Symptoms of a Bad or Failing Fuel Pump Relay

The fuel pump relay is an electronic component that is found on virtually all vehicles equipped with an internal combustion engine. It is often found in the fuse box located in the engine bay and functions as the primary electronic switch that controls power to the fuel pump. The fuel pump relay is usually controlled by the ignition or Powertrain Control Module, and when switched on, will provide current to the fuel pump so that it may function. As the fuel pump relay controls power to the fuel pump, any faults with it can cause issues with the fuel pump, which can cause drivability problems for the vehicle. Usually a bad or failing fuel pump relay will produce a few symptoms that can alert the driver of the issues.

1. Engine stalls

One of the first symptoms of an issue with the fuel pump relay is an engine that suddenly stalls. If the fuel pump relay has an issue while the vehicle is operating it will cut off power to the fuel pump, which will cause the engine to stall. A faulty relay may allow the vehicle to be restarted a short while later, while a completely failed relay will not.

2. Engine does not start

Another symptom of a faulty fuel pump relay is an engine that does not start. If the fuel pump relay fails the fuel pump will be left without power. The engine may still crank when the key is turned, however it will not be able to start due to lack of fuel. This symptom can also be caused by a wide variety of other issues, so having the vehicle properly diagnosed is highly recommended.

3. No noise from the fuel pump

Another symptom that may hint at an issue with the fuel pump relay is no noise from the fuel pump when the key is switched on. Most fuel pumps will produce a low volume hum or whine which can be heard from the inside the vehicle if listened for closely, or from the outside of the vehicle, near the fuel tank. If the fuel pump relay fails, it will cut off power to the fuel pump which will render it inoperable, and therefore silent, when the ignition is on.

While the fuel pump relay is a very simple component, it plays a very important role in the proper operation of the vehicle. If your vehicle is displaying any of the symptoms above, or you suspect that your fuel pump relay is having an an issue, have the vehicle inspected by a professional technician, such as one from YourMechanic, to determine if the component should be replaced.


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Andrew

15 years of experience
396 reviews
Andrew
15 years of experience
Chevrolet Blazer - Alternator - Gresham, Oregon
Andrew really made my day! First off, he got here an hour early, which was great. He had the replacement part with him, based on what I told him about the problem. He did a quick check of the alternator and confirmed it was bad. He did some tweaking on the bill, removed a couple of charges, applied some discounts, and got the final bill down to half of the original quote! Plus, he got the alternator replaced and the truck running in less than 30 minutes! Thanks to the fantastic service Andrew provided, I'm back on the road! Great job!
Jeep Renegade - Oil Change - Portland, Oregon
friendly, arrived early, and was done fast. thank you.

Michael

4 years of experience
120 reviews
Michael
4 years of experience
Volkswagen Jetta - Fuel System Inspection - Indianapolis, Indiana
professional ,informative and knowledgeable

Arturo

27 years of experience
238 reviews
Arturo
27 years of experience
Nissan Titan - Fuel System Inspection - La Mesa, California
Informative and efficient

Raymond

37 years of experience
236 reviews
Raymond
37 years of experience
Chevrolet Impala - Fuel System - Las Vegas, Nevada
Raymond was very knowledgeable mechanic and through in his testing. I trust him for any future from your mechanic.

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