Your car’s fuel pump is a vital part of its engine and fuel system. Its purpose is relatively straightforward: it pumps the fuel from the fuel tank to supply it to the engine. The engine will not start without a well-working fuel pump.
The average cost of having a professional mechanic replace a fuel pump ranges between $260 up to $1160, but the cost varies significantly depending on the kind of vehicle you have. The parts incur the majority of the price. However, labor expenses have to be factored in as well.
The cost of a fuel pump replacement for a more expensive car with a sophisticated system and design could rise to $2,500. Pretty outrageous, right?
If you have an internal combustion engine car, one of the critical components of its mechanism is the fuel pump, which supplies fuel to the car’s engine. The fuel pump is liable for delivering fuel under appropriate pressure from the car’s fuel tank.
Most of the fuel pumps in older carbureted cars were mechanical and connected to the engine. They operate by sucking fuel from the gas tank and pressurizing it to reach the carburetor. This is accomplished in modern gasoline cars by an electronic fuel pump installed inside the tank that pressurizes the fuel in preparation for usage in a fuel injection mechanism.
If there’s an issue with your fuel pump, it’s apparent immediately. Because a faulty fuel pump might leave you stuck, it’s critical to know the indicators of a failed pump and the cost of replacing it.
What Is A Fuel Pump and Its Function?
The fuel pump is responsible for transporting fuel from the car’s gas tank to the engine, which powers the whole vehicle. When the fuel pump fails, either by supplying too much or too little fuel, it will result in various performance difficulties.
Most cars have a manual or automated fuel pump. Specific motorbike models are designed not to need a fuel pump. However, practically each internal combustion engine in a car requires some fuel pump.
What Are the Types of Fuel Pumps?
Your car is likely equipped with one of two different kinds of fuel pumps. Each has a unique role, and it is critical to know how they compare. For instance, when purchasing a new fuel pump, you’ll want to determine if it’s a fuel injection system or a carburetor. Here is further detail on the various classifications and their implications for you.
Mechanical Fuel Pump
Most often, mechanical fuel pumps are paired with carburetor-equipped engines. Before introducing fuel pumps, gravity pushed fuel into the carburetor. Carburetors are no longer widely utilized since they pump fuel at relatively low pressures. They are gradually being phased out over time, with the majority being used only in older vehicles.
Almost no new or current vehicle will utilize this fuel pump since they likely lack a carburetor. Since modern vehicles do not need them, carburetors will someday be totally phased out. Because the mechanical fuel pump pushes the fuel into the carburetor, the efficacy of the fuel supply is reduced. Fuel injection is now considered the most modern option for vehicles.
Mechanical fuel pumps typical issues: diaphragm fuel leaks, a defective spring, vapour trap in the pump, and insufficient fuel pressure.
Electric Fuel Pump
Modern vehicles usually use electronic fuel pumps housed inside their fuel tanks. This pump inflates the fuel lines and pumps fuel into the engine: the greater the pressure, the higher the boiling point of the fuel. Positioning the pump within the fuel tank reduces the number of components that catch fuel fumes from the engine.
Additionally, positioning the electric fuel pumps inside the fuel tank reduces fire risk. Whereas electric components such as the fuel pumps create sparks and combust fuel vapors, liquid fuel can not spontaneously explode. As a result, submerging the pump in a fuel tank is crucial.
By replacing your mechanical pump with an electric fuel pump, you may alleviate stress on the engine’s components and lower the car’s fuel consumption. Correspondingly, fuel supply is monitored more carefully with an electronic control unit (ECU).
You can conserve fuel when the pump runs continually by turning off the engine. However, the essential fuel pressure for a quick start is still available.
Electrical fuel pumps typical issues: wiring problems, defective pressure meter, contamination, and an overheating engine.
Signs and Symptoms Your Fuel Pump is Failing
Here are some common signs and symptoms that your fuel pump fails and needs replacing as soon as possible. Before you spend money and time on a fuel pump replacement that you may not need, rule out these other potential causes below.
While attempting to speed up or accelerate, the engine begins sputtering. Engine sputtering noise is like humming or rumbling from beneath the hood. This occurs when low fuel pressure or a varying quantity of fuel enters the combustion chamber. You may also feel gradual or abnormal acceleration. This is a clue that there’s a problem with the fuel system.
Suppose you notice a buzzing or whining sound coming from the fuel tank. There’s a chance it might be your fuel pump crying for help.
Other possible causes include dirty fuel or an insufficient supply of fuel.
Your vehicle is difficult to start. A car engine requires fuel, air, and a spark at the same time to operate. Your engine will not start without these three things.
