One of the things we take for granted on our cars is our engine working without any issues. Despite it being a complex machine with multiple moving parts, we expect it to just work.
Moreover, it seems given that if you put gas into your car, it’s going to run. But, if you have a bad fuel pump, that’s not always the case.
The often forgot about fuel pump is a mainstay on nearly all internal combustion engines, minus some older engines which are often found on motorcycles.
Your fuel pump either sits in your fuel tank directly, or just outside the tank itself and is responsible for drawing the fuel from your tank, and then feeding it into the fuel line which takes the fuel itself to the engine.
Your fuel pump also filters out nasty impurities in your gas tank before sending the fuel itself to the engine. There’s also a fuel gauge that attaches to the fuel pump which is quite literally afloat. By floating around in your gas tank, it gives you a fuel reading on your dashboard.
There are two types of fuel pumps, the electronic fuel pumps found on newer vehicles, and the mechanical ones found on older models.
The first electronic fuel pumps came under development in the late 1920s, and started to be integrated into US vehicles in the 1950s, with it becoming commonplace by the late 1980s into the 1990s.
The electronic fuel pump uses an electromagnetic switch in conjunction with a diaphragm to provide suction in order to pull the fuel into the chamber.
A mechanical fuel pump uses a similar diaphragm and valve as the electric fuel pump, but it’s driven by either the camshaft or by a special shaft that runs off of the crankshaft.
The good news is both fuel pump types are fairly reliable, and they often last over 100,000 miles.
The bad news is they do go out.
Signs Your Fuel Pump Is On The Way Out
Diagnosing a dead fuel pump is usually fairly easy, which will save you on testing and diagnostic costs. What normally happens is the car has trouble starting and frequently will die. Finally, the car itself will refuse to start even though the engine is cranking itself and getting plenty of juice.
A great way to check if your fuel pump is bad is to check your fuse box. See if any of the fuses are blown. If the metal in each fuse is good, move on to the fuel pressure test port. You can get a pressure gauge for about $20-$30 bucks on the web.
Find your car’s fuel pressure test port and crank the engine. If it’s not getting any pressure, congratulations, you have a bad fuel pump.
Don’t you feel handy now?
Now, there are other signs to look out for prior to the car dying which may indicate you have a bad fuel pump. If you notice any of these, but your car is still running, we advise you to take your car to a mechanic before it decides to die on you.
1: Whining Noise From The Fuel Tank
Your fuel pump normally will hum quietly when driving under normal conditions. However, an aging fuel pump can make a racket. Of course, this can also be caused by fuel conditions such as not having enough fuel, or having bad fuel, but in most cases, this is one of the first signs your fuel pump is on the way out.
2: Trouble Starting
An aging fuel pump can have difficulty generating the required amount of pressure to start your car. It can still pump fuel, but it may require several cranks of the engine or multiple turns of the key. This symptom is far from definitive on it is own, as this could be a leaking fuel line or a bad starter. One way to tell is to use the pressure test described above.
3: Sputtering Engine
A sputtering engine can be caused by an improper mixture of fuel and air where your engine is likely running lean or rich. If you notice your engine sputtering at high speeds before returning to normal operation, your fuel pump may be to blame. Without the correct pressure, your engine may not be getting the fuel it needs. This is a dead giveaway that your fuel pump needs to be replaced.
4: Trouble Climbing Hills
When your engine is forced to work harder, it requires more fuel. A prime example of this is when climbing a steep hill. If you’ve got a bad fuel pump, your car can feel like it’s severely underpowered while climbing, even if you’re pressing the gas pedal. A weak fuel pump won’t be able to regulate and accurately provide the right amount of fuel to the engine in order to generate the correct amount of power.
5: Random Surges
An aging fuel pump may still work intermittently and send a surge of fuel into the engine which can feel like you’re pressing the gas pedal even though you’re going at a consistent speed.
6: Bad Gas Mileage
A bad fuel pump may be causing your engine to run with a rich fuel mixture, which can burn additional fuel. However, this is far from definitive, as this problem can be related to any number of things, including a bad O2 sensor, a cracked fuel line, or issues in the engine itself.
Does Your Extended Warranty Cover Your Fuel Pump?
As a general rule, your fuel pump should be covered by your extended warranty, which is good considering it can be up to a $1,000 dollar repair because of the hefty labor time and difficulty. We cover the fuel system as part of our lowest cost plan, the Driveline, all the way up to our most comprehensive plan Supreme.
If you have a manufacturer’s warranty, your fuel pump should also be covered as part of your fuel system. Considering the fuel pump is a critical part that isn’t a wear and tear item scheduled for regular replacement, you should also be covered by most 3rd party warranty companies.
