Car owners dread the moment when they turn the key, and nothing happens. It’s even worse when you identify the culprit – a bad fuel pump. A faulty fuel pump is one of the most common causes of car starting problems, leaving many people scratching their heads as to how to remedy the issue.
If you find yourself in such a situation, don’t panic! There are some simple tricks you can use to start your car with a bad fuel pump. Whether it’s jump-starting the vehicle or manually priming the fuel system, there are several methods that you can employ without having to tow your car to the mechanic.
In this article, we’ll give you some practical tips on how to deal with a bad fuel pump so that you can get back on the road quickly and safely. We’ll show you easy fixes that could help you avoid expensive repairs and save you money. Get ready to learn some exciting hacks that will have your car up and running in no time!
Check The Fuel Pressure
If your car won’t start or if it starts but sputters and dies, then you may have a bad fuel pump. Checking the fuel pressure can help you determine whether the fuel pump is causing the problem. Here’s how:
Locate The Fuel Pressure Gauge
In order to check the fuel pressure, you’ll need to locate the fuel pressure gauge. Most auto parts stores will rent out or sell fuel pressure gauges that are compatible with your vehicle.
You’ll typically find the fuel pressure port on or near the fuel rail. You may need to consult your owner’s manual for specific instructions on where to find it. Once you’ve located the fuel pressure port, remove the cap.
Connect The Fuel Pressure Gauge
After removing the cap from the fuel pressure port, slowly connect the fuel pressure gauge. Make sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions in order to avoid damaging any components.
Once the gauge has been connected, turn on the engine without starting it. This should cause the fuel pump to activate momentarily and allow you to get an accurate reading of the fuel pressure.
Most vehicles require between 45-65 psi (pounds per square inch) of fuel pressure to start properly. If the pressure readings are lower than this range, then your fuel pump may be failing. Alternatively, if the pressure readings exceed this range, then there may be other problems within your fuel system.
“Fuel System Checks.” ASE, www.ase.com/News-Events/Publications/Glove-Box-Tips/Fuel-System-Checks.aspx.
If you suspect that your fuel pump is failing, seek professional assistance immediately. Continuing to drive with a bad fuel pump can lead to further damage and put your safety at risk.
Use Starter Fluid
If you’re having trouble starting your car, it could be due to a bad fuel pump. This can happen for a variety of reasons such as wear and tear, damage from contaminants or wiring issues. While replacing the fuel pump is the most permanent solution for this problem, sometimes that may not be feasible in the short term. That’s why one useful option is to use starter fluid to start your car.
Locate The Air Intake
The air intake is what allows air into the engine so it can combust with the fuel to power the vehicle. To locate the air intake, open up the hood and look for a plastic tubing that feeds into the engine block. It should be close to the front of the car but behind the radiator. On some cars, it may also have a black box around it labeled “air filter” – this is where the air intake is located.
Spray Starter Fluid Into The Air Intake
Once you’ve found the air intake, remove the filter and set it aside. Take the can of starter fluid and gently spray it into the opening of the air intake. Don’t overdo it – a few quick sprays should suffice. Be careful not to spray too much starter fluid, as an excess amount can cause harm to the engine. Also, keep the can away from any hot surfaces or sparks since the starter fluid contains flammable chemicals.
Attempt To Start The Engine
After spraying starter fluid into the air intake, put the filter back in place and try to start the engine by turning the key. If all goes well, the car should start right up without issue. If not, give it another try – sometimes the mixtures need a few attempts before they work correctly.
Repeat If Necessary
If you try to start the car and it still won’t turn over, repeat the steps with more starter fluid. Using a reasonable amount of coughing spray in intervals will be safer than spraying too much at once. Failing repeatedly while attempting these procedures despite not succeeding is an indication that your fuel pump may be broken beyond repair.
