As its name suggests, the fuel pump is responsible for pulling the fuel out of the gas tank and pumping it into the engine. The fuel is then used to produce engine combustion. Mueller’s Auto advises that a fuel pump usually lasts about 100,000 miles, after which it can start to go bad and cause the following engine problems in your car, truck, or C/SUV.
The Engine Is Overheating
If you drive on empty a lot, you may cause your engine to overheat because the fuel pump is overheating. If your fuel pump is going bad, it can also overheat. Diesel fuel and gasoline work as fuel pump motor coolants as they flow over the pump. A dying fuel pump or empty tank may not draw enough gasoline to cool the motor and this will cause your engine to overheat.
The Engine Is Sputtering
If the fuel pump is not drawing enough fuel out of the tank to pump through to the engine, your engine will become fuel-starved. This will cause the engine to sputter not only when you accelerate but also while you drive. Simply put, the engine is sputtering because it isn’t getting enough fuel.
The Engine Surges
Sometimes, the opposite happens. A bad fuel pump can get stuck in the open position and you will have constant fuel flowing into the engine. This will cause your engine to surge while you drive. This can be scary because the engine will pick up speed by itself.
The Fuel Pressure Is Low
Switching back to too little fuel, one way to see if your fuel pump is dying is to check the fuel pressure it is generating. You can purchase a pressure gauge from an auto parts store and test your fuel pressure yourself. If the numbers are not within the recommended fuel pressure in your owner’s manual, you likely have a dying fuel pump.
You Can’t Start Your Car
If the fuel pump has died completely, you won’t be able to get your car started. This is because the fuel pump is not pumping fuel through to the engine. Unfortunately, until you replace the fuel pump, you’ll have a dead engine.
You’re Getting Poor Gas Mileage
Whether the fuel pump is pushing too much or too little fuel through to the engine, your gas mileage will tank, no pun intended, if the fuel pump is going bad.
You’ve Got Power Loss
Finally, a bad fuel pump can make your vehicle lose power when it is under stress. Specifically, your vehicle may lose power if you are towing something or going up a steep hill.
Mueller’s Auto in Pueblo, CO, can help. We can check your fuel pump and replacement if it needs it.