A busted fuel pump can lead to a variety of car problems. After all, it's responsible for delivering just the right amount of fuel into the engine. Once this part breaks down, expect a lot of headache-inducing issues that'll prevent you from enjoying the next drive. To help you troubleshoot a troublesome pump, here are the signs you should watch out for:
Power loss when speeding or during difficult driving conditions
If you're accelerating or pushing your car to its limits and it suddenly stops, a busted fuel pump could be the culprit. This is because an old or busted pump becomes helpless against heavy loads, gravity, or other elements that make driving difficult.
A sudden, unintentional increase in speed
If your car suddenly surges forward even if you're not stepping on the gas pedal, chances are your car's fuel pump is in need of replacement. Most motorists would blame this on the fuel filter, but the usual cause is actually a troublesome pump. Once the pump is totally worn out, it will experience irregular resistance inside the motor. This then causes your car to unintentionally accelerate.
One of the most common symptoms of a busted pump, a sputtering engine will cause your vehicle to jerk every now and then when driving at high speeds. In most cases, the engine will run just fine for 10 miles and will suddenly jerk around for at least a mile. Unfortunately, this symptom is commonly mistaken as a sign of a busted plug wire or spark plug or extra moisture inside the fuel tank. Keep in mind that a broken pump will have a hard time supplying the engine with fuel, causing the engine to sputter or jerk around.
An engine that won't start
The most serious sign of a worn-out fuel pump is an engine that won't start. Eventually, a busted pump will prevent the fuel from reaching the engine once the ignition key is triggered. The engine might rev up, but it will stall and completely stop working.
Aside from taking note of these signs, you should also visually inspect the pump mechanism and check if the hardware (screws and bolts) are in top condition or if it's cracked or leaking. Remember, loose bolts or screws can easily dislodge the pump, while cracks or leaks can cost you dollars in wasted fuel. Plus, fuel leaks can make your car a fire hazard. So, it's best to identify a broken pump and replace it as soon as possible.
If your car is beginning to display the mechanical and physical symptoms discussed above, check out the pump right away to prevent further damage on your peace of mind and wallet. It's very important that you understand and identify these signs before a busted pump leads to a worst-case scenario: you get stuck on the road because the engine won't start at all. Now if you're still not sure that your car's fuel pump is busted, you can always let a mechanic do the inspection.