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Car Engines & its Components – What Happens when Fuel Pump goes out while Driving

Car Engines & its Components – What Happens when Fuel Pump goes out while Driving

Car engines are tricky! You need to keep checking them regularly for them to stay in working condition for long. There is a whole stream of fuel systems that needs to be overhauled if the engine stops working.

The most important component of this fuel stream is the fuel pump which brings fuel into the engine from the tank, providing the constant that is mandatory for the engine to keep on running.

So, what happens when fuel pump goes out while driving? This may lead the car to jerk or sputter suddenly. There can be various reasons why the fuel pump fails or goes out while driving but the common one is that the fuel pump might not be able to deliver the fuel from tank to engine smoothly.

Let’s have a look at what a fuel pump is and the symptoms when it’s about to fail.

What happens when fuel pump goes out while driving?

As mentioned above, a fuel pump is the backbone of an engine as it pumps fuel from the tank to the engine to keep it running smoothly.

Symptoms when a fuel pump fails

The two kinds of pumps, mechanical and electronic, can fail at any time and for various reasons but the symptoms are almost the same. A person might detect that the engine is about to fail early on if he knows about other symptoms already.

Some of the common symptoms of a failing fuel pump are:

Car jerks or sputters

You might notice that your car jerks or sputters while you are in the middle of a highway driving at nominal speed. This is the first indication that there is a problem with your fuel pump and it is not pumping fuel from the tank to the engine smoothly.

The jerk or sputter indicated that the engine is skipping power strokes. If the problem is not persistent then the engine will return back to operation and the rest of the drive will be smooth but this indication is enough for the driver to understand that there is some problem with the fuel pump that needs to be checked and resolved.

Losing power while accelerating

Another common symptom of the fuel pump going out is that while driving the acceleration doesn’t get power. This is an indication that the fuel pump might not be working properly.

Acceleration requires more fuel thus it forces the fuel pump to pump harder and if that doesn’t happen that means the fuel pump is not ready to work according to the demand of the car leaving the engine craving for fuel in order to accelerate.

You need to inspect your fuel pump if the car is not accelerating the way you want.

An engine under strain while going uphill

Driving uphill or carrying heavy loads are driving activities that need more power than driving on straight highways. These activities cause extra pressure and strain on the engine resulting in the fuel pump working exceptionally well.

If the fuel pump is not up to the mark and cannot keep up with this extensive laborious demand, then it will result in failure. of the fuel pump. Once, the flaws of the fuel pump are in front of you, it is a clear symptom that if left untreated, the fuel pump will fail in the near future, so you should get it fixed as soon as possible to avoid any kind of inconvenience.

What happens to the fuel pump if symptoms are neglected?

If all the above-mentioned warning signals are ignored by the driver and the fuel pump continues to experience wear and tear while the car is being used, then a time will come when the fuel pump will wear off completely and will result in failure in the end.

Once the fuel pump has gone out, there is no way that the fuel can reach the car engine from the tank. You might try different remedies but the car engine would not start.

The driver might hear the spark plugs cracking or firing when you try to ignite the car but without fuel, the car won’t budge at all.

There can be a lot of reasons for the car engine not starting apart from the fault of the fuel pump. To confirm that it’s the fuel pump that has gone out completely resulting in a halted car, check the fuel lines with the help of a pressure gauge. If the reading points at zero that means that the fuel pump has died. You can also check the fuse box of the car, if the fuse of the fuel pump is blown away that means that the pump has died completely.


A fuel pump is a vital part of the car – if it’s not in working condition then the car would simply stop moving. It supplies the engine with the fuel from the tank to keep it moving and sailing on the roads smoothly. However, like anything else in the world, it goes through its usual wear and tears and needs to be inspected and taken care of to keep the car running.

Fuel pumps like other parts of the car and engine are bound to wear out but with a worn-out fuel pump, the car will struggle to accelerate and move smoothly.

If you have experienced any of the above-mentioned symptoms of an ailing fuel pump, then it is advisable to go visit a car service center immediately and get it fixed rather than waiting for the fuel pump to die completely and are left with no other choice but to get it replaced which is going to put a dent in the pocket for sure.

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