If you want to keep your vehicle in good working order, it’s crucial that you replace parts when they start to wear out, as they can have a domino effect that may cause serious damage later on down the line. This is especially true with the engine components, specifically your fuel pump. If your fuel pump fails, you could have many more engine problems on your hands that will be incredibly costly.
Knowing how long a fuel pump lasts and the signs that it is failing can help you stay on top of your engine’s mechanical health. And by understanding the function of the fuel pump and when you can expect to replace it, you can avoid the problems that a failing pump can cause and save yourself a lot of money on repairs.
What Does a Fuel Pump Do?
As a car’s gas tank is usually located far from the engine, the fuel needs to be moved into the engine compartment using a pump. Generally, the fuel pump will either be under the hood if it is operated mechanically using the engine or may even be inside the fuel tank if it uses electricity to run. Either way, it is an essential component when it comes to running your engine.
In modern vehicles, the fuel pump will almost always be located inside the fuel tank. This pump will pull gas from the tank and into the fuel injectors on the engine. When the fuel pump fails, you may notice issues with the engine, or the car may feel different than what you are used to.
How Long Does a Fuel Pump Usually Last?
For the most part, you can count on your fuel pump lasting around 100,000 miles before it needs to be replaced. This number may change, though, depending on the circumstances and what kinds of conditions you drive in. But, even if you don’t drive very often, a few things can cut the life of your fuel pump short.
One of the most common reasons a fuel pump fails early is contamination. If you buy gas that is not high-quality or if dirt and debris get in your gas tank, you could end up with a failing fuel pump well before 100,000 miles. A rusty gas tank can also send particles of metal into the pump, which will damage the gears and cause it to fail.
Signs Your Fuel Pump is Failing
Aside from the odometer, there are several ways to determine if your fuel pump is failing. And while there are many reasons why some of these symptoms may present themselves, the fuel pump is a good place to start. Catching issues with the pump early will prevent other serious issues with your engine or transmission that could be much more expensive to get fixed later on.
Rough Engine at High Speeds
One of the most surefire ways to tell that you need a new fuel pump is to listen to the engine at highway speeds. If it sounds like the engine is running rough, this could mean that it isn’t getting the fuel it needs to generate combustion when the pistons are running fast. This can also mean that you have issues with the spark plugs, but the fuel pump is likely the culprit for this symptom.
Overheating is a common symptom of all kinds of engine issues. For the most part, though, overheating will result in the radiator cap popping and boiling over. If the overheating is from the fuel pump failing and getting too hot, there is no failsafe, and it will keep getting hotter. This is much more dangerous and can cause serious damage to the engine, like warping and melting. If your car is overheating without boiling over, it may be time to replace your fuel pump.
Intermittent power loss is one of the most common signs that you have a bad fuel pump. Losing power due to a bad pump usually happens when the fuel can’t get to the engine. If you have been driving up a hill and had the engine shut down, this is a surefire sign that it is a pump issue. You may also have trouble starting the car when it has been sitting on a slanted driveway overnight.
Decreased Fuel Efficiency
If your fuel pump is not regulating the flow of gasoline properly, it can end up pushing too much into the fuel injection. This will make your vehicle burn gas faster, leading to lower fuel efficiency. It is a good idea to keep track of the gas mileage you usually get to keep an eye on how your vehicle is performing. If you notice that you are burning through gasoline faster than usual, it may be time to replace your fuel pump.
When a fuel pump dies completely, it will not push any fuel into the engine, which will more or less make your vehicle unusable. So if your engine won’t turn over at all, check all the electrical components and make sure the battery is in good shape. If everything looks good on that end, your fuel pump is a good place to look next.
Protect Your Car With an Extended Warranty
Even though it only needs to be replaced once every 100,000 miles, your car’s fuel pump is a relatively expensive component. An extended warranty is a great option if you want to protect yourself from costly repairs and keep your vehicle running smoothly. With the right vehicle protection plan, you can get the help you need to get your car back on the road if your fuel pump fails. Plus, you can get all kinds of benefits and extra perks that will help keep you safe and secure whenever you get behind the wheel. Explore our extended warranty provider reviews and buying guide to find out which extended warranty will work best for you and your vehicle.