The fuel pump is a very necessary component of your car or truck’s operating system.  Without it, fuel cannot make it from the gas tank towards the engine, and your vehicle will not move.  Fuel pumps can be either mechanical (carbureted cars) or electronic, which is what our current-day vehicles are and exist alongside electronic fuel injection.   For the most part, fuel pumps are designed to last the lifetime of a vehicle but we all know that is not ordinarily the case.  There are factors that can shorten the life of a fuel pump including:

  • Contaminated fuel.  This is the #1 cause of fuel pump failure.  There is a sock or “filter” on the fuel pump that does a very good job of capturing debris and keeping it from entering the pump and fuel system.  If debris is small enough, it will pass the filter and eventually wear the pump and lead to failure.
  • Dirt or other foreign material that enters the tank during refueling.  How often does the gas station change the filters on THEIR tanks?  NOTE:  Do not ever buy fuel when the tank truck is on site.  When they fill the underground tanks, they stir up the stuff in the storage tanks and that is what enters your vehicle through the pump. 
  • Water is another culprit.  Water is the result of condensation.  Not only does it make the vehicle run poorly, but it also can cause corrosion on the fuel pump connectors and other components & when that loosens up and enters the system, there are problems.   As drivers maintain a low fuel level, the extra space is filled with air …which is filled with water vapor.  We live in a humid environment and as temps drop, the vapor turns into water droplets that settle in the fuel tank.  If you suspect water in your fuel tank, a good way to test it is to take a sample of your car’s fuel and put it into a glass container.  Let it sit for a few minutes and if it separates, the water is what will be on the bottom.  Maintaining higher levels of fuel in your vehicle can help combat this.
  • Fuel additives.  If a little bit is good, then more must be better !!!  Some individuals live by this and are causing damage to their vehicles all the while.  Be very cautious about what you dump into your vehicle.  A $5.00 bottle of “something” will not fix your car’s problems, no matter what the store clerk tells you.

Whatever symptoms your vehicle may be having, it is of utmost importance to have a proper diagnosis by your mechanic.  Today’s vehicles are quite complicated and throwing parts in any & every direction is NOT how to approach things.  We at Das Autohaus are here for your fuel system needs and any other vehicle concerns that you may have.  Please call us at 520-8523 to schedule an appointment. 


How Are Your Tires ?

We tend to be creatures of habit but that habit has to start somewhere.  Maybe your parents taught you, maybe a mentor brought it to your attention or you read it in a magazine and now this mechanic is telling you:  Rotate your tires every time you change the oil. 

Maintenance is an extremely important part of owning a vehicle.  Just like you know to change the oil every 3000-5000 miles, the same holds true regarding your tires.  With today’s Volkswagens and Audis, the manufacturer suggests oil service intervals every 10k miles.  If you wait 10,000 miles to rotate your tires from front to rear, you are shortening their life span simply because you are following manufacturer directions.  We recommend interim oil services (every 5k for gas vehicles, every 5000-7500 miles on diesel vehicles) and tire rotation at that time.  It may be a little premature but the goal is to save the engine and delay having to replace a set of tires. 

None of us like to spend money unnecessarily and tires can fall into the category of spending your hard-earned cash when you don’t need to ….particularly when something can be prevented.  Rotating your tires at every oil service will prolong the life of your tires and help keep that money in your wallet, where it belongs. 

Your fuel light is ON… many times has your fuel light been on and you meant to go to the filling station but had to run that last errand or said that you’d do it after work ?  As is often the case when it comes to taking care of your vehicle, procrastination does not pay off.  Here are a few reasons why you should not run your gas or diesel vehicle low on fuel:

  • Fuel keeps the fuel pump going so running it low or dry can cause the pump to suck in air. This creates heat and can lead to premature fuel pump failure (p.s. they are not cheap)
  • Debris in your fuel tank will settle in the bottom of the tank, and that is what your car will use when it is low.  This leads to a clogged fuel filter or other fuel system issues
  • You may end up paying more for fuel at a different station simply based on location & need.  You waited too long, now you are forced to pay whatever that station’s price is because you need fuel

Newer vehicles come equipped with range indicators to give you a general idea of how many miles you have until you are out of fuel.  While this is a nice feature, do not let it make you lazy ……it is best to keep at least ¼ of a tank of fuel in your vehicle and keep the fuel light OFF.  If you are going on a trip, fill up before you hit the road because you never know when you will or will not run across a station.  And if you are driving a diesel vehicle, you may not want to hang out with the 18 wheelers at an interstate travel plaza in small town USA.  It is best to be in control of your vehicle and the situation – monitor your fluids, check your tire pressure and keep your fuel tank filled.  You can pay now or you can pay later.