One of the main causes for fuel pump failures is contaminated fuel. Visible and invisible contaminants can damage the new fuel pump. One of the single most important things to do when replacing a fuel pump is cleaning and flushing the inside of the fuel tank.
Contamination in a vehicle’s fuel tank can occur from a number of causes, such as corrosion, debris and moisture. Moisture is one of the more common contaminants, which can be introduced into the tank when a vehicle has been damaged in a collision and condensation forms on the tank walls from temperature variances. Moisture is the root cause of corrosion, sediment and unseen contaminants such as bacteria or fungus at the bottom of tanks. Dirty caps, tank spouts and funnels can contribute to contamination in the fuel tank as well.
Contaminants will clog the fuel filter, fuel lines, fuel injectors and the fuel pump itself and prevent the engine from running. If you are replacing a fuel pump, it is imperative that you clean the outside and thoroughly flush the inside of the fuel tank and double strain the fuel you siphoned off if you plan to refill the tank with it. And while you are at it, replace the inline filter and in-tank strainer and even flush the fuel lines since those parts will have residual contaminants in them.
OE fuel pumps are installed in brand new, pristine fuel tanks, which contributes to their performance and durability. If you are replacing the OE fuel pump, it is just as important to install the aftermarket replacement in a similarly clean environment.