Say you’re out for a fun road trip with your family when your car suddenly begins acting up. Despite even terrain, you find your vehicle jerking and skidding along the way, gas mileage decreasing, and the uphill climb turning into an uphill battle.
Completely baffled, you run through every possibility in your head as to what could have gone wrong with your car. More often than not, these are signs of a failing fuel pump.
Damaged Fuel Pump Symptoms
Your vehicle will not leave you clueless. It will cry out in case there’s some issue with the pump. Here are some of the signs –
Frequent Jerks While Driving
One tell-tale sign of damaged fuel pumps is excessive jerking while driving. This is mainly caused when the pump cannot deliver the required fuel to the engine. So what it does instead is it delivers air periodically.
This alternating fuel and air deliveries cause the engine to skip a few power strokes, leading to frequent jerks (which may last for a minute or more).
Loss of Power While Driving Uphill
Certain manoeuvres can put extra pressure upon the engine and the car’s pump. For example, driving uphill or towing a heavy load forward. In such cases, more power is demanded of the vehicle’s pump.
If the pump is damaged, it will fail to supply the additional power. Generally, the pump will have to be replaced.
Loss of Power while Acceleration
Another clear sign of a failing pump is the loss of power during acceleration. Acceleration demands greater fuel from the vehicle. If the pump is healthy, it can quickly meet these extra demands.
But, in its unhealthy state, the pump fails to meet these demands, thereby starving the engine of the required fuel.
Also known as engine surge, this situation occurs when more than one component (other than the fuel pumps) has started to wear out. As a result, the pressure in the fuel line begins to get inconsistent.
You might notice that your vehicle begins to stall or surge suddenly in the middle of a drive. If such is the case, the fuel pump might need a repair or a replacement.
Engine Unable to Start
A faulty pump is unable to push enough fuel to the engine. As a result, you may have to crank the engine excessively before it starts.
Engine not starting usually occurs when the other signs have been ignored for too long. But since a car’s engine can be damaged for other reasons, you should get it checked immediately to resolve the problem.
There might be a situation wherein you suspect that your vehicle’s pump has started to wear out. To be sure, you can purchase a fuel pressure gauge. Ask any of your friends to rev the engine while you analyse the reading on the gauge.
To determine if the fuel pressure is normal, compare it against the average values recommended in the owner’s manual.
To speedily resolve your pump issues, get it checked by a reliable auto mechanic. The highly trained mechanics can thoroughly screen through the problems and rule out other possibilities. They will then suggest a repair or a replacement.
Finally, ensure you get your car checked at the earliest – ignoring the issues for too long can even lead to deadly vehicle stalls.