A fuel pump is part of your car’s engine responsible for transferring liquid from the tank carrying fuel to the fuel injector or carburetor connected to the engine’s internal combustion.
In other words, the function of a fuel pump is to convey the needed amount of fuel from the tank at the necessary pressure to the engine.
Generally, two types of fuel pumps can be used in your car, a mechanical fuel pump and an electric fuel pump. Although they have a common purpose, they differ in terms of features and operation.
For instance, the mechanical fuel pump is common in old cars and some V-engines; it functions under the eccentric control of the engine’s camshaft. It is usually mounted on either side of the cylinder block for easy control by the distributor shaft.
Unlike a mechanical fuel pump, an electric fuel pump contains a cover, electrical motor, and pump section alongside other parts. As the name suggests ‘electrical’, it needs a source of electrical power to pump the liquid.
The cover part contains a hydraulic outlet, check valve, and electrical connections. Other parts of the cover include interference suppression elements and carbon brushes to drive the electric motor.
Once the cover electrical connections get the required electricity supply, it will operate the motor, which in turn makes the fuel pump work.
But what sends power to the fuel pump? An electrical fuel pump is usually connected to an electrical motor system that receives electrical current from a fuel pump relay (a system like an automotive fuse). Once the current is directed to the electric fuel pump, the pump pressurizes the fuel in the tank injection resulting in a flow of the liquid.
When you insert the key to start your car, it takes about three seconds for the Powertrain Control Module(PCM) to switch on the fuel pump relay. That’s why it is so easy for you to start the car and press the gas pedal and go with no waste of time.
Why the fuel pump isn’t getting power?
At some point, your car may get some trouble in starting and when running simply because your car’s fuel pump is unable to draw gas from the tank to the ignition point of the engine.
When you inspect it, you may realize the big issue is the failure to get power responsible for activating the motor pump. There are several causes why the fuel pump is not getting power.
These include faulty or broken wires(connectors), bad ECU or PCM systems, a bad fuel pump relay, or a blown fuse. If such issues are with your car’s fuel pump, the electric motor won’t function to drive the fuel pump.
Solutions to why the fuel pump isn’t getting power
If you have noticed the issue with your fuel pump is not getting power, don’t even panic; it can return to its normal functioning.
1. Fix broken wires
These may have broken as a result of being too old or worn out. If they are broken, they can’t connect the electrical current to the destination. Therefore, consider replacing them with new ones.
2. Replace the bad fuel pump relay
With a bad fuel pump relay, your fuel pump won’t pick gas as needed, and your car will experience low performance in terms of acceleration or when starting. The best way you can get out of such troubles is to replace the bad fuel pump relay with the new one.
3. Replace the blown fuse
A blown fuse can’t conduct electrical current no matter what, and therefore, the best option is to replace it.
4. Repair or Replace faulty parts of or bad ECU or PCM system
The car’s ECU or PCM systems control the power supply and commands in most sensors working for electrical components such as electric fuel pumps. Therefore, if these components are experiencing some issues, you can get them repaired or if the issue is so critical, replace the whole system.
However, the electrical fuel pump is such a delicate system that you may not fix it yourself if it develops issues. Therefore, it is always recommendable if you reach your mechanical specialist.
How do I know if my fuel pump is getting power?
There are easy ways to know if your fuel pump is getting power without using a test light. In other words, if your car’s fuel pump is not getting power, your car will experience the following;
- Difficult to start
- Sputtering of the engine
- Dead engine
- Lower fuel efficiency
- Surging of the power
- Loss of power
- Fuel tank noise
- Overheating of the engine due to lack of actual stall
How do you energize a fuel pump?
It can be challenging to energize a fuel pump in different ways. Most electrical fuel pumps are designed to use a ground well as a 12V positive part.
This means a supply of 12V to the electrical fuel pump should make it work. However, if your electrical fuel pump is designed to use another voltage level, use that recommended voltage supply to go through this technique to energize it.
I strongly recommend going to an authorized repair shop to perform this operation and checking the fuel pump
How do I get my fuel pump to get power again?
If you drive a car and realize that it is not properly accelerating, there is something wrong with your fuel pump. To get the fuel pump to power again means that you have to either fix it or replace it.
But before this, you have to confirm if the pump is damaged or not. You can use different ways to confirm this, but the basic one is checking the pressure; if it is low, it is damaged.
A damaged fuel pump often lowers the required pressure and might interfere with the engine fuel-air ratio. After confirming, you can fix it by using a fuel pressure gauge, applying external pressure, and maintaining the engine heat.
If the damage is beyond repair, you will have to replace it. Replacing a fuel pump can cost about $834 to $874. But for fuel pump parts, you can get them at $50, with the labor costs ranging between $150-$350.
The fuel pump is like a fuel system’s heart, whereby the vehicle might not perform better if not properly functioning. The pump conveys fuel from the fuel tank to the engine injectors for combustion and ensures the fuel flow rate and pressure needed to lift the engine are available.
However, there are several complaints from people that the fuel pump is not getting enough power to operate, therefore, the vehicle does not start.
A fuel pump might not get power because of a blown-up pump fuel pump or a bad fuel pump relay, leading to the pump not getting power.
However, there are cases when damaged pump wiring, bad ground path, or fuel pump connections can make the fuel pump not get power.
If you experience this with your car fuel pump, ensure you take it to a mechanic or diagnose it alone. You will have to either repair or replace the entire fuel depending on the severity of the problem.
But either way, it is advisable to take it to a professional mechanic to do the repairs.