How Your Car's Fuel System Works & How to Make It Even Better

The engine might be the hero of your car, but it’s the car’s fuel system that ensures your engine can run smoothly for a great performance. However, if you’re new to automotive endeavours, approaching the world of fuel systems can seem daunting. But don’t worry, let Proflow be your guide and get you started with finding the fuel system that is right for you.

How Does a Car Fuel System Work?

Let’s start with the basics. To get your car’s engine running, you need to get the petrol from the fuel tank to the engine, using combustion to release its energy in order to power your engine. So, it all starts with the fuel pump. This device pulls fuel from your tank and pressurises it. The fuel then travels through the fuel filters. These are designed to catch any impurities or debris before they can do any harm to the rest of the system, like causing clogs.

Next, the fuel injectors will spray the fuel as a fine mist into your engine’s intake manifold or the combustion chamber of the cylinders. How much fuel is sprayed is determined by your engine’s ECU (electronic control unit) sensor readings, like engine load, throttle position and oxygen levels.

This is when combustion can occur. The fuel–air mixture is ignited by the spark plug, releasing that energy, allowing the pistons and crankshafts to move.

As you drive, this process repeats as needed, keeping your car moving as long as there is enough fuel available.

What Are the Different Types of Fuel Systems?

You might have heard people talking about carburetor fuel systems and noticed that in our above process, we didn’t mention where they come into play. This is because, since about the 1970s, car manufacturers have moved away from carburetors in favour of fuel injection.

The carburetor played a similar role in that it mixed fuel with air, measuring out a fuel flow that suited the throttle position and vacuum created in the engine. However, it is less precise and, as a result, uses more fuel. It also creates more emissions. So, unless you’re working on an older model car, you’ll generally be dealing with the injector variety of fuel system.

But Can Your Fuel System Be Better?

For most drivers, the stock-standard fuel system is more than enough. However, if you’re looking for improved fuel economy and performance, there are some things you can try.

Try Upgrading Your Injectors

Higher-flow fuel injectors can disperse a larger amount of fuel at a time. When you’re running a more powerful engine that needs more fuel, like one that has been supercharged, replacing the original fuel injectors is a good idea. This helps ensure you’ll get your money’s worth out of your upgraded engine.

Add a Cold Air Intake System

Oxygen and a consistent airflow is vital to the combustion process. But did you know cold air is often more dense with oxygen? As a result, colder air can be more effective in your engine. This is why many drivers like to install a cold air intake system into their overall fuel system. It ensures there is always sufficient airflow for the fuel injection system and combustion process to increase average power and fuel efficiency.

Invest In High-Quality Fuel

While it might make you grimace a little at the service station, better-quality fuel can make a difference in performance. This can be because the fuel is cleaner, meaning more passes through the filters and can be used in the combustion process.

Use Fuel Additives

Along with using better fuel, fuel additives are another way to keep things clean in all your fuel system parts while also helping to improve performance.

Check for Wear & Tear

Make time every now and again to look over your fuel system and ensure that everything is working as it should. You might discover that certain parts are starting to fail or show signs of wear and tear when you clean them. Then, you can repair or replace them in a timely fashion before further damage can be done to the system as a whole.

Find All the Fuel System Parts You Need at Proflow

If it’s time to upgrade your fuel system or there’s parts that need replacing, Proflow has you covered. With a wide range of quality and affordable parts, you can fix up your car for less without compromising on performance. Explore our range today and see for yourself!