If you live in a cold area, where temperatures reach below freezing on a regular basis, it's likely that you'll need to repair fuel line problems that develop in your vehicle. A fuel line freeze can come about when the water vapor and fuel products that are left inside of the fuel line of your vehicle become mixed together and then freeze as the temperature drops. The frozen mixture can then block the fuel line and prevent fuel from being able to flow through into your engine. Read on for a brief guide on how to repair a fuel line freeze that prevents your engine from being able to start.
Tools and Materials Needed:
- Air compressor with a fitting that will create a narrow spray
- Working alcohol
- Crescent wrench
Step 1 - Disconnect the Fuel Line
In order to repair the frozen fuel line, you'll first have to disconnect it from both ends. This means that you'll need to disconnect it from the fuel tank on one side and from the engine system on the other. Use your crescent wrench to turn the connecting points counter clockwise until the fuel line is loosened. Once you're able to, gently pull the fuel line out of the system.
Step 2 - Prepare the Air Compressor
In most cases, the air compressor will be enough power to dislodge the frozen fuel and water mixture from the fuel line where it's caught. Attach the narrow spray fitting piece to the end of the air compressor and test it to be sure that it will work properly. When you're ready, turn the air compressor on and let it warm up sufficiently.
Step 3 - Dislodge the Blockage in the Fuel Line
Place the edge of the narrow spray attachment on one end of the fuel line so that it will blow air directly into the fuel line. Gently use the air compressor to force air through the clogged fuel line. Keep track carefully as to whether the air compressor is able to blow the blockage from the fuel line out onto the ground; if it does, pick it up and dispose of it properly.
Step 4 - Add Alcohol
If the air compressor alone is not enough to dislodge the frozen fuel and water from the fuel line, you may need to use the alcohol as well. Remove the air compressor from the fuel line and pour less than a cup of alcohol into the fuel line. Hold the line such that the alcohol will sit there for a few minutes. The alcohol will work to melt the mixture so that it can then be forced out. Repeat the process with the air compressor once again, and repeat if necessary to dislodge all of the frozen pieces in the fuel line.
Once through, carefully reattach the fuel line to the fuel tank and the engine system, and be sure to tighten the connectors with the crescent wrench.