How Does a Fuel Pump Work?
Whether you're curious about your Acura, Audi, BMW, or Buick, all fuel-operated cars have fuel pumps that work in the same way. A car's engine burns a mixture of gas and air to produce energy. Gas is pumped along a pipe from the tank and mixed with air in the fuel injection system, from which the engine sucks in the mixture. A fuel pump draws gas out of the tank through a pipe to the fuel injectors. The pump may be mechanically worked by the engine, or it may be electric, in which case it is usually next to or even inside the fuel tank.
A mechanical fuel pump is powered by the camshaft. As the shaft turns, a cam passes under a pivoted lever and forces it up at one end. The other end of the lever goes down and takes the diaphragm with it. When the lever goes down, it creates suction that draws the fuel through the fuel pipe and into the pump. The diaphragm can move up only by expelling gas from the chamber. The gas cannot go back through the first one-way valve, so it goes out through another one leading to the carburetor. An electric fuel pump has the same diaphragm-lever arrangement, but instead of the camshaft, a solenoid (an electromagnetic switch) provides the pull on the diaphragm. The solenoid attracts an iron rod that pulls the diaphragm down, drawing gas into the chamber. We at Old Ox Tire & Auto know exactly how your fuel pump works, and if you are in Washington, DC, Sterling, Virginia, Takoma Park, Maryland, or nearby, we can take care of all your auto repair needs.
When I Am Driving Down the Street in Sterling, How Do I Know If My Vehicle Needs a Fuel Pump Repair?
The following are some symptoms of a faulty fuel pump:
Whining noise from the fuel tank - If you hear a screeching or whining noise coming from the fuel tank while the car is running, there may not be enough fuel, or you might have a damaged pump or a contaminant in the system.
Difficulty starting - Because fuel pumps constantly run whenever the ignition is turned on, they can eventually wear out and weaken over time. A weak fuel pump may still pump fuel, but the vehicle may have trouble starting from the lack of pressure. A weakened fuel pump can cause the vehicle to take more cranks to start than normal, and in more serious cases, it might even cause the vehicle to require multiple turns of the key before it will start.
Engine sputtering - If you are driving at a consistently high speed and your engine suddenly starts sputtering before returning to normal, this means that the fuel pump cannot provide a constant stream of fuel to the engine at the ideal pressure. If you are experiencing this, feel free to drive over to Old Ox Tire & Auto so we can check out your fuel pump.
Stalling at high temperatures - Stalling with a combination of a high internal temperature in your vehicle usually means there is a problem with your fuel pump's motor.
Loss of power under stress - If you experience a loss of power when you are driving uphill in VA and D.C, carrying a heavy load, or even while accelerating, this indicates that the fuel pump is weakening because it cannot keep up with the higher demands of your vehicle.
Car surging - Irregular resistance inside the fuel pump motor may cause vehicle surging and indicates a fuel pump in need of repair. Surging feels like the gas pedal has been used. However, it occurs at a random, consistent speed. If this happens often, it may be because of problems within the fuel pump.
Low gas mileage - A valve inside the fuel pump may not be opening, causing more fuel than necessary to pour into the engine system, which could cause you to fill your vehicle with fuel more often than usual. Low gas mileage can also indicate other issues with your vehicle, and we at Old Ox Tire & Auto can figure out exactly what the issue with your vehicle is.
The car will not start - If the fuel pump fails completely, the vehicle will refuse to start. The engine will still crank when the key is turned, but it will be unable to start due to the lack of fuel. A no-start situation can also be caused by a variety of other issues. So, having the vehicle properly diagnosed is highly recommended.
If you are experiencing one or more of these symptoms with your vehicle and are in the 20166 area or nearby, you can bring your car to Old Ox Tire & Auto to get it fixed or get a fuel pump replacement.
Your Reliable Shop for Fuel Pump Repair
We at Old Ox Tire & Auto are experts in all things auto repair. We've been fixing cars since 2017, and our service advisor team has decades of combined experience. We can examine your vehicle bumper to bumper and provide a multitude of services, like Hybrid Repair and auto Muffler Repair.
Here's why we should be your local auto repair shop:
To schedule an appointment with Old Ox Tire & Auto in Sterling, give us a call at 703-956-9811 or schedule an appointment online at https://oldoxtire.com/. Old Ox Tire & Auto: Qualified Mechanics.