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How to Replace a Fuel Pump

One of the do it yourself tasks of a car owner that may occur might be replacing a electric fuel pump. Generally speaking, most vehicles today have electric fuel pumps located inside the fuel tank so that is the example used here.

On most cars the fuel tank is located under the car just behind the rear wheels. The ideal situation would be to have the fuel pump malfunction when the tank is almost empty, but, it seems that almost never happens. First things first; disconnect the negative battery cable. Next, if the tank contains very much fuel, you may want to drain it. It will make it easier to work with. Now, you will need to raise the car. When jacking up the car, be sure the opposite wheels are blocked to prevent rolling. Support the car with blocks or jack stands. Do not work under the car when it is supported only by the jack. Now that the car is up high enough and supported safely you can start to loosen the bolts that support the tank. Usually, there are two straps that hold the tank and the straps are held by one bolt each.

As the tank starts to loosen from its nest, look for the fuel lines and wires that will run up over the top of the tank. You will also need something to support the tank so that it does not drop from the car onto the ground. A transmission jack is great but most people do not have one sitting around. One alternative is a wide board against the tank and a regular floor jack. As the tank is lowered, slowly disconnect the fuel lines and wires. Then remove the tank from under the car.

Clean all dirt and debris from the top of the tank. The round ring somewhere near the center on most tanks is where the fuel pump is located. There will be a locking ring that holds that assembly in place. Once the locking ring is removed, carefully remove the assembly from the tank. Take care to notice the orientation of the pump and strainer.

Replacing the fuel pump will be in the reverse order of disassembly. Be sure the seal is in place on the assembly as you lock the unit back into the tank.

Bond Mejeh produces automotive related articles for Quick Cash Auto, a cash for cars service. Quick Cash Auto not only buys pre-owned vehicles of any year, make or model, but they also provide numerous articles about vehicle repair and automotive news.

 

Common Issues With Low-Pressure Mechanical Fuel Pumps

Low pressure mechanical fuel pumps are less functional compared to electric versions and incur frequent problems that lead to driveability issues. However, on newer model cars with GDI equipped engines, they are making a comeback. There is an electric fuel pump in the tank delivering fuel to a high pressure engine mounted mechanical fuel pump.

In this article, we will discuss only about the common issues with low pressure mechanical fuel pumps used in carburetor engines along with the ways to identify and resolve them.

Vapor lock: Vapor lock happens when the liquid fuel in the delivery system changes to gaseous form and blocks the passage of the fuel. As it is located in the engine compartment, the high engine heat on the pressurized side of the pump boils the fuel in the fuel lines leading to vaporization.

Due to vapor lock, the operation of the fuel pump gets disturbed. It causes loss of feed pressure, which results in loss of power transmission to the engine or complete stalling of vehicle. Common signs of vapor lock are no or low fuel pressure, dry carburetor air horn and no accelerator pump discharge, stalling, hard starting and low power.

Fuel foaming: It occurs when cold fuel enters a hot carburetor leading to a series of short jerks on acceleration and finally results in dead engine. The common signs are black smoke emitted from the exhaust pipe, wet carburetor air horn and starting of engine after a long wide open throttle crank.

Alcohol mixtures: Gasoline additives such as alcohol mixtures and octane boosters affect the volatility of the gasoline and result in performance and driveability issues. These additives also cause fuel system corrosion, dislodge rust and foreign particles into the tank leading to filter clogging and finally affecting the functionality of a fuel pump.

Causes of failure: A worn-out or a leaky diaphragm inside a mechanical fuel pump leads to its failure. A leaky diaphragm either results in fuel leak or loss of fuel pressure. This eventually increases the pressure on the pump making it fail. Even leaky inlet or outlet valves and broken spring also result in the same.

Before your fuel pump completely ceases to work, it displays some signs of failure. Identify these signs and rectify the problem as early as possible. Though there are professional troubleshooting techniques to check the functionality, there are few other simple ways which help you identify the bad one even if you are an amateur.

• In the initial stages of a bad fuel pump, you may experience lack of power, starting trouble, sputtering, etc.
• Dripping of fuel from the pump indicates failed diaphragm, hence, replace it.
• Inspect the throat of the carburetor by removing the air cleaner, then pump the throttle linkage and check if any fuel is squirting into the carburetor. No squirting of fuel can indicate its failure.
• Disconnect the fuel line at the carburetor and place it in a container. Start the engine and see whether the fuel pump is pumping the fuel. Steady spurts of fuel indicate that it is functioning properly, while weak stream or no fuel can indicates that it is failed.
• Pull out the dipstick to check the oil level. Oil level above the full mark can indicate leaking diaphragm, as it lets the fuel leak into the crank case therefore thinning the oil and raising the oil levels.

Timely repair/replacement avoids engine problems: Engine performance gets affected negatively if the issues are not addressed in a timely manner. If it is unable to deliver the fuel with required pressure, it starves the engine and finally ceases its operation. Hence, timely identification and fixing of the problem is quite essential to avoid engine problems.

Make sure that you are using reliable after-market products while replacing engine components. It is important for better performance of the fuel delivery system.

 

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