If you think you may have a fuel leak anywhere on your vehicle, especially in the engine compartment, you need to stop driving it immediately in order to avoid causing further damage. A fuel leak under your Land Rover’s hood could be life-threatening to not only your beloved ride but you as well. No matter how small you think the leak may be, stop and don’t start again until you know that it has been resolved.
When it comes to an engine fuel leak, you’ll not only need to know how to find it, but also how to fix it. The fuel system in a fuel injected vehicle is under relatively high pressure. A common vehicle tire pressure is around 35 PSI and a fuel system can easily be double that. A simple “patch and limp it home” isn’t going to cut it. This would be comparable to putting a piece of duct tape over a leak on your vehicle’s tire.
The most obvious way to discover a leak while you are driving the vehicle is an overwhelming gasoline aroma. After you’ve noticed the smell, finding the leak could be straightforward, but it could take some time depending on where the leak is located.
The fuel lines are usually a combination of metal and rubber, and they come out of the top of the gas tank. The fuel pump is located in the gas tank, and the fuel lines make their way up and over the transmission before entering the back of the engine compartment. You may have to remove some covers from the top of the engine to be able to see the inner workings of the fuel system.
Make sure the engine has had time to cool before you attempt to find the leak. Once the engine is cool, you may need to pressurize the fuel system. You do this by simply turning the key to the run position (as far as you can turn your key without actually turning the engine over to start the vehicle). If you can visibly see fuel spraying from somewhere, then it should be fairly easy to find the source of the leak. If not, take a look around the base of the injectors. The injectors fit inside the intake manifold tightly with an o-ring seal. Over time, these o-rings can dry out and create a leak. If you don’t see a visible leak and all the injectors look dry, work your way backward from the injectors following the fuel line and carefully inspect it. Be sure you are checking every connection you come across to see if there are any flaws.
Once to find the source of the leak, make sure that you depressurize the fuel system before taking anything apart. This is a very important step, because any remaining pressure in the system could spray fuel onto your face. This could cause severe physical trauma.
After making sure the system isn’t under any pressure, it is also a good idea to completely and very carefully disconnect the battery. This ensures that there is absolutely no chance of accidentally creating a spark that could ignite the fuel within the vehicle’s engine.
Any fuel system component that is found to be faulty should always be replaced, never repaired. The money you could save in repairs would be greatly outweighed by the cost of a possible vehicle fire in the future. It may seem like more at the moment, but a vehicle fire would leave you without a working vehicle at all.
Once the faulty components have been replaced, before replacing the battery cables, make sure that there is no leftover fuel in the engine compartment and that all the components are dry. Now with the battery hooked up, turn the key to the run or on position and make sure you hear the fuel pump cycle on, then off again. This will let you know that the system is pressurized. After you’ve completed those steps, it is time to give your vehicle’s fuel system a once (probably a twice) over inspection to be 100% sure that the leak has been fixed and there is no remaining chance of causing a vehicle fire.
Because the fuel system is so important to the overall health of your car and can be dangerous when not maintained properly, you may want to let the professionals handle your Land Rover’s repairs. If you’re local to Edgewood, Maitland, Winter Park, or Orlando, FL, stop by Florida Transmission & European Auto Repair. We’re here to help with any service or repairs your Land Rover might need, so you can get back on the road as soon as possible.