It was simple in the old days, when you needed to repair a fuel line your auto parts store had rubber hose that they sold by the foot. All you needed to know is what size to buy. It’s a lot more complicated today. The problem, Paul Conte Chevrolet in Freeport, NY says is that gasoline today isn’t the petroleum-based product that it used to be. Most of today’s gasoline comes with ethanol mixed in. Ethanol can eat away at some rubbers, plastics and even metals. The result is that fuel line problems are becoming more common than in the past. So, we offer this guide to the car owner so that they can better understand the different types of gas line hoses you may find today:
Standard neoprene fuel hose can be used for fuel and EEC systems on all vehicles where working pressures are under 50 psi or vacuum ratings are under 24″. For fuel line in particular, the neoprene hose has a covering that resists weathering, ozone and heat and can be used for both ethanol-laced fuels and diesel fuel. Neoprene fuel line is available in 1/8″ through 5/8″ sizes on bulk rolls, with additional 3′ sections of large 1-1/2″ through 2-1/4″ sizes available for gas filler neck applications. Neoprene with an outer steel braiding is also offered for custom applications.
High-pressure neoprene fuel hose for clamp-type fuel-injection systems is also available. This fuel hose uses a fluoro elastomer inner liner that will withstand up to 180 psi and 300 degrees. It is approved for all fuel blends including straight methanol, and the outer coating is also ozone- and abrasion-resistant.
Nylon Fuel Line
Many late-model production cars are now using hard, black nylon tubing with special connectors to attach fuel lines to the gas tank. This gas-resistant nylon tubing can be purchased by the foot or in short sections with the proper ends already attached to one end. Nylon tubing uses special barbed fittings that are inserted into the tubing, and the connection is then heated to shrink the tubing around the fitting.
Tygon Fuel Line
Small engines on your lawnmower, ATV or motorcycle use a gas-resistant vinyl tubing called Tygon. It is usually clear or transparent yellow in color. Tygon is available in short sections or on a large roll and can be rather expensive, but it will outlast the standard vinyl by many years. This is because Tygon fuel lines and do not turn brown and brittle after extended use, as vinyl tubing often does.
Note: Standard rubber vacuum or heater hose should never be used in fuel applications. The hose will deteriorate from the inside out and can plug fuel filters and carburetors with rubber debris, long before it springs an external leak.