vapour may occasionally enter the fuel line. And, in very cold temperatures, it may mix with the residual fuel in the line and freeze. If it happens, the fuel cannot reach the combustion chamber, and the engine would not be able to do anything without proper fuel supply.
However, most of the frozen substance is water itself, not the fuel. But when the cold weather turns the water into ice, fuel gets affected.However, it could be quite interesting to see how water or vapour enters the fuel line.
A major source of infiltration is the presence of water along with the fuel at fuel stations, especially in those cases when the fuel station’s water filter is not working as expected.
Sometimes, a particular weather pattern might be a source of moisture inside the fuel tank. If there is any moisture present inside the fuel tank, it always has the tendency to condense and blend into the fuel.
In many cases, a broken or loose fuel cap can make things worse if water infiltration occurs inside the fuel tank. Water comes into action during a heavy rain or the car wash, and if it finds any room, it can make an entry into the fuel tank.Therefore, there is always room for mistakes, which can leave you struggling later.
How do you identify a frozen fuel line?
Inspecting a frozen line physically is not feasible as the fuel line is hidden in the vehicle’s body. So how do you come to know about a frozen fuel line? These are a few signs that will definitely make you struggle with your vehicle and think about a remedy for a frozen fuel line.
1. Your car’s engine refuses to turn over
Without a drop of fuel (obstructed by frozen substances in the fuel line), how can you expect an engine to complete the combustion process? Eventually, it might refuse to turn over.
Sometimes the engine will start and you will not notice anything wrong until your car abruptly stops. This happens when fuel gets through the frozen fuel line to the engine. But it would be risky if your vehicle stops during a drive.
2. The engine just sputters inconsistently
If fuel is delivered partially due to the frozen fuel line (when the line is not blocked entirely), the engine might sputter without giving any warning.Though the frozen fuel line is a result of the presence of water, fuel does not freeze as easily.
When water can freeze at zero degrees Celsius (as is commonly believed), diesel struggles to survive at less than — 33 degrees Celsius, and petrol can lose its resistance at temperatures as low as — 40 degrees Celsius.
You do not find these temperatures in normal conditions. Therefore, the major concern behind a frozen fuel line is water vapour.
How can you get rid of a frozen fuel line?
Because the problem is more associated with cold weather, you can get rid of it by taking your vehicle to a warm place. A garage, on the other hand, is a good place, but it may take some time for things to warm up before you try to turn your car keys.
However, not all people have garage facilities, so you can try another hack. It is necessary to cover the bonnet with a cloth to retain heat and provide source of light over the hood. It may help in storing heat and making things normal.
When attempting to repair a frozen fuel line, remember to start the engine and let it run for a while. It may run improperly initially, but once the engine revs up, the fuel line warms up.
However, keep in mind that frequent instances of a frozen fuel line are bad for a vehicle engine, and you may end up paying for car engine repair. In such a condition, it is better to prevent the formation of ice inside the fuel line.
The addition of fuel additives to your fuel system is one of the best alternatives. These agents can easily absorb the water inside the fuel tank and sink to the bottom of it.
However, the problem is more difficult to detect in some fuels, particularly those with higher alcohol blends, such as ethanol. Though you can flush your tank to remove any impurities and keep things intact easily.
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