Although vapor lock is not often seen in modern cars, it was a common problem with the carbureted cars of past decades. This problem causes a car to stop running when the fuel lines overheat; cars sitting on the side of the road with their hoods raised used to be a common sight, particularly on hot days.
Vapor locking primarily happens in cars with carbureted engines, but since electronic fuel injection replaced carburetors in the 1980s, most car owners don’t have to deal with this issue anymore. Carburetors and electronic fuel injection are two different methods of delivering the proper amounts of fuel to the engine. Fuel injection is more advanced, and requires a computer to tell the injectors how much gasoline to squirt into the engine. A carburetor, on the other hand, is a mechanical device that uses the engine’s natural vacuum, allowing specific amounts of fuel to be sucked into the combustion chambers. The amount of fuel that is delivered to the engine can be changed using simple mechanical adjustments on the carburetor.
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