Fuel Pump: What Happens if It Breaks?

There are many elements that make our car work properly every day, and there are also many unknown parts for most. Are you one of those who understands what is fair about mechanics?

You may not know many terms, that's why we periodically tell you some ins and outs of car mechanics.

In this way, when it comes to attending the workshop with your car, you will learn more concepts and you will not get lost in technicalities, don't you think?

Today, we talk about the fuel pump, its function and importance in the operation of our car.

What is the fuel pump?

The fuel pump (or gasoline pump) is the part in charge of making the injection system constantly receive fuel through the injector rails that through suction extract the liquid from the tank.

These parts are usually electric pumps that are installed inside or around the fuel tank. The fuel pump usually operates at a voltage of 12 V and is actuated through the pump relay.

Fuel pump types

There are three types of fuel pump that we detail below:

  1. Mechanical : used in carbureted cars and mounted directly on the engine. These were the most used in the last decades.
  2. Electric : currently they are the most used. They are used in cars with an injection system and are usually placed inside the tank. They differ from the mechanical ones because the electrical ones work at a higher pressure.
  3. Turbines : in these, the engine turns a turbine disk that carries the fuel through the pump over a turbine pump. These types of parts are quieter and more efficient but are more easily damaged if the fuel is contaminated, this is the main reason why they are not used as often.

It should be noted that the electric ones are the safest since they incorporate devices that allow the pump to stop operating in case the car does not work correctly. In addition, being located in the car's tank, the risk of fire is considerably reduced.

What happens if the fuel pump fails?

The fuel pump can break down mainly if the car is not properly maintained. The main function of this part is to create a positive pressure in the fuel lines to push the gasoline to the engine, so if there is not enough pressure the engine idle is unstable and will cause it to stop frequently. Therefore, if the fuel pump is in bad condition, there will be no gasoline pressure and, therefore, the engine will not start.

So if your fuel pump fails you will notice it in the following aspects:

  • The car does not start, as we have mentioned before.
  • Failures at idle and acceleration, this may be due to excess dirt in the fuel filter which will prevent the pump from maintaining the necessary pressure.
  • The car starts sporadically, which may be due to electrical faults that cause not enough voltage to be supplied for the pump to work.
  • Engine malfunctions, you will hear intermittent noises while driving.

Does circulating in reserve affect the car?

The answer is clear: yes. Riding in reserve is very damaging to the gasoline pump since being inside the tank it receives its cooling through the liquid itself, so using the car regularly with little fuel could lead to overheating of the pump.

Now that you know the risks and breakdowns that can occur if the fuel pump is in poor condition, what are you waiting for to make an appointment for the maintenance of your car?