How to reset a fuel pump

Updated February 21, 2017

A fuel pump can only be reset by one of two ways: an inertia switch, commonly known as a reset button, or a fuel pump relay. On many moderns cars, the spring loaded inertia switch will pop up during a rear end collision, cutting off the power to the fuel pump so it doesn't pump gasoline out of a broken fuel line. The relay is an electronic device that acts much like a fuse. When it burns out, the fuel pump will no longer have any electrical current and will stop pumping. Each of these situations require a different reset procedure.

Open the boot of your vehicle or the hatch on your SUV. Although many modern vehicles have reset buttons, almost all Ford automobiles have had them for decades. If you have been in a rear end collision and your fuel pump has quit working in your Ford or Mercury vehicle, the reset button has been tripped.

Check beneath the carpeting on the side of the vehicle where the fuel filler is located. Most often, a fuel reset button will be located in this area. If none are found, check beneath or inside of the glove box.

Push down on the fuel filter rest button. There will be an audible "click" when the button resets. Attempt to start your car. If there was no "click" when you pushed the button down, either the fuel pump itself has gone bad, or the fuel pump relay has burnt out. refer to the next section for fuel pump relay replacement.

Locate the fuse box on your vehicle. Check the fuse panel to see if a "fuel pump relay" is listed. If so, it will be a large square type of plastic fuse. It will pull out like any other fuse. They can be obtained at any auto parts store. If the relay is not inside of your fuse box, go to Step 2.

Open the bonnet of your vehicle. Locate a relay junction box which will most often be on the driver's side of the car directly behind the battery.

Open the cover of the relay junction box. The relays will be listed on the inside cover of the box. Find the fuel pump relay.

Pull out the old one and push in a new one. They are available at auto parts stores everywhere. Put the cover back into place and start the vehicle.

Things You'll Need

  • Fuel pump relay
  • Automotive fuse (optional)
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About the Author

Dale Yalanovsky has been writing professionally since 1978. He has been published in "Woman's Day," "New Home Journal" and on many do-it-yourself websites. He specializes in do-it-yourself projects, household and auto maintenance and property management. Yalanovsky also writes a bimonthly column that provides home improvement advice.