Most car owners tend to cringe the moment their vehicle starts to experience signs of a malfunctioning fuel pump, and this is mainly because the cost to fix the problem is often high, both time-wise and financially. However, this doesn’t have to be the case. All you need are some basic auto repair tools, a bit of time on your hands and basic knowledge, and you’ll be able to fix the fuel pump on your own.
Before you start with the repair, it’s important to have all the parts and tools you’ll need on hand, and make sure that they’re the right parts for the job too. This is especially important if the car you’re fixing is your main mode of transportation. After all, you don’t want to reach a certain part of the job and realize that you’re a tool short, as that might cost you a ride the next day.
Another important thing you should do before you start with the repair is to inspect the tank to make sure that there are no leaks or obvious signs of damage on it because you might have to replace the damaged fuel tank in addition to the work that you’re doing on the tank. It’s also a good idea to inspect the fuel tank for a drain plug or drain clock at the bottom of the tank so that it’s easier for you to remove the fuel in the tank.
How Much Does It Cost To Replace a Fuel Pump?
Doing any repair on your own will save you a ton of money, and the same goes for fuel tank replacement. That said, be sure to take your time during the task, be mindful, aware, and patient. Those are the keys to success for any repair job that you do for your car.
You’re looking at $260 to $1,009 in fuel pump replacement cost depending on your unique car model among other factors. Fuel pump prices are pretty high so most of the fuel pump repair cost is made up of the parts, whereas labor cost is pretty reasonable and steady in this case.
As you can see from the table below, the cost to replace a fuel pump is largely dependent on where you go to replace the fuel pump.
What’s a Fuel Pump?
The main purpose of the fuel pump is to deliver fuel to the engine, according to the fuel demand at the time. With an efficient fuel pump, your vehicle will run smoothly and effectively.
With the exception of cleverly designed motorcycles, most vehicles that run on an internal combustion engine require a fuel pump in order to run, and most cars either have a manual or an automatic fuel pump.
What Are the Benefits of Fuel Pump Replacement?
Your car’s engine runs on gas, but the gas is not necessarily stored in the engine, but rather in the gas tank. The fuel pump supplies the engine with fuel from the tank according to your car’s fuel needs. The older your fuel pump becomes, the less efficient it will be at supplying fuel to your car’s engine, thus causing your car’s performance to deteriorate. Once the fuel pump completely stops working, it won’t be able to supply your car’s engine with gas anymore, which will lead to general car failure.
The most common symptom of fuel pump damage is when the pump carries a lot more fuel than needed to the engine from the gas tank. This can substantially increase your fuel consumption, and even cause your car to become sluggish, thus compromising its performance. Ultimately, this means that if you want your car to maintain optimal performance, then you should definitely repair or replace the fuel pump whenever necessary.
When Should the Fuel Pump Be Replaced?
Two of the biggest influences on fuel pump wear and tear are the quality of fuel you put into the car and the general everyday use. However, there are certain methods that you can use to extend the lifespan of your vehicle’s fuel pump, and most of them are quite simple:
- Your car’s fuel tank should at least be a quarter full and no less
- Maintain the car’s fuel system in good condition
- Don’t fill up at gas stations that have poorly maintained pumps and facilities
While replacing the fuel tank preemptively is rather redundant, it’s okay to perform the task if the mechanic is already performing related maintenance service, such as taking out the gas tank. Also, if your car has been using the same fuel pump for over 100,000 miles, then changing it will definitely save you a lot of time and money down the road.
Your fuel pump will give you a few warning signs when it starts to malfunction. For example, you might notice that every time you drive for long distances or at high speeds, the engine tends to sputter. This symptom usually starts to happen 10 minutes after you start driving, and will go on for about two minutes before it stops. The sputtering is a result of the pump experiencing low pressure due to not being able to provide a steady flow of fuel to the engine.
Sometimes, you’ll notice that the car tends to lose power just when you start to accelerate, which mostly happens when driving at fast speeds. What happens is that the car starts out by accelerating as usual, and then out of the blue it goes into a weird jerking and sputtering motion before going back to its usual acceleration pattern. This is also caused by a lack of proper fuel delivery to the engine.
