Help customers understand the signs of fuel pump failure

Fuel pump failures are never a one-size-fits-all diagnosis.

Different symptoms indicate different problems, and often the pump will still work, albeit erratically, when it fails. Explaining this to customers is not always easy, especially since many of them may not be aware that the fuel pump has more than one function.

Shop owners and technicians can help customers understand the function of the pump itself and the signs of failure to watch for.

Help customers know the signs of a bad fuel pump

Like any wearing part on any vehicle, fuel pumps will show indications if they experience problems during their useful life.

The primary function of the fuel pump is to move fuel from the fuel tank to the engine, but if it contains a built-in regulator (a feature not found on all fuel pumps), then it also regulates fuel pressure, which it may appear to mask the problem. severity of certain faults. In any case, there are some common signs of fuel pump problems that customers should be aware of:

Weak or difficult engine starting – Many things can contribute to poor or slow starting, and a drop in fuel pressure is certainly one of them. This will rob the engine of the fuel it needs to start smoothly, or at all.

engine sputtering – Another telltale sign of low fuel pressure. If the engine starts normally and runs fine at lower speeds, but sputters or stalls at higher speeds, such as when driving on the highway, the culprit could be a faulty fuel pump.

revved up engine – Inconsistent fuel transfer indicates a faulty pump. If the fuel pump sends too much fuel to the engine, drivers will experience uncontrolled spikes in acceleration and RPM. Insufficient fuel can cause the engine to stall.

Some common causes of fuel pump failure

Simply pointing out obvious signs of fuel pump problems to store visitors isn’t always enough. It is useful to correlate them with their causes; this is something customers will appreciate.

Both corrosion and contamination contribute to fuel pump malfunctions. If the fuel tank contains too much moisture, caused by water forming inside the tank and separating from the fuel in its own hazardous layer, then the fuel pump is subject to rust and corrosion as oxides form on the sensors. of the bomb.

Another source of failure comes from accelerated wear from inadequate lubrication and overheating. Since the fuel pump on most vehicles is in the fuel tank, the fuel in the tank prevents the pump from getting too hot or running dry. If the customer spends a lot of time driving near “E”, which is more often than not at today’s fuel prices, then the risk of the pump running hot or under-lubricated becomes apparent.

Contaminated fuel is another common cause of fuel pump failure, which can be difficult to detect or prevent.

This can happen if the customer buys “bad” fuel that has been sitting around too long or if the service station’s fuel pump filters don’t trap enough contaminants like rust or other harmful particles that may be present in the storage tanks. of the station. If such particles enter the vehicle’s fuel tank, they can clog the fuel filter, damage the fuel pump’s sensors, and put additional pressure on the pump itself.

How Customers Can Maximize Fuel Pump Efficiency

Some customers just want to know if the part needs to be replaced or not. But depending on your vehicle and your driving habits, there are a few ways to help them get the most out of your existing fuel pump, even if it’s starting to fail. Here are some tips you can give them:

– Use fuel stabilizer if the car is sitting for long periods of time, such as a vehicle that is only driven in certain seasons. This will help prevent the fuel from going bad.

– Do not regularly drive in “E”. Keep the gas tank at least ¼ full to keep the fuel pump cool and lubricated.

– Do not ignore O2 sensor warnings. If the O2 sensor is bad, it will indicate inaccurate oxygen levels which can unnecessarily stress the fuel pump, causing it to wear out faster.

Carter Engineered Quality® Fuel Pumps They are designed to meet or exceed all original equipment specifications and are designed to function properly. Every Carter® fuel pump is 100% factory tested and specifically designed to meet the high demands for efficient fuel delivery for today’s advanced engines.

Since 1909, Carter® has been an industry leader and premier manufacturer of fuel pumps, water pumps, assemblies and accessories, with warranties available for added peace of mind. See the full line of products at

This article is sponsored by: Carter fuel systems

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