Fuel Pump Failure – Warning Signs – Common Causes – Failure Symptoms

Fuel Pump Failure - Warning Signs - Common Causes - Failure Symptoms
Fuel Pump Failure - Warning Signs - Common Causes - Failure Symptoms

Fuel pump failure is something no one wants; but at some point that is exactly what will happen.

While it is possible to run on a failing fuel pump; sooner or later it will fail completely.

So, Even if you are about to have a fuel pump failure; is may not happen all at once. Consequently, It could fail over a long period of time gradually, or just stop working completely.

And, If it fails completely your engine will stop, and it will not restart. But, If your fuel pump is failing gradually; it might show some signs that could alert the driver. So, If you are having a gradual fuel pump failure; the fuel pump will deliver less fuel to the engine.

Fuel Pump Failure - Warning Signs - Common Causes - Failure Symptoms
Fuel Pump Failure – Warning Signs – Common Causes – Failure Symptoms

Fuel Pump Failure Signs May Include:

Hesitation During Acceleration:

  • The vehicle’s acceleration is slower than normal; or the engine shuts down completely during acceleration. This could mean the fuel pump is struggling; to keep up with the increased need for fuel.

Rough Engine Idle:

  • A clogged fuel pump prevents the proper amount of fuel from getting to the engine. Furthermore, Affecting the idle speed.

Fuel Pump Overheating:

  • When the fuel pump is starting frequently; such as in common stop-and-go driving patterns; causing the fuel pump to overheat.
  • Typically, you may drive for 15 to 30 minutes, and then it suddenly stops working.
  • If after letting the engine cool down it functions appropriately again; only to repeat the behavior.

Noises, Sputtering Or Backfiring:

  • Unusual noises, sputtering or backfiring may also be indicative of a bad fuel pump.
  • If the flow to the fuel injection system is not consistent, the engine may develop problems.
  • Watch for things like a hesitant start or take-off, or a problem with starting the engine.

The fuel pump can be compromised, when outside issues affect the performance of the fuel pump.

Fuel Pump
Fuel Pump

Common Failure Causes Include:

Fuel Contamination:

  • Fuel is jeopardized from corrosion, debris and moisture; which can all bring visible contaminants into the tank.

Clogged Strainers/Filters:

  • The aforementioned contaminants eventually clog critical components including strainers; filters and the fuel pump itself.
  • This blockage ultimately impairs the flow of fuel; which may affect the vehicle during acceleration, among other long-term impairments.

Electrical Issues:

  • Electrical faults are also significant contributors to fuel pump failures. The most common electrical issues are rusted connectors, loose connectors, or melted wiring and connectors.

So, If you suspect you are dealing with a fuel pump failure; it’s recommended to inspect the fuel pump. A fuel pressure gauge can show conclusively that the pump is not delivering the right amount of fuel pressure. Anything less, is indicative of fuel pump problems that require attention.

Fuel Pump Replacement:

A vehicle owner who understands automobiles; could replace a fuel pump and save some money while doing it. Anyone who tries this has to remember that; they are dealing with fuel and fumes. Any work that a person does on his or her fuel pump; should be in a very well-ventilated area.

Common Automotive Electric Fuel Pump
Common Automotive Electric Fuel Pump

It may be more convenient and certainly safer to have an automobile service center do the work. Mechanics can first of all run diagnostics; to make sure that the problem has been properly identified. If it is the fuel pump failing; they have the tools and parts necessary to do a complete job.


So, Anyone who owns a vehicle must know that, sometime or other the fuel pump may start to malfunction. And, Hopefully, that will happen towards the end of the working life of the vehicle. Finally, Looking for the signs is as much a safety precaution as it is checking for problems.

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