The fuel pump, the heart of a vehicle’s fuel delivery system, is a crucial component that enables proper functioning of a vehicle’s engine. A faulty fuel pump not only starves the engine of fuel but also damages various components of the fuel delivery system. Identifying and replacing as soon as it gets damaged is thus very essential.
How to identify
Fuel pump is a crucial component that pumps fuel from the fuel tank to the engine. Unless it functions properly, the engine cannot get enough fuel for combustion. Thus, even a minor problem can result in a major issue. Here are some signs of a faulty fuel pump.
• Starting trouble – The immediate sign is starting trouble. The car will crank, but the engine will not start. Even if it starts, it will stop after some distance. It acts as if there is no fuel in the tank.
• Strange sounds – You will hear strange whining sounds from the pump when you try to start the vehicle.
• Engine stalling – You may also experience frequent engine stalling. It gets heated very fast and leads to frequent breakdowns.
• Engine misfires – Frequent engine misfires at higher speeds and sluggish performance when climbing hills are two more signs of a failing or non-functional fuel pump. Misfires may happen due to the insufficient supply of the fuel to the engine.
The same signs are associated with some other engine related problems. So it is better to cross check before getting it replaced.
Low or no gas in the fuel tank may cause the same signs as there will be no enough fuel. So, check if there is enough gas in the tank and then restart your vehicle. If you still experience the above signs you may suspect it.
The other way to confirm the failure is to listen for the sound once you start your vehicle. Insert the key and turn it to second position. In this position the engine will not start. But it should produce a soft sound from the fuel cabinet. This sound is from the electric fuel pump as it gets ready to draw and pump the fuel. If you don’t hear this sound, you can doubt it.
Once you are sure that your fuel pump is dead or malfunctioning, it is better to replace it immediately. But while doing-it-yourself, you need to take care of few things. Here they are:
• Do it in a well-ventilated area – Safety is very important while replacing any automobile component. Make sure that you are replacing it in an open area which is well-ventilated. Also have a fire extinguisher in reach; it will help you in case of emergency.
• Make sure the pressure is removed – To support electronic fuel injection, electric fuel pumps deliver fuel at higher pressures; the fuel is highly pressurized to produce high power. Even when the engine is turned off, there will be some pressure in the pump. You need to make sure that the pressure is removed before replacing it. You can do it by pulling off its fuse. Make sure that the engine is off when you are doing it.
Also disconnect the negative terminal of the battery to avoid sparks while removing the entire fuel pump system from the fuel engine.
• Carefully remove and install – In general there are two fuel pumps – one on the fuel tank and other between the fuel lines which are beneath the car. So, you need to remove both of them separately. Carefully remove all the bolts before removing it. Once you remove them, disconnect the fuel lines and block them properly to avoid gas leakage. Now install the new one and connect the fuel lines again. Once the installation is done start the engine and make sure that there are no leaks.