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Electric Fuel Pump

Used previously for heavier vehicles, they have only recently become operational in cars. The replacement types usually use a diaphragm arrangement like the mechanical pumps, except that it is actuated by an electrical solenoid. It uses a small turbine wheel driven by a constant speed electric motor.

Nowadays, the fuel pump is located inside of the fuel tank and is usually electric. The pump creates positive pressure in the fuel lines, pushing the gasoline to the engine. The higher gasoline pressure raises the boiling point. Placing the pump in the tank puts the component least likely to handle gasoline vapor well (the pump itself) farthest from the engine, submersed in cool liquid. Another benefit to placing the pump inside the tank is that it is less likely to start a fire. Though electrical components (such as a fuel pump) can spark and ignite fuel vapors, liquid fuel will not explode (see explosive limit) and therefore submerging the pump in the tank is one of the safest places to put it. In most cars, the fuel pump delivers a constant flow of gasoline to the engine; fuel not used is returned to the tank. This further reduces the chance of the fuel boiling, since it is never kept close to the hot engine for too long.

The electric fuel pump is generally on whenever the car’s ignition switch is in the “on” position. Depressing the gas pedal results in the throttle body opening on the engine (metering the air going in) rather than engaging the fuel pump. The ignition switch does not carry the power to the fuel pump, instead it activates a relay which will handle the higher current load. It is common for the fuel pump relay to become oxidized and cease functioning; this is much more common than the actual fuel pump failing.




  • pete

    I have a holden commodoore ’96 vs ute and everything is running smoothly unntil it warms up a fair bit and then suddenly it wont start. it cranks but id doesnt click over. could this be something to do with the fuel pump relay or something? As i said the car is running beautifully otherwise!

    thanks,

    Pete

  • ira

    crank angle sensor

  • Greg

    It will most likely be the connector to the coil pack.