Are you being fueled?





That really should be “Are you being fooled?” as we are talking about your fuel supply in your lovely old car.


This actually begins at the refinery, then goes to the distribution point, then to the transport that takes it to your favorite gas station. Up to this point, you really don’t have any control in the latter except by choosing the brand, grade and station.


At the station, you have two things you can control—first, try to fill up or get gas in the a.m. when the gas is coolest. More important, though, is never get gas while the tanker truck is filling the underground tanks. This stirs up the sediment in the bottom of the tank and you are likely to get some in your tank. If at all possible, try to wait at least two hours for settling.


So much for someone else’s tanks. Let’s talk about yours. If your car is over 30 years old, chances are good that your fuel tank has suffered sonic corrosion and/or rusts, along with a few dents. You can bet that any dents have caused a breach in the original preservative and left some rust and/or scale. If you are lucky, it didn’t rust through and all that happened was some particles of rust and dirt found their way into your fuel system (including the carburetor).


If you are finding dirt, etc., in your fuel system, you probably need to take your tank off and have it cleaned. Of course, when you clean it out good, you remove whatever was left of the original preservative, which means it will rust that much quicker. The tank should be relined and done right.


This is not a do-it-yourself project. I know that our hobby and trade publications advertise all sorts of tank lining materials and I have seen the results many times. Most of these do-it-yourself tank liners come apart and fill your fuel system with residue worse that the rust ever was, particularly in Colorado or other states that mandate various types of oxygenated fuels.


The liner I recommend is a product called Tank Guard and is only sold to professionally-trained shops. This process requires a real good cleaning and a curing time after application. Once this is done, before you install the tank back on the car, you should disconnect all the fuel lines and blow them clean. You should also clean out the fuel pump(s) and the carburetor. I like to cut the fuel line above the rear axle and install an inline fuel filter. The reason for this location is that it is easy to change periodically without spilling a lot of gas.


This probably should cure a lot of your gas problems, except, of course, for those that are more of a personal nature that require diet changes or assistance from your medicine cabinet.


See ya next month.