Back to all

Don't be Fuelish (Signs Fuel Pump is Failing)

April 25, 2021

A driver of a large SUV loaded with equipment was heading on a 7-hour work trip when he stopped at a gas station to refuel.  When he went to restart his SUV, it turned over but wouldn't catch.  Try as he might, he was never able to get it started again. 

Of course there are many things that can cause those symptoms, but the next day he had his SUV towed to a service repair facility.  Using their test equipment, they were able to pinpoint the problem.  His fuel pump had failed.  The pump, which was located in the fuel tank, had to be replaced, and after awhile he was back on the road, delayed, but happy to be up and running again. 

What had happened is that the pump was not strong enough to deliver adequate  fuel to his engine, vital to being able to start it.  It had delivered just enough pressure in the morning to get it started the first time, but it was on its last legs.  He had been having trouble starting his SUV in the days leading up to this trip, a clue that something was wrong. 

The engine relies on a certain pressure of fuel from the pump to run properly, and there are some other signs to be aware of that your fuel pump may need to be replaced.  If you are putting strain on your engine, such as going uphill or hauling a big load, and the engine sputters, it may be a sign that the pump isn't delivering that consistent pressure.  Another warning sign is if your engine is running hot and then stalls.  That could mean your fuel pump is getting weak.

Sometimes you might notice your vehicle suddenly speeds up on its own or your fuel economy goes from good to poor in a short time.  If your fuel gauge shows you have plenty of fuel in the tank and your engine stalls, that's another possible sign of a failing fuel pump. 

Technicians have special equipment to see where the fuel problems are, and there are many possibilities.  Have your vehicle checked before you're left stranded.  Oh, and one more tip to prolong the life of your fuel pump.  Since it is cooled and lubricated by the fuel in your tank, make sure you keep at least a quarter of a tank of fuel at all times.  Avoid your "low fuel" light going on and you may be helping yourself avoid having to replace your fuel pump. 

Tuffy Tire & Auto Service Center Appleton
2940 E. College Ave.
Appleton, Wisconsin 54915
920-954-8500

Need Service?

Schedule an appointment

More articles from Tuffy Appleton

Why a Trip Inspection Is a Good Idea

June 20, 2021

At Tuffy Tire & Auto Service Center Appleton we get a lot of Appleton drivers asking about vehicle trip preparation. That's a big deal. You could be driving through mountains and deserts in some pretty lonely areas around Wisconsin, so it's important to know that the vehicle is up to the task an... More

Why Is My Check Engine Light On?

June 13, 2021

The Check Engine Light strikes fear into the hearts of some Appleton drivers, and is totally ignored by just as many. Just what it means is a mystery to most people. Let's get the urgency issues out of the way first. If your Check Engine light is flashing, that means that something is wrong that... More

Tuffy Tire & Auto Service Center Appleton Engine Air Filter Replacement

June 6, 2021

When your experienced Tuffy Tire & Auto Service Center Appleton technician changes your oil, he will also inspect your air filter. You shouldn't need a new air filter at every oil change, but you will need to change it regularly. Heed your technician's auto advice if they tell you to change your... More