Electric gasoline pump: what it is for and maintenance

Electric gasoline pump - The electric gasoline pump is an element of great importance in our vehicles. It appears for the first time in the 80s, when electronic injection systems arrived. Since then it is equipped in most cars and will have a primary function. It is responsible for pumping the fuel that is in the tank to the injectors, so that it is then sprayed by them and mixed with the air.

Formerly gasoline pumps were mechanical , since there were no electrical components in the engines. In these, a mechanical component was necessary, usually a camshaft or a special shaft that were driven by the crankshaft. The other end of the lever was attached to a diaphragm that made the suction necessary to push the fuel. After this review, we will get to know the electric pumps thoroughly.

Electric gasoline pump operation

The electric gasoline pump, like the mechanical one, also has a diaphragm arrangement . The main difference is that instead of being operated by a camshaft it will be an electromagnetic switch (solenoid) that exerts that pull. The solenoid attracts an iron rod and pushes the diaphragm down causing fuel to enter the chamber.

When it reaches the end of the path of the iron rod, the electromagnet current breaks and the pull on the diaphragm ceases . Then it rises by the action of a return spring and at the same time moves the rod away from the contacts that close. This causes the solenoid to push the rod and diaphragm down again.

Features of the electric gasoline pump

Electric fuel pumps normally operate with a voltage of 12 V . They are usually installed inside or near the fuel tank . The mechanical pumps were installed in the engine, since they had to mix with the air in the carburetor. One of the main advantages of electric fuel pumps will be their small size and lightness .

Also its efficiency, well above the mechanics. An electric gasoline pump is capable of generating work at a pressure of between 3 and 4.5 bars . The mechanics did not reach a pressure bar. They are safer, since the Electronic Control Unit (ECU) controls the energy of electric pumps. They will also have the advantage of not overheating because they are inside the tank.

Possible failures in the electric gasoline pump

Regardless of the quality of our gasoline pump, its service life will be affected by a number of components. The use of gasoline with foreign particles, rust or improper use of alcohol or methanol will shorten its duration. Maintenance also plays an important role , so gasoline filters should be changed when appropriate to prevent clogging.

We leave you a series of tips to extend the life of the electric gasoline pump:
  • Let there always be gasoline in the tank. Do not rely on the level indicator of our instrument panel, as it may give an erroneous reading.
  • To check the operation of the pump, give the starter switch without starting the engine. Then you will hear the hum of the pump running for about two seconds, which is what it takes to pressurize the fuel system so that it is ready.
  • If you cannot hear the hum, check if 12 V is reaching the power supply wiring of the pump.
  • If there is no reading of the voltage required by the pump, check the circuit until you find where the current flow is interrupted. It may be due to damaged cables, poor contact or sulfation of the connections.
  • If there is a voltage reading, measure the continuity of the electric motor at the pump terminals with an ohmmeter. In case the resistance reading is high or infinite, the pump is damaged.
  • When replacing a damaged electric gasoline pump it will be important to clean the tank and the fuel lines. You must also take safety precautions to avoid any type of accident, for this it is best to follow the manufacturer's instructions.
  • Before installing the new pump in the tank, it is advisable to check its operation.

To finish this review of the electric gasoline pump we want to emphasize one of the tips . Although it is the simplest, it is of great importance that we do not circulate continuously with the car in reserve . As the pump is housed in the tank if it is empty there will be no fuel to cool the pump . This could lead to overheating and a possible breakdown, which would lead to other failures in the injection system.