The car’s engine needs an uninterrupted flow of fuel to run. The fuel pump does this job of carrying fuel from tank to engine. If the pump is not there, gas will be in the tank and your vehicle will not run. Thus, it is an integral part of your vehicle. If a fuel pump is well maintained it lasts long. But, it is often the most neglected part and could get damaged quickly due to neglect and carelessness. While you can run the vehicle with a failing pump to a certain distance, sooner or later the car will stop completely. To avert such a situation you have to be alert to possible signs of the fuel pump going bad.

Signs of fuel pump failure

There is no set guideline to tell how long a fuel pump can last. For some vehicles, it can last for a lifetime, while in others it has to be replaced early. Lifespan of a pump depends mainly upon the quality of gasoline and vehicle usage. However, if your fuel pump is on the way to failure it is better if you are the first person who notices signs of malfunction.  Here are some signs that help you to understand the problems in the pump:

Car jerks and sputters at high speed

When you are driving at a high speed and engine sputters or jerks, there is some problem in the fuel pump.  This problem happens when the fuel pump fails to deliver a steady flow of gas to the engine. Engine expects fuel but in return receives air. This interruption in fuel flow leads engine to skip several power strokes, causing it to sputter and jerk. At the outset, this happens only for a second before engine restores normal speed. It is very easy for drivers to overlook or get confused with the effects of dirty gas. However, as only standard quality gasoline is used in cars now, such jerks usually happen because of fuel pump failure.

You lose power when accelerating

If your car often loses power when you try to accelerate it from a stationary position, there can be some trouble in the fuel pump. The fuel pump has to work harder as acceleration needs more fuel. If your pump is on the way to failure it will not be able to keep up with the increased demand. And when fuel does not reach engine as you try to accelerate your car, it will halt. If this is the situation you should get a mechanic to inspect your pump.

Losing power while driving uphill or carrying load

Activities, like driving uphill or pulling loads, put extra pressure on your engine. It will then demand more fuel to perform. When your fuel pump is not working properly, it will be difficult to meet that extra demand. The weak pump can stop functioning in such a situation or will fail to supply required gas that the engine requires, which results in loss of power. 

Engine does not start

If you ignore the signs of fuel pump failure, it may stop functioning completely one day. If the fuel pump fails, gas will not reach the engine. You may hear the fuel pump come on when you turn the key to start your car, but it may not deliver the fuel required and without fuel, the engine will not function.

If you experience any of these symptoms, it is best to take your car to a good auto repair shop. A mechanic can tell you whether the problem lies in a faulty fuel pump and if it needs replacement.