Q&A / Tech

Mailbag: Troubleshooting Improper Fuel Flow

improper fuel flow

J.M. • Tallahassee, FL

Q: My 1988 IROC-Z has been parked for almost five years. I want to get it up and running again but I’m having issues with the fuel system. The pump doesn’t have consistent flow and when I hit it with a test light it’s very dim. What do you think is causing the problem?

A: Improper fuel flow is a muscle car’s worst enemy. However, there are a few quick fixes to try before fully replacing the pump. Old gas in the system will also cause problems. So, remove the fuel pump and give it a good cleaning. Put some light oil in it to help get things functioning properly and be sure to remove the old gas from your tank and fill it up with fresh fuel.

The dim test light means that the pump has low battery voltage. It should always be running 12 volts or more. The contact points or grounds may be dirty, so give them a good cleaning as well. If these steps don’t fix the flow, then a new fuel pump is in order.

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