Realizing that you have a failed fuel pump is a day any car owner should truly dread. As cars age, repairs are bound to follow and can be a major cost to you. You may be wondering, how did my fuel pump fail? Is my car worth investing in to repair the failed fuel pump? How much time will it take to do the repair? These are all questions any car owner in this situation would experience. One of the most first and most important questions to ask yourself is; how much does it cost to repair a fuel pump? The average cost to repair a fuel pump ranges between $750 to $1900.
This article will cover the following topics:
- What Is a Fuel Pump?
- What Causes a Fuel Pump To Fail?
- How To Tell Your Fuel Pump Is Failing?
- How Much Does It Cost To Replace a Fuel Pump?
- Why Are Fuel Pump Replacements So Expensive?
- Is It Worth Replacing Your Fuel Pump?
- Did You Know You Could Sell Your Car As-Is?
By the time this article is finished, you will be able to make the best-educated decision possible about your vehicle and how to move forward so that your time and money are not wasted.
What Is a Fuel Pump?
Education is key, and understanding what a fuel pump is and what it’s function is will help you better understand what you may be paying for when it comes time to have your fuel pump repaired.
If you drive an internal combustion vehicle then you have a fuel pump. Modern cars that lack carburetors are equipped with an electric fuel pump. These electric fuel pumps inject your fuel at high pressure (40-60 psi) which then sprays your engine’s combustion chambers with a fine mist. This electric fuel pump can be found inside the gas tank itself. Technology has come a long way from your grandparents' old gas guzzlers!
What Causes a Fuel Pump To Fail?
Like most things in life, fuel pump failure is most commonly caused by human error. There are easy things we can do to help prevent this costly malfunction. A simple change in habit could possibly save you greatly in both time and money.
The first most common reason for fuel pump failure is contamination. The most common offenders are rust, dirt, and debris. These particles can enter your gas tank when you pump your gas, you should also always make sure there are no particles being pushed in and also make sure there is no debris on your gas tank cap. When particles enter your gas tank it clogs the filter which then makes it harder to pump fuel, causing more wear and tear and eventually leading to premature failure.
The second most common reason for fuel pump failure is driving regularly on a low gas tank. We’ve all been there and shamefully limped into a gas station feeling victorious that we, in fact, did make it those few extra miles while running on fumes. Considering the damage that we are causing to our fuel pump, we should not be celebrating this moment as much as we do. When we run our cars on an empty tank we are in fact causing the fuel pump to overheat or even worse we may be causing it to run dry. On most vehicles, roughly 10-15 times the amount of fuel your pump sends towards the engine actually gets sent back which helps keeps your fuel system cool.
How To Tell Your Fuel Pump Is Failing
Just like you can see symptoms pop up that warns you that a cold is coming your way, a failing fuel pump will also send you warning signs as well. There are 8 common symptoms to look for:
- Your Car Is Overheating
If you notice that your temperature gauge is running higher than usual and your car is stalling along with the high temp, this could indicate your fuel pump is failing.
- Decreased MPG
Are you making more trips to the gas station? If you are, your relief valve inside your fuel pump may be failing to open which causes more fuel than needed to flow into the engine system.
- Loss Of Power Under Stress
When your car is carrying a large load or if it’s going uphill and it is struggling to do so it could be because the failing parts of the fuel pump are not able to keep up with the demands of the car resulting in a loss of power.
If all of a sudden you feel a surge of power when driving at a consistent, normal speed this could be because of irregular resistance within the fuel pump motor.
- Sputtering Engine
A sputtering engine happens due to a lack of consistency within the pump. The fuel pump fails to provide the engine with a constant stream of fuel at the proper pressure. If you feel your car sputter when driving and then it returns to functioning normally it is definitely time to have your fuel pump checked out.
- Low Fuel Pressure Gauge
To check for this you will need assistance and your owner’s manual. Have your second set of hands rev the engine while you check the gauge. Anything less than what the owner’s manual suggests is a good indication you need to have your fuel pump inspected.
- Trouble Starting The Engine
A weakened fuel pump will not be able to supply the proper amount of fuel to the engine, therefore, causing multiple attempts to start your car.
- Engine Will Not Start
If you choose to ignore to above warning signs you could ultimately end up with a car that will no longer start. An engine needs fuel and if your fuel pump has malfunctioned, that necessary fuel will not reach the engine.
