Fuel Pump

May 19, 2011

Most of us don’t think about our car’s fuel pump because we’re too focused on high fuel prices. Well, the cost of replacing a pump can run up to a thousand dollars and a quick way to get there is by always running on empty. The best way to extend the life of your fuel pump is to keep your car at least a quarter tank full. Doing this extends the life of the pump in two ways.

As time goes by sediment settles at the bottom of your fuel tank. If you let the level dip too low then chances are the fuel pump is going to take in some of that sediment. Your fuel pump and fuel filter will begin to work overtime and eventually some of that sediment will get past the filter and into the engine. Your engine will not be happy.

But most people aren’t aware that even more damaging to a fuel pump is heat. Most modern cars run an electric pump that resides inside of the tank. Fuel actually serves as a coolant for the pump. If the level dips too low then the pump is exposed and is vulnerable to overheating especially in the hot summer months.

There’s no way to avoid getting sediment into your tank. But you can slow down the process by not fueling when the trucks are unloading their cargo at gas stations. The sediment on the ground gets stirred around and most likely will end up in your tank.

Whenever my fuel level dips below the halfway mark I always remind myself to fill up. As a result I never had to replace a pump in any of my cars. I changed my fuel filter a couple of times but they are cheap to replace. I’m sure you have better ways of spending your hard earned money than spending it on a pump.

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