Every gasoline-powered engine has a fuel pump. This component simply moves the fuel to the engine for steady power. Whether the fuel pump resides in a sporty car or industrial application, these components keep the machine running day in and day out.
If there’s an issue with the pump, however, you’ll notice a few symptoms. Explore the top 3 signs that you have a bad fuel pump. Recognizing these signs will only help you fix the issue before the pump fails altogether.
1. Poor Fuel Pressure Reading
If you suspect a fuel-pump problem, turn to a diagnostic tool. A fuel-pressure gauge is a basic tool that you can find at almost any automotive store. Follow these steps to check your pump, including:
- Locate the fuel-pressure valve on the engine
- Connect the gauge to the valve
- Consult your owner’s manual for the proper pressure range
Ask a friend to “rev” the engine as you watch the gauge. A properly functioning pump will fall between the value range listed in the owner’s manual. A faulty pump will typically show its colors at this point by falling below the target range.
This test is the best way to find a bad, fuel pump before the car has any significant signs of distress. Test the pump over a few days in order to see a pattern. Low, pressure values simply mean that the pump doesn’t have the strength to produce a force necessary for steady, fuel supplies into the engine.
2. Unusual Reactions During Drive
There are a handful of other scenarios that indicate a failing fuel pump. Be aware of your mileage values. Most vehicles have relatively steady, mileage rates that vary between five and 10 miles per gallon. If you notice an extreme change in mileage, however, the fuel pump may be the problem. It’s simply letting too much fuel into the engine area.
Take a look at these other unusual issues during a drive around town. They usually point to a bad fuel pump, such as:
- Sputtering engine at high speeds
- Significant, power loss while hauling a load
An alarming symptom of a failing fuel pump is surging. You might be idling at a stop light. The engine’s RPMs start to rise without any accelerator action on your part. In fact, it seems as if the engine has revved on its own.
A fuel pump that’s offering an irregular supply of gasoline to the engine is causing this scenario. Swapping out the pump as soon as possible is your best choice.
If you notice that the vehicle has a rising temperature gauge, it’s not always the radiator at fault. Explore the engine area with a careful look at the radiator and fuel-pump motor. A radiator that looks healthy should refocus your investigation on the fuel pump.
The pump’s motor may be overheating. This heat dissipates, and it registers on the car’s gauge found on the dashboard. Replacing the pump with a motor is your next step.
3. Barely Turns On
When your engine seems to barely turn over with the ignition activated, the focus is usually on the starter or battery. Although these components are possible culprits, the fuel pump shouldn’t be ruled out.
These symptoms occur when the engine fails to turn over, including:
- Ignition and rev sounds arise, but no engine hum
- Low pressure in the fuel line
If the engine hesitates to turn over, explore the engine area. Besides the starter and battery, take a close look at the fuel-pump fuse. It might be blown. This situation is a good example of a failed fuel pump. Solely replacing the fuse won’t help either. It will only blow again upon ignition.
Replacing the fuel pump and fuse must be your solution. The engine should turn over at that point.
When you have a fuel-pump dilemma, our team is ready to help. Our team has a vast database that can solve almost any issue. Remind yourself that fuel pumps are mechanical items that will break down over time. Repairs and replacements are just part of the maintenance pattern.