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The fuel pump supplies pressurized gasoline to each of the fuel injectors in a car’s engine. The fuel pump is powered by a compact electric motor and is located in the vehicle’s gas tank. The pressure and output of the pump are controlled by a regulator. Filtration of the fuel occurs either in the fuel tank using a pickup screen or externally with a replaceable filter mounted in the fuel supply line.
A high quality, OEM fuel pump can last indefinitely. However, as with any electro-mechanical component, a fuel pump will eventually degrade and fail. If it fails to produce adequate pressure or completely quits operating, it will need to be replaced. This failed condition can sometimes be preceded or accompanied by one or more of the following symptoms:
Usually, it’s still safe to drive, but the pump may lead to an overheated engine and catalytic converter. Complete fuel pump failure can leave you stranded out on the road, but many times a car won’t start before initially driving.
However, if the fuel pump problem involves leaks of gasoline or vapors, it is unsafe to continue driving, and should immediately be checked by a qualified mechanic.
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