We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What Should I Consider When Fuel Pump Troubleshooting?

By Erin J. Hill
Updated May 23, 2024
Our promise to you
WikiMotors is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At WikiMotors, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

There are several things you may consider when checking your fuel pump for problems. Any number of things can go wrong with an overused fuel pump, and discovering the severity of the issues along with the causes can help you prolong the life of your pump and vehicle. To perform proper fuel pump troubleshooting, it is generally a good idea to start with the most basic things and work your way up to more severe problems. Check each part of the pump carefully to ensure that you don't miss something obvious.

Start by opening the gas cap, or removing it entirely, depending on the vehicle. Have someone else turn the ignition without starting the engine. Listen very carefully for a rhythmic vibrating sound coming from the fuel tank. If you hear this sound, your fuel pump may be good working order. If you don't hear it, continue fuel pump troubleshooting to discover any underlying problems.

Check the fuse panel under your dashboard or in the engine compartment under the hood. There should be a circuit box with a fuel pump circuit fuse. Make sure that no wires are corroded and that everything is properly connected. If not, you may have to replace wires or the entire fuse. Should you have to replace any parts, do so and check the fuel pump again.

For proper fuel pump troubleshooting, you should also carefully look for any tears, holes, or worn spots in your fuel hoses and lines. Replace the defective parts and try the fuel pump again. If all hoses are in good condition, then find the fuel pump relay by checking under the hood on either side or as a system of relays toward the back. Once you've found it, inspect the wires by having a friend turn the ignition without starting the engine. Use a test light to note the voltage coming from the wires.

During this phase of fuel pump troubleshooting, you may be able to jump the relay in order to allow battery voltage to run through the system. Repeat the first step to listen for proper fuel pump functioning. If the pump works now, then you may have to replace your relay. You could also check the connection between your relay and the fuel pump by using a test light and having a friend turn the ignition without starting the engine. This will also let you know if you need a new relay, fuse, or connection.

You should also check the connections located directly at the fuel pump for corrosion or wear. If there is none, the final step in fuel pump troubleshooting is to remove the fuel pump and apply direct voltage to it using your car's battery. Should the pump still not work when applying direct voltage, you will likely need to purchase a replacement fuel pump.

WikiMotors is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Discussion Comments
By Markerrag — On Jan 09, 2015

@Terrificli -- When you are troubleshooting fuel pump problems, always be mindful that a lot of fuel lines are made of copper. Cranking on the bolts that connect them to the fuel pump could put a small tear in those copper pipes if you are not careful. That could lead to a fuel leak or, in a worst case scenario, a fire.

That is the thing about dealing with fuel pumps and anything else that carries gasoline. Gas is highly flammable and fire is always a risk.

If you are not comfortable working with something that could catch on fire, please consult a professional when dealing with fuel pump problems. A good mechanic has a lot more experience in fuel pump troubleshooting than you do and knows how to be safe.

By Terrificli — On Jan 08, 2015

One thing to always be mindful of is the connections running to the fuel pump and the gasket between the fuel pump and the engine block. Whenever you start messing with any of that stuff, you need to remember that connections tend to leak. That means you will need to use new plumber's tape (or whatever else) on the connections to the fuel pump so gas won't leak out of them. That also means you will have to replace the thin gasket typically between the fuel pump and the engine block or (you guessed it) gas could leak from that connection.

I only mention this because the water tightness of the system is often compromised when people are troubleshooting fuel pump problems. Make sure to take the appropriate steps to make sure fuel doesn't leak out of the system.

WikiMotors, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

WikiMotors, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.