If a car has a bad fuel pump, it will normally exhibit a loss of power, or it may not drive whatsoever. Discover how fuel pressure gauges are connected to an engine to determine if a fuel pump is bad with help from an ASE-certified technician in this free video on troubleshooting car problems.
Hi, this is Chuck Orlandi, here at Miami Shores Auto Repair in Miami Shores, Florida. Okay, let's talk a little bit about signs of a bad fuel pump. If you have a bad fuel pump in your car, normally you would either have a power loss problem or the car will not run at all. It may go bad as you're driving down the road, or it may just not start. Most cars today have in-the-tank electric fuel pumps. It's pretty easy to diagnose it. If it doesn't start, we usually hook up a fuel pressure gage to the engine. We'll try to start it. If we get no fuel pressure, then typically the fuel pump is bad, or it could be a relay, but normally it usually is the fuel pump. On the older cars they used to use a mechanical pump, which runs off the engine. They don't use those very much anymore. You see them mostly on older cars. Fuel pumps, they can be a little bit difficult to change. You got to usually remove the whole gas tank from the car, which you have to drain the fuel out of it first. Typical price on a job like that... it depends on the car, but most of the times they're anywhere from five to seven hundred dollars, including labor and parts. What you would need to do to prevent a fuel pump problem, the main thing you can do it change the fuel filter, probably every 25,000 miles or so. Very important, because they get clogged up, and when they get clogged up, the pump takes a lot to push the fuel through the filter, and that is what typically ruins a fuel pump. Another thing to keep in mind is do not run the fuel tank completely empty. Try to keep your fuel level about a quarter of a tank at all times, or better, so when you get down to that level fill it up before it gets low. If it starts to get low, the fuel pump will end up sucking all the garbage at the bottom of the tank and clog up the filter. So, those are the ways to diagnose a fuel pump failure and what you need to do to prevent it.