If you’ve got a bad fuel pump, your car, truck, or SUV’s engine is either not getting enough gas or getting too much gas. Things that can go wrong with the fuel pump include clogs, overheating, and total failure. Fuel pumps generally last between 100,000 and 200,000 miles, so if you drive a high-mileage vehicle, Delhatt Automotive recommends you watch out for the following signs of fuel pump trouble.
1. Sputtering Engine
This is a sign that your engine is not getting enough fuel. The fuel pump is clogged in a nearly closed position, and the engine will sputter as you pick up speed because it needs extra fuel to go faster. You might feel the engine sputter and pick up a little bit and then sputter more.
2. Stress Power Loss
Your vehicle will also struggle when it’s under added stress, such as when you tow things, if the fuel pump is not pushing enough gasoline through to the engine. You might also notice your automobile slow down significantly when you begin to drive up a steep incline.
3. Power Surges
If the fuel pump is clogged in the open position, you might experience the opposite effect. The more gas that flows into the engine the more power the engine can generate. You might feel your vehicle surge – go faster – even though you didn’t do anything to increase your speed.
4. Reduced Fuel Economy
Any of the above can kill your fuel economy. If the engine is struggling to produce the speeds you want it to, it will burn through gas in an effort to compensate for the power loss. If the pump is funneling too much gasoline into the engine, it will burn off the excess fuel.
5. Reduced Fuel Pressure
Another sign you’ve got a pump problem is a reduction in your fuel pressure. You can test your fuel pressure with a gauge that you can purchase online or at the auto store. Your owner’s manual will list what your vehicle’s fuel pressure should be. Use that number when you test it.
6. Overheating Engine
The fuel pump has nothing to do with the cooling system but it can still overheat your engine. If the pump motor is dying, it will overheat as it struggles to work. The heat has nowhere to go, so it permeates the engine and increases its overall temperature.
7. Dead Engine
Finally, the fuel pump can prevent your engine from starting. If it’s clogged in the closed position, you won’t get any gasoline flowing into the engine to start it. If it’s clogged in the open position, it could flood the engine, and you won’t be able to get it started.