A fuel pump is an essential part of a car’s engine whose job is supplying the engine with petrol from the tank. Many cars depend on fuel for movement on the roads making the fuel a necessity. So as you drive your car daily, the fuel pump may become worn out and begin developing problems and, at some point, fail to work. The solution is to replace it

However, if you don’t have money to replace it, you can temporarily fix the problem then continue driving your car as you prepare to buy one. The guide explains the whole procedure (step-by-step guide). But before looking at the procedure, here is a list of symptoms and signs of a bad fuel pump:

Signs of a Bad Fuel Pump

  • You’ll hear abnormal sound from the fuel pump as your car moves
  • At some point, the car won’t start after trying to ignite it severally
  • You’ll spot some poor gas mileage
  • When the vehicle is running at an average speed, it might abruptly pick up then surge forward
  • The car fails to perform optimally especially when carrying a heavy load or negotiating a hill
  • When driving the car when its temperature rises, the car will stall.
  • At constant high speed, your car’s engine will sputter then later resume to its normal performance.

Those are some of the indicators of a bad fuel pump. To delve further, here are things to check before you start the fixing process.

Things to Look At Before Fixing the Fuel Pump

  1. Fuel pressure regulator: make sure you test whether the fuel pump has some fuel or not to determine whether it’s properly working. When the pump is dry, it is okay.
  2. Fuel filter: check whether there is dirt on the fuel pump or not. Dirt can block the filter causing more problems to the fuel pump. If you have been using the fuel filter for a long time, then consider replacing it.
  3. Fuel pump noise: be sure to inspect the fuel pump noise that is normally a swish sound once you ignite the car. In case it’s silent, have a look at the electrical circuit. Alternatively, you can test it using a Computer Diagnostics trouble codes. Some cars may fail to start as a result of insufficient oil. So be sure to check the car’s manual.
  4. Fuel level: there must be enough fuel on the pump for the car to move properly.

Fixing the fuel pump

Here’s how to fix the fuel pump.

  • Make sure you perform a fuel system inspection to see whether it’s supplying fuel. To do the test, you should have a fuel pressure gauge. Your car should be on the emergency brake before you do anything, park the vehicle on a flat ground where there’s no smoke coming out from the hood, then switch off the engine.
  • There is a vacuum line that connects to the fuel pressure regulator. Remove the line then have a close look at whether there is some fuel inside it. If you spot some fuel inside it, then the regulator has failed to function.
  • Immediately after checking the regulator, fix back the vacuum line to its original place.
  • After that, look for a protective cap then remove it. This will help you fix the pipe of the fuel pressure gauge.
  • Now at this point, if you want to open the test gauge for fuel pressure in a package, please do that.
  • Having done that, its time to fix the gauge using the right fix line and adapter to the test port. At some point, you may fail to get the fuel test port. If that happens, make sure you look for a fuel filter adapter. This item acts as a fuel test port.
  • Once you’ve attached the gauge, the next thing to do is turning on the ignition. In many direct port injectors, the gauge can move up to 58 PSI. Once everything is sorted and working well, the pump will is still functioning with the electrical component.
  • In case there’s no pressure indicating on the gauge, then check on the fuse then relay on the power supply center.

When the pump doesn’t access the power feed wire, then work out with the problem differently. Use a color wire to transmit energy to the pump. Ensure you use the right wire.

Now move to the service manual to check the correct type and color of the wire. Look at the wire close to the fuel tank in the wire harness.

  • Then perform a test light to further investigate the wires. When the test light works nicely, and there is less pressure, then the pump is faulty.
  • Once you ignite the engine, the pressure will move down to 52 PSI. Then immediately, you remove the throttle abruptly, then the pressure will move up by 5 PSI. Therefore, this indicates that the pressure regulator is functioning correctly. If you don’t record any pressure, then the pressure regulator is the problem.
  • Note that once you ignite the engine and the fuel system functions at full capacity, the pressure will decrease. The pressure should remain at 52 PSI.
  • When you record a decreased fuel pressure while the car is on idle, then either the fuel filter is blocked or there is a pump failure.
  • After you are done with the whole process, place a towel below the test port to draw fuel coming from the pipe. Immediately you untie the pipe, fuel might leak on the towel.
  • After removing the hose and you still spot fuel leaking, then position the hose on the upper side of the towel to suck excess fuel.
  • Finally, after handling the gauge hose, fix back the dust cap then wipe the area using a towel. Then check if there are still fuel leakages around.

