What Is A Fuel Pump And Why Is It Important?

A fuel pump is tasked with getting the fuel from the gas tank to the engine. It is placed inside the fuel tank and is a crucial component in keeping your car running smoothly. A damaged fuel pump can severely affect your vehicle’s performance. A broken fuel pump will leave you stranded by the side of the road.

How Your Fuel Pump Works

Toyota OEM fuel pump location

Image Credit: PeterFinnTheCarDoctor

The fuel pump pulls gas out of your fuel tank and then pumps it through to the engine. There, it is injected into the intake manifold or directly into the combustion chamber. Mechanical fuel pumps were common when cars had carburetors. Modern fuel-injected cars use electric fuel pumps. Locating the pump in the gas tank has advantages:

  • The pump’s moving components are always lubricated.
  • The pump is kept cool by being immersed in gasoline, which extends its life.

How To Diagnose A Faulty Fuel Pump

Out of sight is generally out of mind, but the symptoms of a failing fuel pump should be easy to spot.

The first sign of impending failure is if your car struggles to start. If you also experience slow acceleration and a general lack of power, the fuel pump may be the culprit. A more obvious sign is if you hear a mechanical whirring or whining from the location of the fuel tank. Having your vehicle checked using an OBD scanner can also show up fault codes specific to your fuel pump.

Ignore these symptoms for too long and the pump will eventually fail. Leaving you stranded.

Causes Of Fuel Pump Failure

Fuel pumps tend to last a long time, but they can fail due to a number of causes:

Fuel Starvation

The fuel pump needs gas to flow through it for cooling and lubrication. If you run the tank dry it can damage the pump. Make sure that you refill your car well before the needle shows empty. If you do run out of gas, turn off the car immediately. Don’t leave the ignition on as the pump may still be running. Even if the engine is off.

Contaminated Fuel

Fuel can get contaminated by moisture, dirt or corrosion from the gas tank. This can enter the pump and can cause damage over time.

Blocked Filters

Sometimes the contaminated fuel can block the fuel filter. This will have similar symptoms to a failing Fuel Pump. Replace the fuel filter at the recommended intervals to avoid this. As well as when you are putting in a new fuel pump.

Electrical Problems

Regularly running low on gas can cause excessive wear on the fuel pump. This in turn will cause the fuel pump to pull additional current to run. Increased electrical current can burn connectors and harnesses, leading to fuel pump failure.

Why Use An OEM Replacement Fuel Pump?

Fuel pump OEM Toyota

A fuel pump is a complex unit. Each one is designed to work with specific Toyota models. Buying aftermarket may save you a few dollars, but a non-original fuel pump may cost you more in the long run. Aftermarket parts may also use generic wiring harnesses, which require cutting and splicing wires to install.

Toyota Parts Center has been offering top-class online sales services since 2007. We only supply OEM parts that are backed by Toyota’s 12-month unlimited mileage warranty. Use our handy VIN decoder to find the perfect part for your vehicle. If you need assistance in finding the right OEM part, then why not get in touch with us? We offer a FREE parts lookup service.