Low to no fuel can lead to engine damage

Costly engine damage can result from running on empty, according to fuel injector supplier Bostech Industries.Costly engine damage can result from running on empty, according to fuel injector supplier Bostech Industries.

Running out of fuel not only means losing valuable time, it can also lead to costly engine damage.

Fuel injector supplier Bostech Industries reports that diesel engines that run out of fuel are especially at risk.

“Diesel engines depend on multiple components being cooled and lubricated by the diesel fuel itself,” says J. Blake Badger, Bostech marketing representative.

“The majority of diesel injectors and high pressure fuel pumps fall into this category. Most people know you can’t run an engine without oil, but they don’t realize the importance the lubricity of diesel fuel plays in their engine.”

High-pressure fuel pumps, injectors and other components are at risk of damage or even failure when drivers choose to ignore warnings and unintentionally run out of fuel.

It’s not just the lack of lubrication that can damage engine components, it’s also fuel tank contaminants that tend to collect at the bottom of a nearly empty tank that do more harm than good.

Water, dirt, rust, and other debris at the bottom of a low-filled tank can more easily enter a fuel system and cause costly problems, including a sticking nozzle needle, clogged nozzles, or even scoured valve sets.

“While that may not seem like a big deal, contaminated fuel can put an engine at immediate risk,” Badger says. “This problem has singlehandedly destroyed hundreds of thousands of engines over the years, costing drivers, particularly those who drive large trucks, millions of dollars in repair fees.”

For vehicles that have run out fuel, Bostech recommends having the fuel system serviced.

“Take it to a repair shop and have them bleed the system, remove filters, pressure blow the fuel lines, and re-prime the engine with fresh fuel,” Badger says. “Bleeding the system allows all of the excess air that has built up inside to escape. Pressure blowing the fuel lines clean and re-priming the engine can give your system a fresh start that it may desperately need.”

Bostech, which also manufactures fuel injection harnesses, is also warning consumers about inferior aftermarket harnesses that are creating false diagnostic impressions.

“Technicians assume the harnesses they just put on the vehicle right out of the box are reliable, as they should,” Badger explains. “This leads to misdiagnosing injector, FICM / IDM, etc. as the problem. In actuality it is often the poorly made harness, which often consists of inferior materials.”

For more information about Bostech, visit their website at www.bostech.com.