Land Rovers are known to most as one of the highest performing vehicles on the market. You expect to get all that you pay for when you invest that kind of money. Unfortunately, all cars will need maintenance and repairs. One of the most common mechanical issues with Land Rovers is engine fuel leaking prematurely. There have been many recalls on models due to this problem, along with a few others. It would be prudent to take precautions and check your vehicle regularly. Let’s talk about what causes engine fuel leaks in Land Rovers.
Why does engine fuel leak in a Land Rover?
The root cause of your fuel leak can be several problems. Familiarize yourself with some of the reasons below, so you can talk to a technician about your concerns:
The fuel rail end caps are not sealed. This causes the engine fuel to leak onto the engine bay in many cases, which could possibly result in a fire. This is an incredibly dangerous situation to be in, so if you smell gas fumes, make sure that you go to an auto shop straight away. This defect has led to recalls in these Land Rover models: 2018 Discovery Sport, Range Rover Evoque, and Range Rover Velar.
A bolt that attaches the high-pressure fuel pump may be too long, resulting in the pump being improperly secured. Your fuel pump delivers your gas to where it needs to go. You can’t drive without it. If you find that your Land Rover will not start, your engine fuel may be leaking. The model affected by this problem most frequently is the 2017 Range Rover.
Your gas tank may have been punctured or corroded. This is not a highly-reported problem for Land Rovers. It is usually the result of accidents and environmental factors, such as road debris.
Warning Signs of Engine Fuel Leaks
There are some signs that you may notice that will help you diagnose the issue. If your engine fuel is leaking, these things may happen:
Fuel will puddle underneath the vehicle. When any fluid is dripping from the vehicle, it is not a good sign. Take note that fuel will be yellowish or clear, not red or blue like most coolants. Oil is black and viscous, so you can rule it out as well.
You will smell gasoline. If you are not at an actual gas station and you smell the strong and distinct odor of fuel, then it may be coming from your Land Rover. There is a small chance that it could be that of another person’s car, so continue to pay attention to the smell while you are driving. If it persists, it is likely that the problem is coming from yours.
Your gas mileage decreases significantly. You know how long it usually takes for your vehicle to need a refuel. When you notice it happening more often when you drive the same distances, it’s an indicator of leakage.
You run out of gas while driving. If you are responsible and fill up your tank regularly, this should not be happening to you. Ask yourself when you last refueled your Land Rover. If you find that it was too recent for something like this to occur, your gas is almost definitely leaking.
The vehicle will not start. This can be due to several other issues, but this in combination with other signs will tell you that a fuel leak could be the root of your problem.
How to Solve the Issue of Engine Fuel Leak
When your fuel is leaking, there is not much that you can do to fix it yourself. Even if you are a qualified mechanic yourself, you are going to need extra help to repair your Land Rover. Since it is a foreign vehicle, you may want to see more trained technicians than the person at your average shop.
Star Motors has some of the best technicians around to help you save time and money before your Land Rover needs costly overhaul repairs. Our employees specialize in repairing foreign/luxury vehicles so you can get back on the road as soon as possible. We have been serving the San Juan Capistrano, CA and other Southern Orange County areas for over 30 years.
If you want quality care that you can trust, come to Star Motors and let us show you what we can do for you.
You probably didn’t put much thought into your Land Rover’s gas tank when you went to pick it up. High on the priority list for Land Rover owners tends to be performance, dependability and rugged good looks. This is a vehicle built for the daily commute but also for the weekend off-roading adventure. While fuel economy may be another important consideration, it is unlikely that you asked about the material of your fuel tank before you drove the car off the lot. Let’s take some time to talk about it now.
What Causes the Fuel Tank to Rust?
Like any other part on your car, the fuel tank is prone to wear and like any other part of your car, keeping it in good condition is imperative to keeping your vehicle running smoothly. Land Rover vehicles are made with heavy duty steel and aluminum undercarriages. This includes the fuel tank. A rust resistant material is used to coat the interior of the fuel tank to help prevent corrosion from gasoline. In addition, a fuel tank shield protects it from external elements that could cause wear. Even with these preventative measures, these parts are prone to wear. Here a few things that lead to rust and corrosion in your Land Rover:
Low quality fuel
All gasoline is acidic and has corrosive properties. However, using the wrong fuel or low-grade gasoline to fill your tank could lead to early wear of the interior lining of your Land Rover. Make sure to use the fuel recommended for your vehicle according to the owner’s manual. Using a lower grade than suggested could lead to engine knocking and over time require repairs to your engine. To prevent rust in your fuel tank, you should also stay away from ethanol which has been shown to speed corrosion especially in aluminum tanks.
In many parts of the country, the roads are covered in salt for several months of the year to keep roads safe in icy conditions. Driving on these salt covered roads can be especially hard on your Land Rover’s undercarriage. In New England, many Land Rover owners see signs of corrosion on their undercarriage and fuel tank shield as soon as 2-3 years after buying them. If you live in an area where this is a normal part of life, additional preventative measures can be taken to slow down this process.
