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How To Cool Down A Fuel Pump

The fuel pump pushes gasoline (or diesel) from the tank through the fuel system to the vehicle's engine. It's a crucial component. But if it gets too hot, how can you cool down the fuel pump? After much research, we have determined the answer. 

Cooling down a fuel pump is the easiest thing to accomplish. All you need to do is fill the fuel tank with gas (or diesel). A full tank will submerge the fuel pump, allowing it to run cooler than if it were partially exposed. 

The absence of the fuel pump means your car won't work because the engine would not be able to receive gasoline to make the car run. So, we suggest you keep reading to learn best what a fuel pump does, how to tell if it is faulty, and how to make it last longer. Let's delve into the details!

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How Exactly Does A Fuel Pump Work?

If you know how a fuel pump and the fuel system work, you will be able to prepare and spot the symptoms of a failing fuel pump. 

Diesel fuel pump

Pumping Fuel From The Tank

In this step, the fuel pump will pump the fuel from the tank. After that, the fuel will go straight to the fuel system, then to your vehicle's engine. 

For electric fuel pumps, a tiny motor is responsible for drawing gas or diesel from the tank and pushing it up the fuel line.

On the other hand, the vehicle's camshaft in older models drives a mechanical fuel pump, which pulls fuel through a line utilizing suction.

Moving Through The Fuel System

Gas (or Diesel) Flows Through Fuel Lines

After pumping the gas, the fuel will flow to the lines, then straight to the car's cylinder or carburetor. Depending on the setup or construction of your engine, your fuel line may or may not make a stop along the way. 

Air & Fuel Combine

The air will mix with your car's fuel to produce a mixture needed by the engine. Then that mixture will go into the cylinder. However, it is only the case for a carbureted engine. 

On the other hand, in a fuel-injected engine, the two don't mix until they get to the car's cylinder. 

Keep in mind that the majority of modern cars already have a fuel-injected engine.

Fuel Combusts 

In this step, the pumped fuel on the cylinder will now undergo combustion together with an amount of air to produce energy. 

Know that the piston in your engine's cylinder squeezes the fuel-air combination. The spark made by the spark plug ignites the fuel mixture as the piston advances, causing the combustion process to begin.

Powering The Crankshaft

Engine piston cross section

After the process of moving and combusting fuel, you can now consider your car on the move. Now that the fuel pump and all the components are successful in propelling your car forward, you should know that on the other side, the gasoline depletes.

How Can Gas Keep The Fuel Pump Cool?

Keeping your fuel tank full (or at least a quarter full) is the key to a long-lasting fuel pump because:

  • it prevents debris from the bottom of the fuel tank from clogging the pump
  • fuel submerges the pump, cooling the functioning pump components

How Long Can A Fuel Pump Last?

An auto mechanic holds a new fuel pump in his hands

Due to the vital nature of their function, manufacturers durably build fuel pumps to last for the majority of the lifetime of your vehicle.

You should be aware that fuel pumps have a minimum lifespan of 100,000 miles before you need to replace them. In addition, you may not know it, but fuel pumps can actually last for 200,000 miles as long as you maintain them correctly. 

How To Make Your Fuel Pump Last Longer?

How to make your fuel pump last longer

Know that repairing or replacing this component can be too costly, so it would be best to keep it in good shape and extend its longevity. As mentioned, maintaining will help your fuel pump reach 200,000 miles. And below are the approaches on how to do so.

Don't Drive On 'Empty'

If you tend to wait for the gas light as a reminder to fill up, you should stop it now. This bad habit can damage your pump.

Adequately submerging your fuel pump with gas is a must, especially if you want to lubricate or cool it down, as mentioned earlier. So, keep your tank at a quarter or completely full.

Keep in mind that a low fuel level can make the fuel pump work harder than it should. It is because it has a hard time sucking fuel to deliver to the engine.

Such a situation is the primary reason why your fuel pump overheats. Moreover, if you do this frequently, expect to experience premature fuel pump deterioration. And if worse comes to worst, this might also affect and damage all the engine equipment.

Prevent Contaminating The Fuel Tank

Impurities inside the fuel tank can lead to untimely wear or damage to your fuel pump. A poorly maintained or older fuel tank or the gas itself can cause contamination.

So, when purchasing gas for your car, it would be best to go to a reputable gas station for quality fuel. It will lessen the chances of contamination. It's much safer when the fuel is clean and high-quality.

In some cases, older vehicles' fuel tanks' contain rust and corrosion, (especially if they didn't experience proper care and maintenance) so, contamination is still inevitable even if you use high-quality fuel in such fuel tanks. 

The only thing you can do here is ask for a professional's help. The contaminated fuel tank needs a thorough cleaning. On the other hand, if cleaning can't solve the problem anymore, you might need to go for a more costly approach, which is replacing the fuel tank. 

How To Tell If You Have A Bad Or Faulty Fuel Pump?

If you don't know how to determine a faulty fuel pump, you can rely on the following tips:

Engine Won't Start

A malfunctioning fuel pump is a common culprit of an engine that won't start. There are many issues to troubleshoot, but if you suspect your fuel pump is aged, worn, or faulty start looking here.

After your car shuts down, it should start up again after 30 minutes. However, if it repeatedly shuts off this could be an indicator of a malfunctioning fuel pump.

Click here to check out this universal fuel pump removal tool on Amazon.

Car Overheating

Smoking car engine due to overheating

If your car's engine receives inadequate fuel because the fuel pump cannot pump enough gas, expect the engine can overheat as it runs. Additionally, if things get worse, the engine might shut off unexpectedly.

Increased Fuel Consumption

Engine fuel injection nozzle

However, if your vehicle is consuming more fuel than usual, the fault could be the fuel pump. It's possible that the pump is supplying an excessive amount of fuel to the car's engine, causing it to run dry of fuel too soon.

Unfamiliar Engine Sounds & Poor Performance

You likely know the sound of your car's smoothly functioning engine. But, if the fuel pump doesn't provide enough gas (or diesel) you might observe sputtering sounds, uneven idling, or poor acceleration. This can permanently damage the engine if not addressed.

Deceleration

Without sufficient fuel to the engine, your car might have difficulty maintaining speed. You'd notice a fluctuation of RPMs and possibly also feel or hear a difference in driving performance. A faulty fuel pump is a likely cause. 

It's A Wrap!

An auto mechanic holds a fuel pump in his hands

As discussed in this post, the fuel pump is one crucial car component. Always ensuring its excellent condition is advisable to achieve trouble-free or risk-free driving. Now that you know how to cool down the fuel pump and properly maintain it, you can surely start to make the most out of your car.

You have finally made it to the end! If you still have additional questions, you can leave a comment below. We'd love to hear from you! And to continue reading, you can check these related posts out!

How Long Do Fuel Pumps Typically Last?

Should A Fuel Pump Run Continuously?

Do Fuel Pumps Go Bad From Sitting?