How Much Does It Cost To Replace a Fuel Pump?
Repairing a fuel pump can vary drastically in price. It largely depends on the make and model of your car and the ease of accessibility; both of these are the contributing factors that will take a toll on your wallet. Using a tool like RepairPal can help you get an estimate so you know what kind of damage your bank account is in for. For example, a 2005 Nissan Altima can range anywhere between $620 – $1420. Notice the huge range in price, below are a few more examples to show the wide range of costs:
Why Are Fuel Pump Replacements So Expensive?
Given that the fuel pump is in the gas tank, a difficult location such as this will drive up the cost of labor. As you can see from the table above, the make and model can make this repair vary drastically in price. If you don’t have an access panel, the higher the cost will be due to those billable hours of labor that add up. You have to consider if you want to invest this time and money into your vehicle and ask yourself; is your car worth the investment? This is an incredibly important question you absolutely have to ask yourself.
Is It Worth Replacing Your Fuel Pump?
First and foremost you need to determine the value of your vehicle. The internet makes estimating the value of your car easier than ever before. Useful websites like Kelley Blue Book and Edmunds make it quick and easy to receive a rough estimate on your vehicle. Knowing the value of your car makes determining whether it is worth your hard-earned money and time for this costly repair.
You also need to examine what other problems your vehicle is experiencing. If your fuel pump has failed it is likely that you are experiencing other problems as well. Do you really want to keep spending your hard-earned dollars and continue to waste your time on a money pit? Maybe it’s time to invest in a newer car that will provide peace of mind.
Did You Know You Could Sell Your Car As-Is?
Your car is a treasure trove of valuable parts, accessories and raw metal that have value to those that understand how to properly recycle and resell. The value of a car to the average consumer is based on reliability, fuel economy and the ability to get you through the daily rat race.
Fortunately, in today’s world, your car can be sold in any condition. It doesn’t need to be in working condition in order for you to receive cash in your hand. You can utilize tools like Craigslist, dealerships or junkyards; but user beware.
Craigslist can open a can of worms, leaving you open to calls, texts or spam emails during all times of the day. Unfortunately, Craigslist has built itself a poor reputation due to the fact that its a free service that does not qualify the people that use it regularly. Check scams are also very common on Craiglist.
You can also utilize dealerships to sell your vehicle but keep in mind the vehicle has to be something the dealership can make a profit off of and also needs to be a desirable car. You will not receive top dollar as the dealer also needs to make a profit, this method will never be in the seller’s best interest.
Lastly, you could also choose to sell your vehicle via a junkyard. Much like a dealership you have to keep in mind, they will want to offer you the least amount possible as they need to make a profit. Junkyards are expert hagglers and will often use the classic bait and switch to ensure that they get your valuable car for as little money possible. None of this works best for you, the seller.
With all of these options laid out you need to consider that if your vehicle is not operable you will also have to pay out your own pocket to have it towed to the location of choice. Selling a car private party, through a dealer, or to a junkyard requires time and in the case of towing it, money. What is your time worth? Do you really want the hassle and headache of selling it in these ways?
Sell Your Car To Us Instead. Stop Wondering How Much It Costs To Replace Your Fuel Pump
If you’re not in a position either financially or timewise to deal with a fuel pump repair, as I mentioned above, you could also look at selling your car, truck or SUV. Instead of dealing with the frustrating process of selling your car privately, Cash Cars Buyer is easy to use and will get you the cash you need and fast – minus the headache.
We know how to sell refurbished cars and how to sell parts, this is our business. Due to our knowledge and expertise, we can then pass those profits onto you which means you get a better deal for your vehicle, even if the fuel pump needs to be replaced.
All you have to do is request a quote for your vehicle in ‘as is’ condition and based on your vehicle's condition and other information, we will offer you a fair price. After you accept the offer, we will schedule a time convenient for you, it will be picked up for free and will pay you in cash. It is as easy as that. There’s no charge to use this service and you will be able to free yourself from the money pit, burden sitting in your driveway.
This way, instead of worrying about how to change the fuel pump, you can get cash to put towards a new or used vehicle without those issues.
Meta: Is your car sputtering or having trouble starting? 8 ways to tell if your fuel pump is failing and how much it will cost to repair if it does.