It’s common knowledge that tougher conditions are going to lead to more aggressive wear of any kind in a vehicle. If you are using your Land Rover for more than just the daily commute to the office, then you will see signs of rust on your fuel tank. Wading through water and allowing your undercarriage to sit in that moisture, or having it caked in wet mud for hours create the perfect environment for rust to develop.
Many Land Rover owners are aware that rust is a likelihood in their fuel tank and often ignore the issue. However, this is not recommended as allowing rust to build in your fuel tank can lead to a number of issues. Your fuel tank is connected to the rest of your vehicle by your fuel pump and the electric motor that pushes fuel through your vehicle’s fuel injection system. Rust can create a sludge build up that sits in your fuel tank and is circulated through your vehicle when its running.
A build up in your fuel line means fuel isn’t getting where it needs to be which could lead to overheating or complete engine failure if not addressed completely. Additionally over time, the interior rust can eat through the fuel tank and create holes that allow fuel to seep out. Not only does this pose problems when trying to keep fuel in your tank to run your engine. It also creates an unsafe vehicle to drive as flammable gasoline leaking is a dangerous situation for you and the people around you.
Maintain and Prevent Corrosion
As with anything, maintaining your vehicle is safer, more economical and results in a more enjoyable driving experience. Fuel tank corrosion is not uncommon. Working with a Land Rover expert who is aware of your vehicle’s tendencies can help you avoid major repairs by catching them early and taking preventative measures.
Maintaining and repairing small issues with your cooling system at the recommended interval will help you avoid the headaches mentioned above and keep repair costs to a minimum. Rely on the experts at Star Motors of Orange County to help you create a maintenance schedule tailored to your vehicle. Contact Star Motors in San Capistrano, CA for any service or maintenance needs you may have.
Land Rovers are known for their high quality design and exceptional performance standards. Unfortunately, like all vehicles out there, auto mechanics are near impossible to perfect and this can take a toll on vehicle wear and performance at some point. One issue that Land Rover drivers experience is fuel tank shield or fuel tank skid plate corrosion and rust. This is a concerning issue, as it can greatly compromise your safety and your vehicle’s performance. In this article, we’ll give you some background information on why the fuel tank skid plate is an important part for your car, how to spot signs of corrosion, and what you can do to prevent or address the issue in your own Land Rover.
Why is the fuel tank shield important?
All cars’ fuel tanks are shielded by a skid plate of sorts that is designed to house and protect the fuel tank. Since the fuel tank is often in a vulnerable position beneath the car in Land Rovers, it’s important to keep the fuel tank protected from road debris or other threats. Unfortunately, the fuel tank shield can run into its own problems that compromise its ability to perform its job adequately.
What to look for in a compromised fuel tank shield
A fuel tank that is compromised will exhibit a few outwardly concerning symptoms that you should be aware of and address immediately. Here are the most common signs that your fuel tank shield is beginning to degrade:
• Any amount of visible rust on the exterior of the shield
• Patches of rust surrounding drain holes
• Visible rust stains on the ground beneath your car
What can cause the fuel tank shield to corrode?
Your Land Rover specialist will want to perform a differential diagnosis to determine the original cause of the issue; this way, the problem will likely not occur again once the issue is remedied. Here are the most common reasons for fuel tank skid plate corrosion:
• Poor drainage
• Consistent exposure to excessive moisture
• Road and salt spray
• Location climate and conditions
• Vehicle age and mileage
• Lack of maintenance
Some of these issues are due to design and engineering issues with the vehicle itself, which necessitates that your automotive shop get a little creative with their solutions. For instance, replacing the part with the same original part may lead to corrosion in the future if the design of the part is the problem in the first place. Otherwise, there are things you can do to prevent this from occurring, which we’ll go over in a moment.
How to address the issue
Addressing the issue of fuel tank shield corrosion or rust is a process that involves several steps. Depending on what information your automotive specialist collects in the initial diagnostic process, they may decide to take a few different routes of addressing the problem. Usually fixing the issue requires replacing the part, but if the problem has not progressed substantially it may be able to be cleaned and restored.
How to prevent fuel tank shield corrosion
There are a few things you can do for your Land Rover to ensure that the fuel tank shield does not corrode at a rapid pace that goes beyond repair. Here are a few suggestions:
• Hire a trusted automotive professional specializing in Land Rover cars
• Perform frequent, ongoing inspections of the undercarriage
• Perform ongoing cleanings and detail work to the undercarriage components
• Keep your car parked in a covered area not exposed to water or humidity
• Avoid driving through large puddles (even though it’s tempting with your Rover’s specific capabilities)
What we can do to help
At Star Motors, we service Land Rover vehicles from all over San Juan Capistrano, CA and other Southern Orange County areas. We are proud to be named South Orange County’s premier European auto repair facility by our patrons, and continuing our three decades of award winning service is our promise to the community. Dealing with a corroded fuel tank shield in a Land Rover is something we’ve addressed countless times, and we’re familiar with various treatment approaches depending on the severity of the issue. If you would like to have your fuel tank shield inspected for corrosion, please contact us today to schedule an appointment.
* Land Rover Defender 90 image credit goes to:typhoonski.