Avoiding Airlock for Better Car Performance


Does your car make a gurgling sound every time you start it? The dashboard buzzes at every attempt you make to start the car? You are probably facing the case of airlocked fuel injection system (FIS).

Want to find out what is airlock and how can you prevent it? Continue reading!

What is an airlock?

Airlock occurs when air blocks the fuel’s flow in the fuel lines of the fuel injection system (FIS). This hindrance prevents the fuel from reaching to the injectors and cylinders, and hence the engine.

Airlock commonly occurs when the FIS system undergoes maintenance or during the replacement of the filter or fuel.

Can air locking affect the engine’s performance?

Yes. An airlock can cause the car engine to malfunction and even damage in some instances. How? When air enters the fuel lines, it hinders the passage of fuel in the fuel injecting system. Consequently, this prevents the fuel from reaching the car engine. When the engine doesn’t get the required amount of fuel, it suffers from power loss. This damages the vehicle’s engine and reduces its overall performance.

Signs of airlock in the FIS

  1. Engine misfires, decreased power, and strong fuel odor

One of the first signs of the airlock is an excessive smell of fuel. This can be due to an issue with the fuel hose, such as a blockage in the pipe or a leak. This may cause the car’s engine to produce a strong, musty odor. Fuel leakage or vaporization in the carburetor can also cause this smell. If that’s the issue, your car may have vapor lock, and that smell will be accompanied by performance issues, like power loss, fuel economy, and misfires.

  1. Fuel Leaks

Leaking fuel can cause a major disaster with your car’s fuel return hose and the entire FIS. Fuel leaks are a result of worn out or damaged fuel return hose. A leaking hose can cause puddles of fuel at the bottom of the car, which is what produces a smell.

  1. Carburetor flooding and engine stalling

Carburetor flooding is one another reason that causes problems with FIS. Pressure buildup and flooding from the excessive fuel can cause blockage or hindrance in the fuel hose. Also, a flooded carburetor can cause the engine to stall or hard start. Until and unless the fluid is cleared from the carburetor or it evaporates on its own, your car won’t function properly.

How to avoid an airlock

Following the afore-mentioned measures can help you prevent air lock in your vehicle:

Avoid low fuel levels

The main culprit that causes airlock in cars is low fuel level. And that’s not the only problem your car will encounter if it runs low on the fuel. It may overheat the fuel pump, causing damage to the engine and consequently reducing the car life. Therefore, to ensure that your engine functions smoothly without any air locks make sure your fuel tank is up to the full.

Replace or repair FIS parts with extreme caution

When fixing or repairing FIS parts, make sure to tighten them well. If they stay loose, air can enter the fuel lines and block the pipes, causing airlock. Also, before replacing the filter fill the fuel lines so as to prevent air from getting into the FIS and creating issues.

Start the engine slowly

When starting the engine, turn the key in the ignition and slowly depress the accelerator simultaneously. Make sure to avoid pressing the accelerator hard enough that it touches the floor, as it can send too much fuel to the system. If the airlock has hindered the passage of fuel, the acceleration will put pressure on the engine, causing malfunction. Once the engine starts running smoothly, hold down the accelerator.

What to do in case of airlock?

Despite taking all the precautions mentioned above, if your car still suffers from the airlock and refuses to start, it is better to sell it off to the car buying company like us. The process of removing air from the fuel injectors is expensive, time-consuming, and complex. Therefore, it’s better to avoid getting into such a situation and directly contact us to make the most of what’s left of your vehicle.

Need more information about your car buying process? Give us a call at 020 7183 2311.