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How to Use a Fuel Line Disconnect Tool

by Steven Douglas

The advent of fuel injection systems in automobiles created a need for utilizing higher pressure in fuel lines than was previously required. As a result, auto manufacturers turned to more advanced fuel line connection devices to provide a more secure fuel line connection. Often, the only way to separate these tight-fitting fuel lines at their connection points is through the use of a specialized tool--a fuel line disconnect tool--that uses leverage to its advantage. Using such a tool is easy once you understand the basics of its operation.

Step 1

Start the engine and allow it to idle. With the engine idling, remove the fuel pump fuse from the fuse box, so that the fuel pump ceases to operate. The owner's manual is a good source to identify the correct location of this specific fuse. Wait until the engine stalls from lack of fuel--this will relieve the pressure from the fuel lines. Allow the engine to cool before attempting to work on the fuel lines.

Step 2

Put on eye protection. Clean the fuel line connection that you wish to disconnect with automotive spray cleaner. The goal is to completely remove all grease, dirt, grime and sludge buildup that may impede use of the tool or fall into the fuel line after it is disconnected. Clean the connection using a rag and grease cutter. Wipe the connection dry.

Step 3

Choose the correct fuel line disconnect tool based upon the size fuel line you are working on. The tool itself looks like a small clothespin, with an opening on one end. Most fuel line disconnect kits have an assortment of tool sizes to meet all common fuel line diameters. Insert the tool with the open side down into the female portion of the fuel line connector. Sqeeze the middle of the tool to slightly open the jaws of the tool. Push the tool firmly downward over the top of the fuel line connection.

Pull the fuel line connection apart by gently twisting it as you pull the two ends away from each other. You are ready to proceed with additional fuel line repairs as needed.

Tip

  • Be careful not to spill any fuel from either end of the fuel line once the line has been disconnected. Dripping fuel on a hot engine may cause a flash fire.

Warning

  • Because fuel injection systems operate utilizing extremely high pressure, failure to relieve this pressure before disconnecting a fuel line may result in an explosive reaction.

Items you will need

  • Clean rags
  • Automotive degreaser (spray cleaner)
  • Eye protection

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