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Fuel Tank : All Things You Need To Know

Fuel Tank : All Things You Need Know


Fuel tank as the name indicates is used to store fuel. It seems to be a simple part of the automobile system but its negligence may cost you. Let take a look at fuel tank.  Fuel tank of an automobile is generally made up of steel or aluminum alloy and from inside it is painted with lead-tin alloy based paint to prevent corrosion. Aluminum is light and corrosion resistant but the repair cost or maintenance cost is too high for a minor repair. Recent development in the field of automobile uses a synthetic rubber and flame resistant fiber reinforced plastics for the construction of fuel tanks, especially in high performance vehicles. Fuel tanks are divided into small interconnected chambers or compartments which are separated by baffle plates. The arrangement is provided to reduce surging of fuel in case of sudden braking or cornering. Surging may interrupt fuel supply to carburetor if not noticed. There are small holes are made for the provision of fuel gauge sensor, supply and return fuel pipelines and primary filters. Fuel pipeline from the fuel tank is taken at a level so that some dead fuel remains always in fuel tank. This is provided to settle down the sediments and a drain nut is provided to clean tank periodically. 


Fuel Tank: Advanced Tech World
Fuel Tank Indicator

Now a day’s cap over fuel filter tube is vented to atmosphere in order to prevent vacuum because suction from the engine may cause tank to collapse, further fuel delivery system will be effected as all the calculations for fuel to flow through pipeline are based on calculations with reference to atmospheric pressure. Even a missing or cracked fuel tank cap can create a significant problem. This seemingly cosmetic part actually plays a key role in keeping your vehicle's fuel system working correctly. It maintains the ideal pressure in the tank, so the whole fuel system works as intended. If the fuel tank cap gets lost or broken, you may even see a check engine warning light come on in your dashboard. In the fuel lines, a fuel filter is included to pick up any debris that might make its way into your vehicle's tank. Debris can get in there if you drive around without a fuel cap or fuel door, or if the gas station you refuel at has gotten debris into its underground fuel storage tanks. But because of the fuel filter, this isn't something you typically need to worry about. However, if you get a whole lot of debris in the tank due perhaps to off-roading -- it may be necessary to have a professional drop the fuel tank and remove the sediment by hand. A significant amount of debris could clog the fuel filter or interfere with the fuel pickup system in the tank. Modern vehicles are equipped with vapor recovery system. The function of vapor recovery system is to prevent evaporation of fuel. It condenses the vapor from fuel and send back to fuel tank hence reducing environmental pollution.


How to clean fuel tank?

#01. Safety: First make sure you’re thorough and careful. Prefer an expert for the work. Don’t forget to wear safety glasses and gloves. Give yourself sufficient space to work and have cleanup materials ready to clean any spills immediately. Work in a well-ventilated area away from an open flame or anything that could cause a spark or ignite fuel. Make sure you have a fire extinguisher on hand. Don’t smoke, either. Always relieve fuel pressure prior to opening fuel systems because releasing fuel under pressure can cause fire and injury and store fuel in an approved container. 


#02. Start with a drained tank removed from the vehicle: Start with a drained tank removed from the vehicle. Clean off any rust or road debris from the top of the tank before you remove the pump. This is to ensure that no additional dirt gets into the tank while you’re trying to clean it. You can use a shop vacuum or wipe the tank down with a damp, lint-free towel and then blow it dry with compressed air. Be sure to protect your eyes.


#03. Remove the fuel pump: Remove the fuel pump from the tank and then carefully pour out any remaining fuel and debris into your approved container. After that, you should swirl around the fuel tank in a circular motion. This helps you collect any fuel or other debris that’s still stuck inside.


#04. Clean the inside of the tank: The next step is to simply use dish soap and water to clean the inside of the tank, and pour it out when you’re done. Use another lint-free towel to wipe out the inside of the tank, and then you can use an air hose with compressed air to further dry out the tank.


#05. Visual Inspection: Once your tank is clean and dry, do a visual inspection. If there are any signs of rust or other damage inside the tank, you may need to replace the tank. You should also check inside the fuel module bucket for any signs of contamination there, just in case that’s where the real problem is.


#06. Let the fuel tank dry: Now let the tank sit for at least another thirty minutes to make sure it’s dry, and you’re done. Taking the time to properly clean the tank gives you the peace of mind that your repair is done right, and that old debris won’t damage any brand new parts that you may need to install.


Fuel Tank Indicator : Advanced Tech World
Fuel Tank Indicator

You should be alert If:

Gasoline Is Leaking From My Fuel Tank?

As we mentioned above, you can often spot a big fuel tank leak because it'll leave a big puddle under the rear of your vehicle. However, not all fuel tank leaks will leave such a puddle. If a leak is small enough, the gasoline may simply congeal on the tank and evaporate before a puddle can form. A leaking fuel line might drip onto other components under the hood or along the chassis. That's why the smell of gasoline is often a better, more obvious indicator of a fuel leak than a visible puddle of gas.


Your Indicated Fuel Level Falls Rapidly?

If you find the fuel gauge needle goes from the F to the E very quickly, that might also cause you to wonder about a leaking gas tank. However, this would likely create a pretty large puddle of fuel under the vehicle that you would be sure to notice, and it would create a very noticeable smell of fuel as well. This could instead be a problem with the fuel tank's sending unit. A float sits on top of the liquid gas in the tank, rising and falling with the level of fuel inside. This float is attached to an arm which contacts a metal resistor, which relays the current fuel level up to the dashboard. If your fuel sending unit has gone bad, it may display the incorrect fuel level. Driving around won't harm your car, but you won't know for sure how much fuel remains in the tank, which can be inconvenient.

You Smell Gasoline As You Drive?

If you can smell gas in your car as you drive, you might naturally assume that you've got a liquid fuel leak from the tank or the fuel lines. While this could indeed be the case, there are other things that can create a gasoline smell. For instance, if your engine isn't burning up all the fuel it's getting from the tank, unburned gasoline vapors might be coming out through the exhaust. That means your engine needs a tune, rather than a repair to the fuel tank. And if you've got leaking fuel injectors, dripping fuel onto the engine's exterior or adding too much fuel to the engine, they may need to be replaced.


Why not to drive with low fuel in fuel tank?

Wearing out the fuel pump: Fuel in your tank acts like insulation and a lubricant for the fuel pump as it flows around it when there is not enough fuel in your vehicle’s fuel tank, the fuel pump does not get the required level of lubrication as it normally would and if you drive while being low on fuel consistently, then you can damage the fuel pump prematurely by over-stressing it and overheating it. Long-term exposure to air can lead to early deterioration of the fuel pump.


Tank sludge: Fuel often contains many contaminants which can settle in the bottom of the tank which over time turn into sludge. If you run low on fuel, there is a high probability that this sludge will be sucked up by the fuel pump and be carried to the engine. That will cause your injectors and fuel filter to clog up, poor fuel economy and rough engine operation.


Air: A low fuel tank can also lead to the vehicle pumping air which may also cause issues for your fuel pump and other components that require fuel to function.


You could stall at any second: Your vehicle won’t go anywhere if it doesn’t have any fuel in it. The consequences of running out of fuel are a sudden loss of power to your engine. Imagine if that was to happen on a busy road or the highway. Yes, it would be very dangerous as your engine would cut out and you would lose your power steering and power brakes making controlling your vehicle very difficult.


Stress: The road can be an anxious and stressful place and matters can be made worse if you start to panic because you are low on fuel. Driving in this state of heightened tension could lead to an accident so make sure you have some peace of mind by ensuring you have at least half a tank of fuel in your car.


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