Fuel pump guide: symptoms and maintenance

This article seeks to discuss the fuel pump of a car for the everyday car owner. We will be addressing what a fuel pump is, its primary function, how it affects a vehicle, what can make it faulty, and the symptoms of a failing fuel pump.

Fuel pump overview

Fuel pump

The fuel pump is an essential part when it comes to fluid transmission in an engine. A fuel pump is an electronic component inserted into the fuel tank that pumps fuel in a particular volume.

The pump's primary function is to transmit fluid, which is fuel, into the injector nozzle. The fuel or gasoline pump comprises the gauge which tells the amount of fuel in your vehicle. The gasoline pump transmits fluid to the combustion chamber.

Thus it is called a pump. It is safe to say that anything that transmits fluid is called a pump, and anything that circulates air is called a compressor. If the pump fails to transfer the expected volume of fluid, your vehicle will not start, and it will be unstable.

Furthermore, there is a very high volume of fluid required in every car for it to be able to open the nozzles. If the required amount does not get into the injector base, it won’t open for fuel to get to the combustion chamber. Gasoline pumps vary in capacity.

A gasoline pump that transmits fluid for a 1.4-liter engine cannot do the same for a 3litre engine. The higher your engine capacity, the higher the pump you should use in your car.It is a very vital component in engine intake.

Your fuel tank should have a gasoline pump with the required capacity for optimal performance. You can get several gasoline pumps, and you can see that in our previous article on the best aftermarket fuel pumps.

How does the fuel pump work?

 fuel pump working mechanism

The gasoline pump is electronically based. It has a motor and a hose linked to it. When you start your vehicle, power moves to the pump, and transmission takes place. The Motor begins to generate and sending fluid out in its capacity.

When the fluid gets filled to its maximum level in the nozzle base, the nozzle pushes it out into the combustion chamber. At this point, intake has occurred, and the vehicle will start moving.

The nozzle sits on the cylinder base. The number of cylinder bases determines the number of the nozzle. If it is a four-cylinder base, four nozzles will be present. If it is an eight-cylinder base, eight nozzles will be in place. Therefore, each nozzle is attached to each cylinder.

The gasoline pump also has a filter that resists any impurity coming in. Some cars have an internal and external filter. For vehicles that have only internal filters, the internal filter does all the resistance of dirt. While for automobiles containing both internal and external filters, both filters work together.

The internal filter prevents dirt from coming into the pump, while the external filter prevents this dirt from affecting the fuel nozzle after pumping the fuel.

Be aware that if any of your filters are blocked, it puts more load on the gasoline pump, and this causes damage to the fuel pump. We will talk more about this in the course of this article.

What are the signs and symptoms of a bad gasoline pump?

 Bad gasoline pump symptoms
  • Poor acceleration:

When you try to accelerate your vehicle, the vehicle will not respond. It will be shooting. The exhaust will send out information that you’re having incomplete combustion.

Also, it will send out information that the fuel is insufficient or the pressure of the gasoline cannot open the fuel nozzle. When the fuel nozzle cannot open, intake will not occur, and the combustion chamber will not have enough fuel to perform its functions.

  • Reduced car speed:

When driving your vehicle, and you notice your speed level decreasing rather than increasing, it shows that your car’s fuel pump is getting weak. Your gasoline pump is no longer sending enough fluid to enable your automobile to move effectively. This scenario usually occurs when you are driving at high speed. The force causes the elements in the gasoline pump to heat up, and your car will not move effectively.

Can you drive with a bad fuel pump?

When the gasoline pump is not completely bad, you can drive your vehicle with it. At this point, you will be experiencing a reduced car speed. We advise that when you notice this fault, you should get your car fixed.

How often should you change your fuel filter?

Every car has an internal filter, but not every vehicle has an external filter. For instance, Peugeot has an internal and external filter. Ford Ranger has an internal and external filter. Ford escape has only an internal filter, Toyota has both, Lexus has only an internal filter. We advise that you should change the filters every three months.

How do you check the gasoline pump?

 Replacing a fuel pump

The gasoline pump is quite tedious to check if you’re not a car expert. The process of examining the gasoline pump is usually long. One thing you can do is to observe the performance of your car. Once you start noticing decelerations, there is a problem with your fuel pump.

Can a car start without a Fuel pump?

No, your car cannot start without a gasoline pump, and it will surely not accelerate.

Will a bad fuel pump throw a code?

Using a diagnostic tool to check a bad a fuel pump

Only a few cars throw a code to show a bad gasoline pump. It will indicate low compressions when you use a diagnostic tool.

What causes the fuel pump to go bad?

  • A blocked filter

The gasoline pump has both internal and external filters. The function of the filter is to separate any impurity or unwanted elements from going directly into the pump. In the process of filtering the unwanted elements, they accumulate and obstruct the flow of the fluid.

Hence, your filter becomes blocked. A blocked filter causes a lot of pressure to be put on the fuel pump to push fluid to the nozzles. Furthermore, when the pressure on the pump becomes too much, it shuts down. You should read our article on low fuel pressure symptoms.

  • Failure of the electronic elements in the fuel pump

When the electronic components in the gasoline pump break down, the fuel pump will also shut down. If there is a short circuit, then your pump will malfunction.

Can using a Bad fuel affect a fuel pump?

Yes, using Bad fuel can affect your fuel pump. It puts pressure on your gasoline pump and affects its element resistance. For instance, when unwanted elements get into the fuel tank, like water, it forces the gasoline pump to push out those unwanted elements. This force puts a lot of pressure on the gasoline pump, and in addition to inferior fuel, the gasoline pump will shut down.

Can you start your car with a bad gasoline pump?

You cannot start your car when the gasoline pump is faulty or damaged. You have to replace the gasoline pump.

How do you know you need a new fuel pump?

To know when the gasoline pump has stopped completely, you can carry out some manual tests. You can send some fuel directly through the injector head. You do this because the gas pump cannot transmit gasoline in volume to the nozzle.

Also, the nozzle has no fuel to move to the combustion chamber. Once the gasoline gets into the injector and the car starts and shuts down again, you know the fuel pump is completely damaged.

Fuel pump FAQs

Can the fuel pump be repaired, or must it be changed?

You cannot repair the gasoline pump; you can only replace the motors inside the gasoline pump.

Can a faulty gasoline pump affect the engine?

No, when your gasoline pump is faulty, it doesn’t affect your car’s engine. It only reduces the momentum or speed of your automobile. Once your gasoline pump is changed, your engine will start functioning very well.

What can you do in an emergency if your gasoline pump goes bad?

When driving and you notice your vehicle’s speed keeps reducing, it indicates that the fuel pump is bad. At this point, maintain a low momentum or speed. Get your car to a decent technician to fix up your gas pump.

Can the gasoline pump have electrical issues?

Yes, the gasoline pump can have electrical issues. There are electrical components that enable it to transmit power.

Conclusion and final words from the expert

You must monitor the movement of your car. Anytime you start your vehicle, and it takes a long time to respond, it is a sign that your gas pump is getting bad.

Recall that the nozzle has a required volume of fluid that must come in to enable it open. Only then can it send fuel into the combustion chamber. When you start your car, and it doesn’t respond well, it means maximum gasoline is not getting into the nozzle.

When moving and your speed is reducing, your fuel pump is faulty. You can open up it and clean the filters if there is any dirt. After cleaning up the filters and your vehicle does not function optimally, it is best to change it.

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