“Using starter fluid to circumvent a defective fuel pump may allow just enough power for the interior combustion process to work correctly.” – Your Mechanic
- When using starter fluid, keep safety precautions in mind: keep the can away from any heat source or sparks since the starter fluid contains flammable chemicals and should never be used near an open flame.
- If the problem persists after several attempts using starter fluid, it’s recommended you bring your car to a qualified mechanic to diagnose and fix the issue properly. Continuing driving say if the car starts however puts stress on other components of the vehicle that are probably not getting enough fuel due to a bad fuel pump.
- While this method may help you get your car started when faced with bad fuel pump problems, it is not a long-term solution as it does not resolve the underlying issue that led to the malfunction in the first place. Replacing the fuel pump is the most reliable fix in the circumstance.
Jumpstart Your Car
Locate The Battery Terminals
The first step in jumpstarting your car with a bad fuel pump is to locate the battery terminals. In most cars, the battery is located under the hood and it’s quite easy to find. If you are unsure about the location of the battery or terminals, refer to the owner’s manual.
- Open the hood and locate the battery. Make sure the working car is parked close enough to allow the jumper cables to reach between both batteries.
- You will see two posts on the top of the battery: one marked “+” for positive and one marked “-” for negative.
- If there is corrosion on the battery posts, use a wire brush to clean them before attaching the jumper cables.
Connect The Jumper Cables
Once you have found the battery terminals, the next step is to connect the jumper cables properly. Follow these steps:
- Always put safety first. Turn off both cars and make sure they are not touching each other or anyone else near them.
- The jumper cables have two red clips and two black clips. Connect one end of the red (positive) cable to the positive terminal on the dead battery.
- Connect the other end of the red (positive) cable to the positive terminal on the working battery.
- Connect one end of the black (negative) cable to the negative terminal on the working battery.
- Connect the other end of the black (negative) cable to an unpainted metal surface such as a bolt or bracket on the engine block of the dead car. Do NOT attach the black clip to the negative terminal of the dead battery, as this can cause a spark and ignite the hydrogen gas that may be present around the battery.
- Once the cables are properly connected, start the working car engine. Let it run for a couple of minutes to charge the dead battery.
Start The Working Vehicle
After waiting a few minutes, turn the ignition key on the dead vehicle to see if it will start:
- If it doesn’t start right away, try letting the working car run longer to give more energy to the dead battery.
- If the dead car still won’t start after several tries, check all cable connections again for tightness and corrosion.
- It is essential that you do not try jump starting a car with an entirely dead battery. This could lead to further mechanical issues like burning your fuel pump from repeated attempts at restarting your engine without enough power to operate it normally.
- If the car starts successfully, remove the jumper cables in reverse order.
- Disconnect the black (negative) clip from the unpainted metal surface on the dead car first.
- Remove the black (negative) cable from the good battery’s negative terminal.
- Remove the red (positive) cable from the good battery’s positive terminal.
- Remove the final clamp from the formerly dead battery’s positive terminal.
Attempt To Start Your Car
Now it’s time to attempt to start the non-working car:
- Turn off the working car engine.
- Try to start the previously dead car by turning the ignition key once the cables have been removed. If the car starts, let it run for about 30 minutes to allow the battery to recharge and build up a good charge.
- Make certain to drive your vehicle frequently once it has been jump-started with a bad fuel pump so that its alternator could top off the dying battery as rapidly as feasible.
“Before you try to jumpstart your car on your own, remember to take safety precautions throughout this procedure to never hurt yourself or harm anyone else, including paying attention not to lean over either engine during operation,” says Todd Schechter of AAA Automotive Services.
If after following these steps, the non-working car still won’t start, call a mechanic to diagnose and repair any underlying problems such as potentially replacing a bad fuel pump. It’s vital not to continue trying to start the car as harm may already have occurred due to repeated attempts to restart with insufficient power levels in your attempt to break in a new battery without addressing the initial issue causing drainage to begin with.
