How To Protect Your Fuel Pump

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The fuel pump is a very necessary component of your car or truck’s operating system.  Without it, fuel cannot make it from the gas tank towards the engine, and your vehicle will not move.  Fuel pumps can be either mechanical (carbureted cars) or electronic, which is what our current-day vehicles are and exist alongside electronic fuel injection.   For the most part, fuel pumps are designed to last the lifetime of a vehicle but we all know that is not ordinarily the case.  There are factors that can shorten the life of a fuel pump including:

  • Contaminated fuel.  This is the #1 cause of fuel pump failure.  There is a sock or “filter” on the fuel pump that does a very good job of capturing debris and keeping it from entering the pump and fuel system.  If debris is small enough, it will pass the filter and eventually wear the pump and lead to failure.
  • Dirt or other foreign material that enters the tank during refueling.  How often does the gas station change the filters on THEIR tanks?  NOTE:  Do not ever buy fuel when the tank truck is on site.  When they fill the underground tanks, they stir up the stuff in the storage tanks and that is what enters your vehicle through the pump. 
  • Water is another culprit.  Water is the result of condensation.  Not only does it make the vehicle run poorly, but it also can cause corrosion on the fuel pump connectors and other components & when that loosens up and enters the system, there are problems.   As drivers maintain a low fuel level, the extra space is filled with air …which is filled with water vapor.  We live in a humid environment and as temps drop, the vapor turns into water droplets that settle in the fuel tank.  If you suspect water in your fuel tank, a good way to test it is to take a sample of your car’s fuel and put it into a glass container.  Let it sit for a few minutes and if it separates, the water is what will be on the bottom.  Maintaining higher levels of fuel in your vehicle can help combat this.
  • Fuel additives.  If a little bit is good, then more must be better !!!  Some individuals live by this and are causing damage to their vehicles all the while.  Be very cautious about what you dump into your vehicle.  A $5.00 bottle of “something” will not fix your car’s problems, no matter what the store clerk tells you.

Whatever symptoms your vehicle may be having, it is of utmost importance to have a proper diagnosis by your mechanic.  Today’s vehicles are quite complicated and throwing parts in any & every direction is NOT how to approach things.  We at Das Autohaus are here for your fuel system needs and any other vehicle concerns that you may have.  Please call us at 520-8523 to schedule an appointment.