Other possible causes are; faulty battery, the car’s shift gear is not in park(P) mode (for automatic cars), starter failure, no spark/combustion, no fuel, the engine vacuum leaks, dirty or clogged fuel filters, or fuel injectors.
A car with a bad fuel pump may suddenly shut itself off while driving or at a complete stop, which is a dangerous warning sign. You may experience a long crank or hard starting as you switch it on to start again.
Other possible causes include:
- Bad spark plugs.
- Dirty fuel filters.
- Engine vacuum leaks.
- MAP sensor or MAF sensor.
- EGR valve failure.
- Poor engine compression.
The car accelerates and decelerates rapidly despite steady force on the accelerator pedal. This surge is visible on the tachometer, continuously changing around 500 RPM and seeming jerky.
Low Gas Mileage
You get fewer miles per gallon of fuel. If the fuel pump’s relief valve does not open at the right moment, your engine will get too much fuel, resulting in decreased fuel economy.
Check Engine Light
On the dashboard, you’ll see a warning light. The check engine light warning may illuminate in response to various engine problems. It is recommended that you examine it to see what error code it is showing.
Causes of Fuel Pump Malfunction
The fuel pump transports fuel from the tank to the engine. A straightforward process that may rapidly become complicated when external factors impair the pump’s effectiveness. The four most often occurring reasons for fuel pump malfunction are as follows:
Corrosion, debris, and moisture jeopardize fuel by introducing visible pollutants into the fuel tank. Occasionally, the tank becomes rusted and accumulates rust fragments. Contaminants inside the fuel tank are pulled into the fuel pump.
The pump’s filter will attempt to remove bigger particles. Sadly, numerous tiny particles slip through and cause most of the harm. Tiny debris penetrates the pump harms the brushes and commutator on the pump’s motor.
Electrical issues frequently occur due to the fuel contamination stated above. As the commutator and brushes deteriorate, the motor requires more current to generate the same pressure. The extra current generated by a damaged pump frequently burns the fuel pump’s connections.
Burnt connectors and harnesses on failing pumps are pretty prevalent. Always thoroughly inspect connections before installing a new fuel pump. Failing to repair a burnt connection will result in a very rapid breakdown of the new pump.
Fuel needs to flow constantly through the fuel pump to lubricate, cleanse, and cool the internal parts. Inadequate fuel flow restricts the pump’s lubrication and cooling. Driving the gas tank low is a common culprit of a bad fuel pump. Keeping the tank full is crucial for late-model cars lacking a fuel pressure return system. Always make sure your car is filled with enough fuel.
As indicated above, the filter prevents silt and other particles from penetrating the fuel line. It serves as the initial line of defense from contaminants. A clogged, dirty filter restricts the proper fuel flow, resulting in several of the signs and symptoms indicated above, such as sputtering, surging, stalling, or hard starting. More significantly, it may have the same effect as fuel starvation.
Nothing, even fuel pumps, is rejuvenated by time. Over time, contaminants and damage will develop. Fuel pumps may begin to jitter around the age of 6 or 8 years or just after 100,000 miles.
Your car’s fuel pump is a very critical component for proper performance. A malfunctioning fuel pump is stressful, especially if you commute a lot or rely heavily on your vehicle.
If your car’s fuel pump fails, you must replace it immediately. Don’t wait for it to deteriorate severely and result in catastrophic damage to other parts of your car’s engine. As usual, get price quotes from several shops in your area about fuel pump replacement costs to ensure you receive the best deal possible.
Can I drive with a bad fuel pump?
Occasionally, yes, you can drive with a damaged fuel pump. However, your vehicle may have difficulty starting and may shut itself off unexpectedly. In other circumstances, your vehicle may not even start. Running a car with a damaged fuel pump may be dangerous to your engine; therefore, I suggest replacing it as soon as possible.
How often should I change my fuel pump?
A standard fuel pump is expected to last 100,000 miles or more. If you maintain your vehicle regularly, an average fuel pump may last up to 200,000 miles. Generally, fuel pumps outlast other automotive components.
Can I DIY a fuel pump replacement?
Compared to other automobile maintenance types, replacing the fuel pump is quite simple for a qualified mechanic. However, replacing the fuel pump yourself is not advisable unless you have prior expertise with automotive components.
How long does it take to replace a fuel pump?
A typical fuel pump repair or replacement takes 1 to 4 hours, based on the mechanic’s experience. Engines vary in size and performance among makes and models, and the time required to complete this service will vary accordingly.
There is no simple accessibility to the top of the gas tank in some vehicles, which houses the fuel pump. As a result, the time required for the repair will be 4 hours or more. Thankfully, most vehicles include an easy access panel, making servicing easier.