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Fuel Lines

With todays fuel it is more important than ever before to be aware of the issues that arise in the marine engines. With todays modern engines the issues from the present are different than the engines from the past. With the computer controlled engines ignition problems are becoming less of a problem compared to fuel.

With the alcohol in todays fuel, water is literally pulled from the air and into the fuel. For a test, an open clear container such as a jar with an inch or two of gas poured into it can be left on a bench for a few hours on a humid day. You will be surprised to see the fuel getting cloudy or on real humid days a seperation of fuel and water. Now think about fuel tanks in boats and the condensation issues that can happen on warm humid days and the cooler area of the bilge where the fuel tank is.

Also there are the problems with plastic fuel tanks, fuel lines, primer bulbs and rubber fuel components that the alchohol likes to destroy. This leads to more expensive fuel systems that have to be EPA compliant. The portable plastic fuel tanks seem to always have venting problems, either not venting at all or every time it rains you get water in your fuel. 

So, now we have fuel lines coming apart from the inside leaving huge chunks as in picture, or tiny pieces of rubber in your fuel system plugging things up which can lead to costly repairs. These pieces can find there way into carburetors, and fuel injection systems alike.

To avoid these problems ensure you have an EPA compliant fuel system! You want to do this now, not when you are having problems. This is most important in older boats! Also an inline fuel / water filter system is installed between fuel tank and the engine. Change out this filter yearly! Fuel connectors can suck air if fuel lines become hard or orings in the connectors hardens. Replace as needed.

Old fuel looses its octane and varnishes over time, its best to not leave fuel in tanks if they are going to be sitting for extended period of time (years). Its also a good idea to run a marine fuel stabilizer the entire season which helps to keep the fuel fresh and less likey to asorb water.

Take a little time and go over your fuel system as this may keep your boat out of the shop and more time on the water!

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