Along with the freedom that comes with owning a vehicle, there is also the responsibility to keep the engine and other components of the car or truck in good working order. Unfortunately, even with the best of care, some engine parts will eventually require replacement. The fuel pump is a prime example. If you wonder whether or not you have a bad fuel pump, here are a few signs that it is time to get a replacement.
One of the early warning signs of a bad fuel pump is the development of a high pitched sound when the engine is first engaged. Different types of fuel pumps will make slightly different sounds. This phenomenon has been described as a sound somewhat like a tea kettle whistling, while others claim the sound was more like nails scraping across an old fashioned chalkboard. Regardless of the exact sound emitted by the fuel pump, it is important to get your vehicle to a mechanic quickly. The fuel pump is not likely to keep functioning much longer.
Sudden trouble accelerating can also be a sign that you have a bad fuel pump. Because the fuel pump is not supplying an even flow of fuel, the rest of the engine cannot perform at peak level. While there is also the chance that the problem is with the filter, your best bet is to have the fuel pump checked as soon as possible, so the uneven acceleration does not have a chance to progress on to shutting off while on the road.
Low fuel pressure is another indication of a bad fuel pump. Part of what makes an internal combustion engine run smoothly is the constant even pressure created by the pump as it moves fuel into the system. As the pump begins to malfunction, the pressure cannot be maintained. The low pressure may also manifest as an inability to start the car even though the starter and solenoid switch are in perfect working order.
One way to prolong the life of your fuel pump is to make sure you never run out of gasoline. Always keep enough fuel in the tank for the pump to be submerged in gas. Along with keeping at least a quarter tank of gas on hand at all times, it is also a good idea to make sure the filter is replaced on a regular basis.
Failure to replace a bad fuel pump in a timely manner may cause other car parts to work harder. This will only lead to even more costly repairs that must be made, as well as increase the chances of a breakdown at the worst possible moment.