A sudden jerk, hesitation or a bubbling feeling while driving can be the start of an automotive headache. Whether because of fuel problem, power issues or many other potential failures, your vehicle may not be able to accelerate efficiently. If you're trying to figure out why your car won't move efficiently no matter how hard you press the gas, keep a few inspection and troubleshooting points in mind to figure out potential problems in one major failure area: the fuel system.
Fuel Filter Clogging
The fuel filter is designed to protect the fuel system and your engine from damage. Although many major fuel processing companies use their modern technology to keep your gasoline and other fuels as free of contaminants as possible, there are still times where heavy metals or residue can build up and enter your tank.
One of the more common causes of dirty fuel is a dirty container at the gas station. If the gas station isn't cleaning out its fuel storage, years of accumulated gunk from solidifying fuel, dirt, metals and other debris can be whipped up with the clean, new fuel every time the station is filled. If the gas station is low on fuel, you may be pulling up dirty fuel and the debris that has settled to the bottom.
Regardless of the cause, dirty fuel can fill up your fuel filter fairly quickly. Many people check their fuel filters every few months, but visiting a gas station with bad fuel could be an immediate cause for cleaning or changing the filter--not to mention pumping your gas tank.
Consult your vehicle's manual for the specific location of the fuel filter and check it for clogging. Fuel filters can be cleaned by hand with a brush, and the more difficult debris can be loosened with carburetor cleaner. If cleaning is time consuming or you'd rather not deal with an older filter, simply get a new filter that matches your car's year, make and model--even cars of the same model, but different years may have a different filter design.
Poor Fuel Quality
If your car's fuel filter is getting consistently clogged, contact a car repair professionally immediately. With their help, you can check out the local gas stations that you suspect of having poor quality fuel that could be damaging your vehicle.
Although visiting a specific station is ultimately your choice, your vehicle could already be damaged by the existing fuel quality problem. With the car professional on your side, you can rely on an educated analysis of the fuel quality and obtain a sample that can be tested.
The fuel problem isn't just an issue for you; many other drivers may be damaging their vehicle by getting the mystery fuel, and the gas station may not even know it. You can seek compensation for your vehicle damages and do the right thing at the same time by looking carefully at your gas source and speaking up.
Contact a car repair professional from a shop like Foothill Service for help with fuel filter cleaning, pumping out old, bad fuel and getting to the bottom of other fuel problems.