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How Can I Tell if My Car’s Fuel Pump Is Bad?

The fuel pump in your car, truck, or utility vehicle is responsible for taking the fuel from the gas tank and pushing it through to the engine. If the fuel pump is dying or dead, your engine will be starved of gasoline and you will notice many of the problems listed below. There is also a possibility that the fuel pump can get stuck in the open position, which AutoFix will explain further below.

Dead Engine

If your fuel pump is clogged or has died completely, you won’t be able to get your automobile started. This is because the engine is not receiving any fuel from the tank. As we said above, it is the fuel pump that transfers the fuel from the tank to the engine. If the fuel pump is malfunctioning, there’s a strong possibility that your engine is completely fuel-starved.

Engine Sputters/Power Loss

A fuel-starved engine will sputter and lose power. You will notice the engine performance issues when you press down on the accelerator and as you are driving along. This is definitely an indication that there is a fuel delivery problem, and that problem could be caused by a dying fuel pump. You may also have issues with your fuel lines or fuel injectors.

Engine Surges/Bucking

As we said above, the fuel pump can also get stuck in the open position and send too much fuel to the engine. If this happens, your engine will surge and buck as it burns away the excess fuel. Depending on how much fuel the engine is burning away, you may also end up with black exhaust smoke coming out of your tailpipe. This is definitely a sign of a fuel system problem.

Fuel Economy Loss

Whether the engine isn’t getting enough fuel or too much fuel, a malfunctioning fuel pump can definitely cause a reduction in your fuel economy. If you keep track of your mileage between fill-ups, you may see that you are slowly getting fewer miles per gallon each time. This is because the engine is burning away fuel at higher rates because the fuel pump is not delivering a consistent stream of fuel.

Overheating Engine

Finally, if your engine is overheating yet everything seems fine with the cooling system, it could be the fuel pump. As the gasoline or diesel fuel flows through the pump, it cools down the motor. If the fuel pump is not drawing enough fuel out of the tank to keep the motor cool, it will overheat and, consequently, your engine will overheat.

AutoFix in Franklin, TN, can help. Call us today to schedule an appointment for a fuel pump inspection.

Photo by blacklionder from Getty Images via Canva Pro
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