Replace The Fuel Pump Relay
If you’re having trouble starting your car, it may be due to a faulty fuel pump relay. Replacing this component is not difficult and can save you money on repairs by doing it yourself. Here are the steps to follow to replace the fuel pump relay.
Locate The Fuel Pump Relay
The fuel pump relay is usually located in the engine compartment or under the dash near the steering column. Check the owner’s manual for the exact location of the relay in your specific vehicle make and model. Once you’ve found the relay, disconnect the negative battery cable before continuing with any other steps to ensure safety.
Remove The Old Fuel Pump Relay
- To remove the old fuel pump relay, wiggle it gently or use needle-nose pliers to pull it out from its socket.
- Make sure to note where each wire connected to the old fuel pump relay was plugged into so that you can reinstall them correctly later.
Install The New Fuel Pump Relay
- Take the new fuel pump relay and push it firmly into the empty slot until it clicks into place. Ensure that the pins on the new relay align with the terminals on the socket.
- Reconnect all wires that were disconnected previously to their respective posts on the new fuel pump relay. Use your notes if needed to reattach everything properly.
Test The Engine
Reconnect the negative battery cable and turn on the ignition key briefly without starting the engine. You should hear a humming sound coming from the fuel pump. If you don’t hear anything, turn off the ignition key and check again to see if the fuel pump relay is correctly installed and all wires are connected securely.
“The purpose of a relay system is to ensure that the components receive enough voltage without overloading or overheating any individual component, allowing for maximum efficiency.” -AutoZone
After testing the engine’s response to turning on the ignition key briefly, start up the engine and let it run idle for several minutes. Rev the engine a few times to ensure that it runs smoothly with no stalling or hesitation. Once you’re satisfied with how the vehicle operates normally, test drive it for 10-15 minutes before driving longer distances to ensure there are no issues.
“A car will not perform well if it has a bad fuel pump relay since the electric current that provides power won’t transmit to the mechanical part of the engine.” -YourMechanic
By following these simple steps, you can easily replace a faulty fuel pump relay yourself rather than taking the vehicle to an automotive technician for expensive repairs. Remember always to take necessary precautions when working with electrical components and follow safe procedures.
Tap The Fuel Tank
Locate The Fuel Tank
In order to start a car with a bad fuel pump, the first step is to locate the fuel tank. In most cars, the fuel tank is located under the rear of the vehicle, near the back wheels. Some models may have the fuel tank in a different location though, so consult your owner’s manual if you’re unsure where it is.
Tap Gently On The Fuel Tank
Once you’ve found the fuel tank, the next step is to tap gently on it. This works because tapping on the fuel tank can help dislodge any debris that might be blocking the fuel pump from working properly. Use the end of a screwdriver or a rubber mallet to gently tap on the tank – just be careful not to hit it too hard and damage it further.
If tapping on the fuel tank doesn’t work immediately, try turning the key to the accessory position for about 5-10 seconds to allow the fuel pump some time to prime before attempting to start the engine again.
Attempt To Start The Engine
After tapping on the fuel tank, attempt to start the engine. If the fuel pump was clogged or stuck, this may be all it takes to get everything flowing again.
If the engine still won’t start after tapping on the fuel tank, there are a few other things that could be causing the problem. Check the battery to make sure it has enough charge to turn over the engine. Also check the spark plugs to ensure they are clean and functioning properly.
Repeat If Necessary
If tapping on the fuel tank didn’t work right away, don’t give up hope. Sometimes, it can take a few attempts to get the fuel pump working properly again. Repeat the process of tapping on the fuel tank and attempting to start the engine a few times before ruling it out completely.
If you’ve tried everything and the car still won’t start, it may be time to call in a professional mechanic for further assistance. They can diagnose the problem more accurately and suggest potential solutions that can help get your car back on the road again.
