Without a fuel pump, a car will not run. With a bad fuel pump, it may start and run for a while, or it may not start at all. When the fuel pump is working right, you will not even know that you have one. Years ago, mechanical fuel pumps would cost you about $20 for the part and hardly much more to install it. Now, electric fuel pumps that reside inside the gas tank will probably cost you at least several hundred dollars. In fact, two years ago, a shop quoted me $700 to have the fuel pump replaced on my Ford Explorer.
The warning signs of a failing fuel pump are not hard to identify. The tricky part is that they can mimic other problems in the early stages. It’s often common for people to makes several less expensive repairs before determining the real issue is a bad fuel pump.
Here are some signs that your fuel pump may be close to biting the dust.
Your engine appears to miss at highway speeds.
A engine that misfires will cause the car to jerk occasionally while going along the highway. Frequently, the fuel pump will stutter for a mile or so two or three times and then run fine for the next 50 or more miles.
Your car will loses power when you accelerate from stand still.
You push down on the accelerator, and the car starts to go and suddenly seems like it is going to die. Immediately, it seems to restart and off you go. This type of problem is similar to an oxygen sensor failing.
You lose power at highway speeds, especially when you’re going up a hill.
This problem is almost always a result of a fuel system failure. The fuel filter is the first culprit, but once this is ruled out, the fuel pump is the next best bet.
Your car cranks when trying to start it, but it does not hit or start.
Two issues cause this problem. The first is the timing belt or chain has broken. Without a timing belt, your car will turn over, but will not start. Almost any mechanic can figure out which one it is.