The fuel system is directly responsible for housing regulating, and distributing fuel to allow your engine to run, so if something within the system fails, you will most definitely be left with a car or truck that won't get you anywhere. Whether you determine you are having issues with the fuel tank and lines, filter, or otherwise, you may be tempted to skip off to the local salvage yard for some used auto parts to make the necessary repairs and get back on the road. While buying used auto parts is fine in a lot of situations, buying used for the fuel system of your vehicle takes some extra consideration. Here are the do's and don'ts of buying used fuel system parts.
Do buy only parts that have already been removed from a salvaged vehicle.
You do not want a fuel system part or component that has been sitting in a field somewhere for months on end with fuel still inside. If you buy a fuel tank from a salvaged vehicle, for example, and it has been left to sit in the elements for a long period of time, it could be contaminated with water or debris on the inside. This is the kind of problem that you probably will not recognize until you start having fuel-related problems with your vehicle because of it. It is always best to only purchase used fuel system components that were harvested at the time the vehicle was brought in and stored appropriately.
Don't assume a used fuel filter is just as good as a new one.
If there is one fuel system component that should not be bought new, it is the fuel filter. The fuel filter rests just above the tank of most vehicle models and filters out contaminants in the fuel before it is distributed through the fuel lines. Fuel filters are one of those vehicle parts that should be replaced after several thousand miles, depending on the make and model of the car or truck. Plus, fuel filters are probably one of the lesser expensive parts to buy new. To prevent getting your hands on a faulty filter, it is best just to buy a new one.
Do make sure fuel components you buy used are from the same type of vehicle you own.
Some fuel system components will appear to be interchangeable from one vehicle make and model to the next. However, just because the hardware will line up and a part will fit your vehicle, it is not always a good idea to use a fuel system component from a different type of car or truck than what you own. Even though some parts look the same, they may have minor differences that can contribute to inadequate fuel connections, which may allow fuel to leak out.
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