The Hill and the Carburetor

Dec 06, 1996

RAY: A customer came in a few weeks ago and complained of a problem. He said "When I try to climb a long, rather steep hill the car starts to behave peculiarly like someone has turned the key off, and then it comes back on, then off, etc. So the car lurches severely. On level ground I have no problem." And I'm writing all this down and one of my guys is standing behind me. And the customer says, "One other thing. If I try to climb a much steeper hill, but shorter, it doesn't happen at all." And my guy says, "I got it." He says you don't have a fuel-injected car do you? And the customer says, "No I don't." And I turned around and gave him a black eye for divulging the answer because now we couldn't charge the guy for 6 hours of research. This person had a carbureted car, it was like an old Toyota.

Knowing he had a carbureted car and not a fuel injected one gave my guy the answer.  Why?


RAY: Here's the answer:

The car could climb short steep hills, but not long steep hills. A carbureted car has the ability to store gas for future use. The float chamber was being used up and by the time the car got to the top of a short hill, there was still gas in the reserve. But a long steep hill used up all the gas. The fix was a new fuel filter.

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