Understanding the Fuel System In Your Car by:Dirk Gibson
Some of us drive very cautiously. Others of us drive with the proverbial lead foot. Regardless of your style, few of us have a clue how fuel is delivered to our engine and used once we step on the gas pedal. In this article, we aim to rectify that!
There are many variations of modern vehicles. From diesel to electric cars to the incredibly popular hybrid vehicles, the fuel delivery system is designed a bit differently or not at all as occurs with an electric car. We are going to ignore those variations for the purposes of this article and focus on the fuel system in the basic gasoline car - the most driven car these days.
The fuel system starts in the most common of places - the fuel tank. Tank sizes are highly dependent upon the type of vehicle you are driving, but all work the same way. The fuel in input from the pump hose and then settles in the tank. It will remain in the tank until the computer system in the car sends a signal demanding the fuel be forwarded to the engine.
The fuel pump is a vital part of the fuel system. Most people think it is located under their hood somewhere, but it is not. The pump in most cars is now actually in the gas tank. Designs vary, but the general appearance is of a pole sitting on a slightly lifted platform. The platform is actually a filter. The pump pulls the fuel up through the filter and then up into the fuel tube. The tube then leads to the fuel line that carries the gasoline to the engine.
At this point, the fuel is run through another fuel filter closer to the moving parts of the engine. The cleaner the fuel is of particulates and debris, the better the engine will fire. Thus the need for a second filter. At this point, the fuel is sent up to a fuel rail. The rail runs across the top of the engine. Lines then run off this rail down to your fuel injectors. The fuel is run through the injectors and sprayed into the combustion chamber where the magic happens.
The fuel system described above has remained the same for pretty much the full existence of the internal combustion engine. The filters have improved and the flow of the system is now controlled by computers to increase efficiency, but the process is nearly the same as it was 40 years ago. This is one area of the car that they got right the first time!
About the author
Dirk Gibson writes for http://www.dcjautoparts.com
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Understanding the Fuel System In Your Car by:Dirk Gibson Jinan