What To Do When: Your Gas Line Is Frozen

The What To Do When series covers typical driving and vehicle situations that many drivers face on a regular basis. If you’ve ever had a moment with your vehicle when you know something is wrong and you’re not sure what to do, this series is for you!

what to do when series


With the crazy winter weather, you may never know what will affect your car and how. A frozen fuel is one of those winter car problems that can pop up and if it does, here is what you need to know.

A frozen fuel line happens when water vapor contained in the fuel line blends with whatever fuel is in the line at the time and freezes due to cold temperatures. This prevents fuel from getting to the combustion chamber and the engine is unable to run. The good news is this is a relatively inexpensive and easy fix but it can be frustrating on cold mornings. You need to warm the car up to melt the ice.

There are many options for thawing frozen gas lines. If you’re at home, you can use a portable heater under the car and the hood to warm the gas lines and thaw out the water. Other suggest using a hair dryer and aiming it at the fuel line (if you know where it is!) to melt the ice.

But those solutions only work if you are at home or your car can easily be towed somewhere. If you’re out and about, it can get more difficult. If you’re away from home, adding fresh gasoline to a frozen situation can help if the tank is near empty because the new fuel will help the fuel that’s already in the tank overcome the frozen effects. Another idea is to keep a thawing additive on hand to use. These additives can help you thaw frozen fuel and absorb the water.

In freezing temperatures, it’s always a good idea to keep the tank as full as possible to reduce the space available for water vapor to collect and reducing the possibility of freezing.


TLC is your Long Island mechanic for any and all winter vehicle problems or concerns. We offer a lifetime warranty on almost all services and products and will ensure that your vehicle runs safely and efficiently all year long! Schedule an appointment with us today.