The fuel tank is an important part of the fuel system, as it stores fuel until it is used for the vehicle's operation. When you drop by at a gas station and have your vehicle filled up with gas, it actually travels down a filler tube and into the fuel tank. But you might wonder: how is fuel pumped from the fuel tank to the engine and delivered to the fuel injectors (under high pressure) or to the carburetor (under low pressure)? The answer to this is simple, and that is through another important part of the fuel system, which is the fuel pump.
Your vehicle may be equipped with a mechanical pump or an electric pump. In earlier cars, the mechanical pump was used. This was driven by a lobe on the engine's camshaft and was attached to the engine or on the frame rail between the tank and the engine. Nowadays, however, most vehicles include the electric car fuel pump, which is located inside the fuel tank and is run by the car's battery. Its main function is to push the gasoline to the engine by creating positive pressure in the fuel lines. Generally, the pump works whenever the vehicle's ignition switch is on. However, this does not mean that the ignition switch is the one that carries power to the fuel pump. Instead, it only activates a relay that handles the higher current load the pump needs to run.
But just like other fuel system parts, fuel pumps can also fail over time. They may experience wear in the brushes, armature bushings, and the commutator, as well as the rollers or gears and pump vanes due to gradual loss of pressure and flow. When the fuel pump suddenly stops working, the first thing that should be checked is the pump's electrical connections. This can be caused by a loose wire, blown fuse, or an open relay. The voltage supply should be checked as well because low battery voltage can reduce the ability of the car fuel pump to generate pressure.
Although the fuel tank is full, it may seem like you've suddenly run out of gas. This is what happens when the car fuel pump fails. Without the needed pressure to transport fuel from the tank to the engine cylinders, your engine will run lean. If you ever get to crank up the engine at all, it may suddenly misfire or halt. Engine hesitation is a common problem as well. In some cases, the car may overheat and stop working for a while. After it sits idly for a few minutes, it may start again as the pump cools off.
If the fuel pump is beyond repair, a replacement can be purchased. Here at Parts Train, we sell a wide variety of OEM-quality auto parts and accessories for different car makes and models. By simply browsing through the online car parts catalog, you can choose from the extensive list of low-priced options available.