Q:

How can you tell if a fuel pump is going bad?

A:

Quick Answer

If a fuel pump is going bad, it will not be able to provide enough fuel to the vehicle under extreme circumstances. By pushing the vehicle into these extreme circumstances and monitoring how the vehicle reacts, you can get an idea whether the fuel pump is still working well.

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How can you tell if a fuel pump is going bad?
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Full Answer

  1. Start the vehicle

    Listen carefully to the engine to listen for the sound of the fuel pump engaging. The pump generally makes a whirring sound, and some electric pumps make a clicking noise. If the sound is not present or is different than it has always been, have the fuel pump checked. If the vehicle will not start at all, it might be a fuel pump problem. Check it out along with other more common causes of failed starts.

  2. Drive the vehicle

    Listen to the vehicle to see if there are any problems with the engine. If it sputters or stalls, the fuel pump might not be providing fuel consistently. Although there are other causes for sputtering and stalling, have the fuel pump checked too.

  3. Accelerate the vehicle

    Push the vehicle to accelerate rapidly. If the engine is not getting enough fuel, the acceleration might not be smooth or the acceleration might be slower than usual. This is a sign the fuel pump could be failing.

  4. Drive up a steep hill

    Driving the vehicle up a steep hill is another time where the fuel pump is under strain. If the vehicle stalls, slows or shuts down completely, this is a sign the fuel pump might be unable to handle this extreme condition and is starting to fail.

  5. Use a fuel pressure gauge

    Have the fuel pump checked with a fuel pressure gauge. This is a definite method to determine if the fuel pump is having problems before it fails completely.

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