How do I get my fuel pump to work again?

Tricks to Get a Fuel Pump Working
  1. Prepare your car. Before you try these fuel pump quick-fix tricks, check if your car has enough fuel left by looking at the fuel level.
  2. Use a fuel gauge. All you have to do is attach the gauge to your car’s engine.
  3. Apply external pressure.
  4. Maintain heat.

Can you repair a fuel pump?

There are 3 main types of fuel pumps. You have the mechanical, electric and direct injection high-pressure pumps. A Fuel pump by its nature will give several signs before it fails completely and you have to replace or repair it.

How does a car act when the fuel pump is going out?

The flipside to not enough fuel is too much fuel and a fuel pump that is going out can send too much fuel to your engine, too. You’ll notice your engine surging when this happens and the surges can make driving dangerous. Surges mean the vehicle picks up and then drops speed. Not good on the road.

Can you drive a car with a bad fuel pump?

When the fuel pump is failing or has failed, you need to get your car to your mechanic post-haste. A Fuel Pressure Gauge – You can attach a fuel pressure gauge to the vehicle engine directly. This will allow the vehicle to start so that you can drive it to your mechanic.

What are the signs you need a new fuel pump?

Usually, a bad or failing fuel pump will produce one or more of the following 8 symptoms that alert the driver of a potential issue.
  • Whining Noise From the Fuel Tank.
  • Difficulty Starting.
  • Engine Sputtering.
  • Stalling at High Temperatures.
  • Loss of Power Under Stress.
  • Car Surging.
  • Low Gas Mileage.
  • Car Will Not Start.

How expensive is it to replace a fuel pump?

The average cost for a fuel pump replacement is between $220 and $1,062 depending on vehicle and age. Labor costs are estimated between $124 and $260, while parts are priced between $95 and $854.

Is it easy to replace a fuel pump?

Fuel pump replacement is very important. If the engine does not have a functioning fuel pump, it will immediately “starve” and stop running. When fuel pumps are not replaced properly, the whole system is damaged. Although it might sound difficult, fuel pump replacement is easy.

Why does my car not start unless I give it gas?

The reason for your car having a hard time to start is not like other hard starting car problems which can be traced to the car battery. This problem shows that the air-fuel mixture is not igniting the engine or the engine is not getting a sufficient amount of fuel and air for combustion.

How many hours does it take to replace a fuel pump?

Any car with an external fuel pump is going to be easier and sometimes will take less than an hour. However, if you’re replacing the entire fuel assembly and need to drop the fuel tank, things can get more complicated. On average, this will take somewhere between 2-3 hours.

Does AutoZone test fuel pumps?

AutoZone makes checking fuel pressure easier than ever. Get a fuel pressure test kit and check the fuel pump and fuel system on your ride today.

What are the symptoms of a bad fuel filter?

Symptoms of a Clogged Fuel Filter Symptoms
  • Difficulty Starting. Your engine needs fuel to start up.
  • Sputtering.
  • Inconsistent Acceleration.
  • Irregularly High Engine Temperature.
  • Drop in Fuel Efficiency.

Do I have to drop the gas tank to change the fuel pump?

In most vehicles, the fuel pump is located inside the fuel tank. This requires removing the fuel tank from your vehicle so you can access the pump for replacement and clean the fuel tank. This ensures that you have less fuel to drain when you drop the tank.

How do you test a fuel pump?

How do you store a fuel pump?

The few seconds that it will be running dry after installation is not enough to wreck a pump. Store them on their side, dry in a plastic bag and a couple desiccant bags wouldn’t be a bad idea either.