To make this a bit easier, we’ve gone ahead and compared which companies cover your fuel pump, and with which plans.
Protect My Car:
Direct Warranty Provider: Yes
Plans That Cover Your Fuel Pump: Driveline, Select, Supreme
Notes: All of Protect My Car’s vehicle service contracts cover your fuel pump as part of your fuel system.
Direct Warranty Provider: Yes
Plans That Cover The Fuel Pump: Secure, Secure Plus, Superior, Supreme, Select Premier
Notes: All of Endurance’s plans also cover the fuel pump! Endurance’s coverage groups are a little bit different from our own, and the fuel pump is covered as a part of the engine as opposed to being in the fuel system.
Direct Warranty Provider: No
Plans That Cover The Fuel Pump: American Auto Shield Enhanced Power Train, American Auto Shield Comprehensive, American Auto Shield New Car Diamond
Notes: Carshield’s lowest cost policy, the American Auto Shield Powertrain does not cover your fuel pump. However, the rest of their plans do include coverage for this important part. Carshield is also not a direct contract provider, and instead sells contracts for a company called American Auto Shield.
Direct Warranty Provider: No
Plans That Cover The Fuel Pump: CARCHEX Care By Royal Bronze, Royal Administration Services Centennial, CARCHEX Care By Royal, American Auto Shield Powertrain Plus, Allegiance Gold, CARCHEX Care By Royal Gold, American Auto Shield Deluxe, American Auto Shield Platnium, CARCHEX Care By Royal Platinum, Royal Administration Services Premium, Allegiance Premium, CARCHEX Care By AAS Titanium Plus, CARCHEX Care By AAS Titanium, American Auto Shield Diamond, CARCHEX Care By Royal Titanium, Royal Administration Services Ultimate, Allegiance Ultimate
Notes: Although the fuel pump is covered by the American Auto Shield Bronze, one of CARCHEX’s two lowest-cost plans, it’s not covered by several of the silver plans and gold plans including both by Allegiance which is something to watch out for. If you’re looking for an extended warranty for your fuel pump, just double check that the contract you’re being offered covers it.
CARCHEX also does not sell its own contracts and instead sells contracts for American Auto Shield, Royal Administration Services, and Allegiance.
What Is A Direct Warranty Provider?
So you’re probably wondering what the direct warranty provider bit is above. It’s an important distinction that is worth talking about.
A direct warranty provider is a warranty company that administrates and services its own claims, legally speaking. What that means, is when a direct warranty provider sells you an extended warranty, they are responsible for paying your claims, as well as handling any customer service issues that arise.
Direct providers can offer lower prices for their plans and better customer service because everything is handled in house.
Currently, only Protect My Car and Endurance are direct warranty providers.
Other extended warranty companies aren’t selling their own plans. When you buy a policy with them, they then transfer the responsibility for your future claims to a 3rd party finance company. They get paid, and then that finance company that you didn’t choose becomes the legal entity responsible for paying your claims.
This can be a huge hassle. Claims take longer to get paid, and we’ve seen prices that are more expensive.
That’s not to mention that the 3rd party finance company has no connection to you as a human being and has every financial incentive to pay as little as possible on your claim.
With over 13 years in this business, everyone will tell you that choosing a direct warranty provider is the best way to go. You’ll avoid getting a run around from claims agents, and instead will get help from a real person who wants to see you off smiling.
Want To Get The Best Extended Warranty For Your Fuel Pump? Choose Protect My Car & Save
While the fuel pump is covered with most extended warranty companies, Protect My Car is far from “any” extended warranty company. Our lowest-cost plan, the Driveline covers more than the basic coverage you’ll get from other extended warranty companies, including your starter, and important bits like your air conditioning, windshield washer pump, and alternator.
Best of all, we’re able to do this at a lower price than our competitors because we’re a direct warranty provider.
As a proud direct warranty provider, you’ll never be mistreated when you join us. There’s a reason our average review score (TrustPilot, Consumer Affairs, BBB) is a 4.3/5.0, and I want you to find out why.
We know there are a number of other great extended warranty companies out there, we know we’re the best and we want to prove it to you.
That’s why, for a limited time, we’re giving away $50 dollars in rewards just for getting a quote with us. From there, you’ll be able to shop all of our different plans, online, with no phone call needed. You can even buy the driveline in less than 5 minutes and have your fuel pump covered and ready to go.
Because we’re a direct warranty provider, you may find that our plans are significantly cheaper than what you’re paying right now.
So don’t wait, get your free quote today and claim your $50 dollars in free rewards. You’ll be one step closer to not having to shell out hundreds for an expensive fuel pump repair ever again.