Signs of a Failing Fuel System

January 1, 2020 7:36 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

Just about every vehicle you’ll find on the market today with an internal combustion engine will feature a fuel pump. This part brings the fuel from the gas tank to the engine, keeping the pressure regulated to ensure consistent performance on the engine’s part. You can usually hear the fuel pump working as a quiet hum. Most of the time these days, the fuel pump is electric, though some older vehicles or specialty vehicles will still have mechanical fuel pumps.

Like any other part of your vehicle, the fuel pump can wear down over time, necessitating repairs or replacement. So, how do you tell if your fuel system is going bad? Here’s some information from a skilled mechanic in New Palestine, IN:

  • Problems starting the vehicle: If you’re having problems getting the vehicle to start up, this could be a sign of issues with the fuel pump. Fuel pumps constantly run after the ignition is turned on, and over time this regular wear and tear will lead to the fuel pump’s condition deteriorating. A weakened fuel pump could cause the vehicle to take longer to start up, or even require you to turn the key multiple times in the ignition.
  • Whining noises: One of the first signs of problems people tend to notice with the fuel pump is an unusual whining noise. While all fuel pumps make quiet hums, loud whining is definitely not normal. It could just be a sign that you need to fuel up your vehicle, but it could also indicate contaminated fuel in the system, or the pump not being able to operate as reliably and efficiently as it would in better condition.
  • Sputtering engine: Have you noticed your engine starting to sputter, especially when you accelerate to high speeds on the high way? This is a telltale sign of fuel pump issues. It means the fuel pump is failing to provide the engine with the constant stream of fuel it needs at a regulated pressure. You’ll need to go to a mechanic to address the issue as soon as you’re able.
  • Loss of power: If you notice sudden loss of power when the vehicle is under stress, particularly if you’re carrying heavy loads or if you’re driving up steep hills and accelerating, this is a sign that you’re dealing with a worn-out fuel pump. It means the fuel pump in its weakened state is unable to deliver the fuel demands of the engine in those high-stress driving situations.
  • Poor gas mileage: There are a variety of issues that could cause your gas mileage to worsen, and one of those is a failing fuel pump. If it’s paired with any of the other issues mentioned on this list, it’s definitely a sign to pay attention to.
  • Car not starting: Obviously, if your car isn’t starting at all, this is a bad sign, and one that requires professional attention to address. The fuel pump could be at issue if it has failed completely, because it will not be providing any fuel to the engine.

For more information about bad fuel systems and how to resolve them, contact a mechanic in New Palestine, IN today.

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