Your gas tank needs to be cleaned, since over time the tank will accumulate sludge at the bottom. You don’t want this sludge to be passed along into the fuel pump or fuel filter. Sludge consists of sediment, rust, dirt and debris. It can get into your vehicle’s tank from the gas that you put in at the gas station and even from your vehicle’s fuel pump itself.
It is vital to remove all contaminates that have built up in the gas tank over time. In doing so you will be helping to prolong the life of your vehicle’s fuel tank and fuel system.
Let’s take a look at the path of the fuel. Fuel is pumped from the gas pump into the gas tank of your vehicle. Some filtration takes place here. Then the fuel pump pumps the gas from the tank to your vehicle’s engine. More filtration is happening here.
Fuel pumps have a sock or strainer that is designed to catch the debris. A typical strainer is designed to catch debris between 50-100 microns in diameter. As a comparison, a human hair is 40 microns.
The fuel then passes through a fuel filter that filters out even more microscopic debris.
Now you know why the gas tank needs to be cleaned. Let’s talk about when the tank needs to be cleaned? A gas tank needs to be cleaned out when the fuel pump is replaced. How do I know if my fuel pump needs replacing? Check out this previous post from our website on fuel pumps: https://bobsautolax.com/need-new-fuel-pump/
Some other sign of a failing fuel pump are: car dies while driving, car won’t start or intermittent starting happens, car lacks performance, or if your car is 15+ years old or has 175,000 miles or more.
I would recommend a professional mechanic remove your fuel pump and clean out your fuel tank when needed. There are several important steps than need to be completed and a mechanic will have the experience and expertise to complete the job. Check out this interesting video from our friends at Delphi Technologies on the steps to cleaning out a fuel tank.
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