Can A Car Drive With A Bad Fuel Pump?

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Practically, all car components will fail after long long use or due to severe heat/pressure. That said, it is almost normal to discover that your fuel pump has gone bad, especially when you haven’t changed it ever since you bought the car – and it’s been many years already.

However, another challenging situation is to discover that the fuel pump went off (got damaged) unexpectedly; now, you’re in a somewhat dilemma state, but can a car drive with a bad fuel pump?

Yes, your car can still move with a bad fuel pump, but it will affect the car’s performance, and this also depends on the level of a fault the fuel pump has. We’ll shade more lights on this shortly. But first, let’s get to know what a fuel pump does in a car.

What’s The Function Of Fuel Pumps?

Automobile engines are designed to run with diesel (fuel), except for Electric Vehicles (EVs). The fuel pump is situated in the engine bay to ensure sufficient fuel supply to the engine. A “Fuel Pump,” as the name literally interprets, “pumps” fuel from the tank to the engine.

Hence, when it is damaged or faulty, your engine may lack fuel supply, which can, in turn, lead to costlier damages – if not a complete engine replacement.

Virtually all modern cars (with internal combustion engines) come with a fuel pump. This article is not to explain how fuel pumps work; so, let’s jump straight to the main topic.

Can A Car Drive With A Bad Fuel Pump?

How Long Does Fuel Pump Last Before Going Bad

Understanding that every component that makes up a car is relatively important, a bad fuel pump, as insignificant as it may seem, can lead to very serious and costlier damages if not fixed on time.

When your car’s fuel pump goes bad, at first, fuel won’t be able to get into the engine, and that means your car may not drive further. Apparently, your engine needs fuel to move, and so, if it doesn’t get enough of it, it’s going nowhere.

It’s a simple-to-understand situation. Notwithstanding, you may have heard people allege that they got a bad fuel pump and was still able to drive the car, right? Well, such a situation is possible, but then, this is what you need to know.

If the fuel pump is faulty (I.e., it is not yet damaged), it could still pump fuel into the engine. However, the pumping would not be as sufficient as required. Hence, in such a situation, the car is liable to keep moving because fuel still finds its way into the engine.

Regardless, a car with a faulty fuel pump won’t function properly; oftentimes, the car may stop or the driver may notice other inconsistencies because the engine isn’t getting enough fuel to function as required. Either way, it is not advisable to drive with a faulty fuel pump.

How Long Does Fuel Pump Last Before Going Bad?

Virtually everything has a lifespan, your car’s fuel pump also does. The average lifespan of fuel pumps is 150,000 miles. However, some people drive over 200,000 miles without changing their fuel pump, and yet everything looked good.

Well, as a cautious driver, you should pay attention to every component of your car. Just as it is expected that you change your car’s oil filter after some miles, you should also change the fuel pump after an average of 150,000 miles.

How To Replace/Change a Bad Fuel Pump

It is best to have a mechanic do the job. Changing the fuel pump can be challenging, especially when there’s enough fuel in the gas tank. A lot of safety measures need to be adhered to, and you surely should ensure there’s no inflammable gear around.

Signs and Symptoms of a Failing Fuel Pump

Signs and Symptoms of a Failing Fuel Pump

It is important that you know the signs that indicate your vehicle’s fuel pump is about to fail. The moment you start noticing any of the signs listed below, it is best to drive into a mechanic and have the car checked up. Fuel pumps aren’t costly and it doesn’t cost much to have a bad one replaced, too.

  • Low pressure (the car doesn’t accelerate anymore)
  • Your vehicle’s engine seems to go on and off
  • Whining noise that seems to be coming from the rear side

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Can a car drive with a bad fuel pump? The simple is NO. A bad fuel pump won’t take gas from the tank to the engine, so the car won’t move. However, there are things that look like you’re facing a bad fuel pump situation whilst you’re not.

If your car is old, let’s say over 5 years or even 15 years, it could be that the fuel filter is clogged and that’s why your engine isn’t getting enough fuel. In that case, you only need to unclog the filter and everything would work fine again.

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