Symptoms Of A Bad Or Failing Fuel Pump

The fuel pump is the heart of your modern speedy beast connected to the combustion engine. The combustion chambers wouldn’t be able to drive fuel through the series of hoses without this pumping device if you have been driving your car for a while, so it wouldn’t be a problem for you to pick some signs of a bad fuel pump. This will help you decide your next step. If you are new with automobiles so here are the signs indicating you about failing fuel pump you should look for.

Inspecting The Bad Fuel Pump Closely

The fuel pump does the job of delivering fuel from the gas tank to the engine on the required pressure as per the performance needs. When the engine is turned on, the fuel pumps become activated, filling up with the pressure that you can hear as your car hump. These fuel pumps are electrically operated; however, you can still find inline or mechanical-style fuel pumps in some vehicles.

Different challenges came along the invention of automobiles for engineers. The major challenge among every new step was to drive the fuel from its storage tank right into the engine for combustion. The first fuel pump ever invented was designed on the basis of a carburetor. These pumps didn’t require power to work as the work is done with the help of gravity. With technological advancements and the latest car designs, the position of the fuel tank was shifted to the rear end for safety purposes. Necessity is the mother of the invention, which resulted in the manufacturing of a mechanical fuel pump. We are alive in the 20th century with the latest technology of electronic fuel injection systems working an innovative fuel pump technology. It works ideally with the fuel pump regulator to deliver fuel with better efficiency.

8 Bad Fuel Pump Symptoms And Signs

Any issue within the fuel pump can lead you to major performance problems as it is responsible for supplying the engine. Symptoms of bad fuel pumps are common in every vehicle, and it will manifest in the same way.

1. Sputtering Engine

If your vehicle engine is sputtering, then it’s a bad fuel pump 99% of the time. If you are not hard on the accelerator, then the pump would still deliver enough fuel to the engine, but you will experience moments of performance drops. However, driving at high speed will shift your case directly to engine sputtering. To be sure, the solution is simple.

Take your car for a test drive at high speed and notice if it sputters. Once you spot it, reduce your speed to normal. If the sputtering disappears, then it is a sign indicating the proper fuel delivery to the engine when it’s not overworked.

2. Your Engine Doesn’t Start On One Go

The function of the fuel pump makes it vulnerable to regular wear and tear, which in turn results in its compromised ability to deliver fuel. It would still pump fuel for sure but without building the right pressure required for complete combustion. As you turn the engine on in the morning, the fuel will move to the combustion chamber, but it will not initiate the process.

3. When Humming Of The Gas Tank Turns Into Whining

The earliest symptom that you can notice for a bad fuel pump is the whining gas tank. It’s not easier to distinguish between the sound coming from the engine or fuel tank. You will hear a clicking sound once you start your engine, and the sound will lower down as you drive. This is a healthy fuel pump.

In case your fuel tank makes a loud grumbling sound, then this a sign of a failing fuel pump. There can be plenty of reasons behind it, such as contaminated fuel or a low amount of fuel. To find the real cause, you need to get it checked.

4. The Engine Could Work Under Stress

While you drive your vehicle through a slope, tow a heavy load, or driving on a rainy day, the engine needs to work harder to get you moving. The engine needs more power with increased fuel to overcome the resistance to increase the speed and move. If the pump is working fine, you wouldn’t have a problem.

However, if you find reduced power while driving in these conditions, then this is a sign of the presence of a bad fuel pump. The time your car will require more power is when this sign would become evident; otherwise, you can drive in normal condition without any issue. The pump wouldn’t deliver the required amount of gas to fuel up the engine for performing the vigorous task, and you will feel that the engine is having a lazy day.

5. High-Temperature Stalling

There are numerous reasons behind a stopping engine. Water in fuel, a clogged fuel injector, the problem with the camshaft, failing mass airflow sensor, faulty ignition coil, anything from the listed reasons can cause your engine to stall. However, the most common reason behind a stalling engine at high temperatures is a bad fuel pump.  

The time your car engine has a bad fuel pump and has to work under stress, a bad fuel pump doesn’t deliver enough fuel to it to get the job done, so it tries to work harder, and this results in operating raised temperature ending in a stalling engine.

6. Surging

As we have discussed before that driving on a normal speed would cause no sign with a bad fuel pump, but what if all of a sudden you feel a surge in the engine? Your car will accelerate without pushing the gas pedal completely out of your control. This car surge is usually associated with a bad fuel pump.

The unbalanced resistance within the pump makes your car to do so. The pump work on consistent pressure phenomena to deliver the right amount of fuel. The change in resistance increases the amount of fuel delivered to the engine, which results in engine rev up and surging.

7. Low Fuel Economy

A low fuel economy is not necessarily an assign of a bad fuel pump. It is actually associated with a defective relief valve in the fuel pump. In case the valve doesn’t open completely while delivering the fuel. It will hinder the continuous flow of fuel to the engine. The engine operates on an adequate amount of fuel, and excessive fuel wouldn’t help the engine to work more efficiently. The left-behind fuel is not consumed at all and is present there as a waste.

On the other hand, a failing thermostat, inaccurate coolant sensor, sluggish oxygen sensors, worn spark plugs, and leaking EGR valve are some other potential causes of low fuel economy. Drive your car to the nearest mechanic to get it checked for the actual reason.

8. Car Fails To Start At All

It’s the bad fuel pump mostly when you are unable to start your engine. However, it doesn’t strike the first time in your mind if this happens. Most of us check if the battery is dead or other alternatives to fix. In the end, all of us are sitting with a stationary car, but it’s important to rule out every possibility of a failing fuel pump. Try to check the fuel pump. If it is already blown, then replace it with a new fuel pump. Checking fuel pressure in the fuel line is also a smart move.

In Conclusion

Fuel pumps are generally built upon long-lasting material to last, but upon reaching the highest mileage, your fuel pump will require replacement. However, if your car hasn’t reached a certain mileage and still showing some of those above-listed signs, then don’t cross off the fuel pump from your list. Take your vehicle to a professional technician to inspected and get it replaced.