If you are not having any fuel pump issues; the fuel pump should deliver fuel from the fuel tank to the engine; at the appropriate pressure.
Fuel pumps on most modern vehicles are electric and are mounted in the fuel tank.
Consequently, when the key is turned or the button is pressed, the fuel pump is activated and should be pressurized. But, if you have fuel pump issues it may not even make it that far.
It’s normal for a fuel pump to make a low humming noise as it runs. But, as the pump begins to wear out, the sound can change into more of a loud whining or droning.
Warning Signs Of Fuel Pump Issues:
- Whining Noise From The Fuel Tank
- Difficulty Starting
- Engine Sputtering
- Stalling at High Temperatures
- Loss of Power Under Load
- Engine Surging
- Poor Fuel Mileage
- Engine Will Not Start
How Fuel Pump Issues Can Affect Driving Conditions
However, a fuel pump will sometimes operate for a while at a lower level of efficiency; before you reach that point. That’s when you’re likely to notice trouble starting your engine. You may have to hold the ignition on for longer than normal; or you may have to try more than once.
And, since the engine is being starved for fuel, it probably will start to sputter, cough and occasionally stall.
The lack of fuel can cause the engine to misfire, which you’ll hear and feel. You’ll feel a difference in performance, with weaker acceleration and worse fuel economy. On the other hand, you may experience sudden surges in power. This could happen as the fuel pump’s performance changes unexpectedly.
The Two Most Common Reasons For Fuel Pump Issues Are:
#1- Over Heating The fuel Pump By Running Low On Fuel
Overheating is among the top factors in causing a fuel pump to wear out. Automakers know this, and they take advantage of the pump’s location to help. Remember, the fuel pump is generally mounted on the bottom of the fuel tank, where it’s submerged in fuel.
This keeps the pump cool, but only if there’s enough fuel to keep the pump covered.
Additionally, if the fuel level gets too low, the pump can begin sucking in air with the fuel. To avoid issue “never let your fuel level get down below a quarter-tank full.”
#2- Contamination From Dirt and Rust
You should keep an eye on your engine’s main fuel filter as well. Most fuel pumps will have some sort of filter to prevent dirt or debris from getting into the pump itself; but here we’re talking about the traditional external fuel filter.
It’s more focused on keeping dirt from getting into the engine.
If this filter becomes clogged or dirty, it will be tougher for the pump to push fuel through it. Then, the harder the pump works, the shorter its life. It’s also worth noting that many of the problems caused by a bad fuel pump; can be caused by a bad fuel filter. Namely, not enough fuel is getting to the engine.
A major difference is that a fuel filter; is a lot easier and less expensive to replace than a fuel pump.
So, There are certain guidelines to follow to keep your fuel pump healthy; and there are certain symptoms that can tell you if it’s not.
Finally, always remember the two most important causes of fuel pump issues, heat and contamination.
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