March 26, 2023 6:19 PM
Everything You Should Know About Car Fuel Pumps

A fuel pump gets rid of the fuel from the reservoir or fuel tank into the engine. It is usually a part of the fuel pump assembly that includes the level arm, fuel filter and sending unit. However, buying fuel pumps for your car is not as simple as shopping for any other car part. So, if you need a new car fuel pump, you must learn some facts that can help with your purchase and enable you to take steps to prevent its failure. 

Following are the details.

What are the different types of fuel pumps?

The different types of fuel pumps are:

Mechanical pumps

You get mechanical pumps in vehicles where engines use carburettors for delivering fuel to the engine. These pumps were found in older vehicles.

Electrical pumps

Electrical pumps are primarily used in modern vehicles. These pumps are usually submerged inside the tank and work with the car’s fuel injectors. When compared to mechanical pumps, electrical pumps gas at a higher pressure, typically around 30-40 psi.

Direct injection pumps

Another fuel pump you get is the direct injection pump. These pumps have features similar to mechanical pumps and work together with the in-tank electric pump. 

How will you choose a fuel pump?

Fuel pumps come in different sizes and shapes with varying features. While selecting a fuel pump for an unmodified stock vehicle is easier, it may not be as simple for a custom or modified fuel delivery set-up. For that, you must focus on some factors before making a choice. The factors are:


Fuel injectors in modern electric pump systems work with specific voltage limits. When choosing your car fuel pump, ensure the pumps fit with the engine’s voltage output. For instance, if you attach a fuel pump that works with 12 volts to another car with an output of 13.5 volts, it can increase the volume of fuel pumped by almost 40 per cent. Excessive voltage may affect the pump relay and cause issues in it.

Fuel efficiency

The efficiency of your car’s engine is determined by the fuel needed to produce one horsepower for one hour. It is also called Brake Specific Fuel Consumption (BSFC). If you don’t know your engine’s BSFC, you can opt for an engine dyno test.  

Fuel volume

The fuel volume of a car depends on the BSFC and horsepower rating. The higher the BSFC, the more fuel is required, and the more efficient the engine is. When buying an electrical pump for your car, try to get one that delivers more fuel than needed. If unsure of the horsepower, you can consult a mechanic, as wrong horsepower estimates can cause serious damage to the engine.

What are the reasons for fuel pump failure?

Fuel pumps may fail for several reasons. Some of the common reasons for pump failure include the following:


Debris in the tank can accelerate wear and tear, clog the strainer or cause the check valve to remain open. The build-up of debris can cause hard starts due to reduced pressure. So, check your tank frequently and clean it to prevent its failure. 


During humid and cool weather, condensation causes rust formation that affects the tank. So, keep the fuel tank full to minimize condensation and prevent rust formation. 

Wear and tear

Electric pumps use fuel to keep them cool and lubricated. So, you should refrain from driving with low fuel levels as it may cause a lot of wear and tear.  

Fuel pumps are critical for the proper functioning of a car. If you hear a sputtering sound as you start your car, that could be a warning sign and therefore needs immediate replacement. However, if you cannot find a fuel pump by searching your car’s make and model and manufacturing year, try checking the OEM part number present on the pump.     

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