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Q: How long will my fuel pump last?

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How long will my fuel pump last?

A: When trying to figure out how long a fuel p...

When trying to figure out how long a fuel pump will last, many factors need to be considered, including the age of the pump, its level of use, and fuel system contamination. Older vehicles used a fuel system which recirculated fuel between the tank and the engine and then the residual fuel back to the tank. These return fuel systems would require frequent fuel filter changes since the fuel made so many trips through the system.

Modern systems use a returnless type fuel control and an integrated fuel pump module. These systems only deliver the fuel the engine requires and therefore filter less fuel, which generally extends their life cycle. The filters for the most part are integrated onto the pump module assembly and are usually replaced along with the pump as a whole unit when service is required. Barring any mechanical failure or defect they will often go to well over 100,000+ miles of service before requiring replacement. Many will go even closer to 150,000+ or greater. The fuel in your vehicle both lubricates and cools the fuel pump. The greater life cycle of the returnless fuel pumps is also due to the fact that the fuel does not make round trips from the tank to the engine where it would pick up heat and return it to the tank, so the system will stay cooler. None of this will affect or change a pump that fails due to pinched or damaged fuel lines, or any type of electrical concern such as high resistance on a wire or in a connector. In fact, the electrical system of the car has a great impact on the function and operation of the fuel pump.

Using quality fuel and regular overall maintenance can help to increase the pump’s life. Look for signs of a failing pump and seek a quality technician to help diagnose the problem before you end up on the side of the road or the back of a tow truck.

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