“If all else fails, remember: tap gently on the fuel tank and try starting the engine again. This could save you an expensive tow truck visit.” – Jalopnik
Call A Professional Mechanic
If you own a car, it is likely that you will experience problems with the fuel system at some point. One of the most common issues with this system is a bad fuel pump. When your car has a bad fuel pump, it can be frustrating and stressful, especially if you are in a hurry or need to drive long distances.
To start a car with a bad fuel pump, it is recommended to call a professional mechanic who specializes in fixing such problems. Here’s what you need to do:
Research Reputable Mechanics In Your Area
The first step to getting your car fixed is to research reputable mechanics in your area. The best place to start is by asking friends and family for recommendations. You can also check online reviews and ratings from other customers to get an idea of their expertise and service quality.
You should always choose licensed mechanics who have tax identification numbers and liability insurance coverage. These professionals have undergone rigorous training and certification processes, guaranteeing high-quality services and repairs at all times.
Contact The Mechanic And Explain The Issue
Once you have identified a few reputable mechanics, you should contact them and explain the issue your car is having with the fuel pump. Provide as much detail as possible about the symptoms, warning signs, and noises that your car is making so that they can better understand the problem.
The mechanic may ask you several questions over the phone to help diagnose the problem before scheduling an appointment for further inspection.
Arrange For The Mechanic To Inspect Your Car
After explaining the problem to the mechanic, the next step is to schedule an appointment for them to inspect your car. They will use specialized diagnostic tools to check the fuel pressure, volume flow rate, and fuel filter to determine the exact issue with your car’s fuel system.
During this inspection, they may also conduct a visual check of the fuel pump relay, fuel injectors, and other components for wear and tear or damage. The mechanic will give you an estimate of any necessary repairs based on their findings.
Follow The Mechanic’s Recommendations
If the mechanic identifies that the bad fuel pump is causing the problem, they may recommend replacing it entirely. They will provide you with a detailed explanation of why repairing the current pump is not feasible and offer suggestions for a better replacement. A professional mechanic has the proper tools and experience to fix this issue promptly and correctly and get you back on the road safely.
“Every time I have some moment on a seashore, or in the mountains, or sometimes in a quiet forest, I think this is why the environment has to be preserved.” – Bill Bradley
If you are experiencing issues starting your car due to a bad fuel pump, follow these steps to get it repaired by a trusted mechanic. By selecting a licensed professional who specializes in fixing such problems, you can rest assured that your car will receive top-quality services and parts replacements, ensuring it runs efficiently for many years.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can you start a car with a bad fuel pump?
It is possible to start a car with a bad fuel pump, but it may not be reliable or safe. If the pump is completely broken, the car won’t start at all. If it’s just partially damaged, the car may start but stall shortly after. It’s best to get the fuel pump replaced as soon as possible to avoid further damage to the car.
What are the signs of a bad fuel pump?
The most common signs of a bad fuel pump are engine sputtering, difficulty starting the car, loss of power while driving, and strange noises coming from the fuel tank area. If you notice any of these signs, it’s important to get your car checked by a mechanic as soon as possible to avoid further damage.
How can you diagnose a bad fuel pump?
A mechanic can diagnose a bad fuel pump by testing the fuel pressure, checking for power to the fuel pump, and inspecting the fuel pump relay and fuse. They may also listen for strange noises coming from the fuel tank area. If you suspect a bad fuel pump, it’s best to take your car to a mechanic for a proper diagnosis.
What are some temporary solutions to start a car with a bad fuel pump?
One temporary solution to start a car with a bad fuel pump is to use starter fluid to get the engine going. Another solution is to bang on the fuel tank with a rubber mallet to jolt the fuel pump into working temporarily. However, these solutions are not reliable or safe and should only be used in emergencies.
Is it safe to drive a car with a bad fuel pump?
No, it is not safe to drive a car with a bad fuel pump. A bad fuel pump can cause the engine to stall, which can be dangerous if you’re driving at high speeds or in heavy traffic. It’s best to get the fuel pump replaced as soon as possible to avoid any potential accidents or damage to the car.