If the fuel pump in your car is damaged, then your vehicle will most likely experience difficulty in high-pressure situations like when you’re driving at high speeds, going up a hill, or pulling a heavy load. That’s because these situations require more fuel, which the fuel pump is not able to supply due to malfunction.
You might also notice that your car’s engine just bolts forward without you even pressing your foot on the ‘accelerate’ pedal. This happens when the pump gets too worn out and doesn’t transfer fuel on a consistent basis, which creates unusual ebbs and flows in engine power due to variations in the juice that it’s getting from the fuel pump.
The worst case scenario that you can expect from a worn out or damaged fuel pump is your vehicle’s refusal to even start. A vehicle can only reach this point when the owner has neglected to take action on the previously mentioned symptoms. At this point, there’s no fuel in the engine because the fuel tank has completely stopped doing its job; hence the engine won’t even start.
How to Change a Fuel Pump?
The best way to save money on fuel pump replacement is to do it yourself because then you won’t have to pay for labor costs. The fuel pump is responsible for supplying fuel to the engine’s carburetor while taking it from the tank. It’s also able to deliver the fuel to the cylinders, which helps to transform the fuel into power for your engine to use.
A lot of cars with older engines take advantage of gravity in order to accomplish the same task, whereas modern vehicles feature external mechanical pumps. Some cars even have fuel pumps that are strategically placed next to the engine so that it’s easier to deliver power to this very important component of your car.
Here is a step by step guide:
- First, you manually take the pressure out of the fuel pump, and this involves more than just turning the engine off. Then, you have to remove the battery’s negative terminal in order to prevent sparks from flying while you’re performing the repair.
- The pump will either be located in front of the gas tank or inside it, and the gas tank is located under the car so that’s where you should check to access the fuel pump.
- Once you’ve found where the pump is located, remove the insulating sleeve by slightly loosening it until it spontaneously drops. Then, detach everything that’s attached to be pump before you remove it.
- Afterward, remove the fuel lines, of which there’s one going in and another going out. This requires that you disconnect the hose clamp first before you remove the lines.
- You’ll notice two wires, one ground and the other positive. Disconnect these power lines and remove them from the fuel pump by loosening the screws or bolts that are holding them into place.
When you’re sure that everything has been disconnected, you can then remove the old pump and install the new pump in its place. Lastly, reconnect everything that you disconnected before and test the car to make sure that the pump is working as it should.
How long does it take to replace a fuel pump?
Well, that depends on your particular car model and how damaged the fuel pump is, but it’s safe to say that it shouldn’t take more than a couple of hours, maximum.
How to Save Money When Replacing the Fuel Pump?
While it might seem like the most cost-effective and convenient thing to do, replacing your own fuel pump is definitely not a good idea. This is simply because the fuel pump is an important part of your car’s performance, so you cannot risk making any rookie mistakes with it.
Therefore, the best way to cut costs on fuel pump replacement is to shop around and get quotes from different service providers in your locality. You can do this by searching on an online search engine like Google, using relevant keywords like “cheap fuel pumps” “how much is a fuel pump”, “how much does a fuel pump cost” or “how to replace fuel pump”.
Just make sure to look for testimonials from past customers to make sure that you’re hiring a reputable mechanic that offers great value for money.
Plus, if the mechanic knows how to fix a fuel pump without replacing it, then he might be able to save you money in fuel pump cost as well.
Before you start working on the replacement, keep in mind that gasoline is a highly flammable substance, and thus very dangerous to work with. So make sure that there are no sources of fire close to the tank and you should definitely not smoke while you’re performing this replacement job, as this might compromise your safety considerably. While you’re at it, avoid the use of strong light bulbs as they tend to get very hot. Your best bet is to use LEDs, as they’ll help you see properly while working at night without causing a fire hazard.
Other flammable sources include things like clothing, interior fittings and other items with static electricity, all of which can possibly ignite a deadly spark. The best tool to use in taking fuel out of the tank is a siphon pump, as an electric pump can potentially cause an explosive spark.
Check out these fuel pump replacement costs below to get an idea of how much does it cost to fix a fuel pump for different car models and makes. Just keep in mind that the costs may differ from those offered by your local mechanic.
In this guide you will find: