Whether your vehicle has a carburetor or fuel injection, vapor lock can bring it to a standstill, causing hours of frustration. If you’re a racer, it can put the car on the trailer well before you’re ready to leave the track. But proper use of thermal barriers can prevent vapor lock, no matter how hot the day gets.
Vapor lock happens when the temperature of the fuel heats up enough to transform it from liquid to vapor. And since fuel pumps are designed to pump liquid, not air, vapor lock effectively starves the engine of fuel. Without the proper volume or pressure of fuel, the car will run rough or completely stall. Vapor lock typically happens during summer months, when high outdoor temperatures are combined with high engine and exhaust heat. And high altitude also makes a vehicle more prone to vapor lock.
The solution is to protect the fuel lines from getting hot in the first place.
For carb-equipped vehicles, one of the easiest solutions is to use a t