What is the Fuel Pressure Regulator all about?
Cars need to run at a specific fuel pressure. The regulator controls the fuel pressure and returns any excess fuel to the tank. The regulator is important to ensure that the injectors operate properly. If the regulator malfunctions, it can cause the engine to flood. In extreme cases, a flooded engine can be a fire hazard.
You may see liquid on the floor near the exhaust pipe (raw gas dripping from the tail pipe). You may also notice black smoke when the engine is running (partially burnt gas produces black smoke). Not only will the car get poor gas mileage, it also may not pass an emissions test.
Keep in mind:
Some fuel regulators are located in the tank as part of the fuel pump assembly. If the fuel pressure regulator has gone bad, it can leak fuel in the engine, contaminating the engine oil.
How it's done:
- Scan the computer system in the car for trouble codes.
- Inspect fuel pressure regulator for leakage and proper operation.
- Inspect for any broken vacuum lines.
- Remove and replace fuel pressure regulator if it is bad.
- Change the engine oil and filter if the oil is found to be contaminated.
- Clear any diagnostic trouble codes.
- Test drive the vehicle.
Any time that you notice something potentially wrong with your fuel system, you should schedule an inspection. There are many signs that a fuel pressure regulator is malfunctioning, and all should be taken seriously. If you notice that your car is getting poor mileage, has gas leaking, has black smog coming out of the exhaust, or isn’t running smoothly, contact a mechanic. A malfunctioning fuel pressure regulator will often illuminate the Check Engine warning light, which is always a sign to schedule an inspection.
What common symptoms indicate you may need to replace the Fuel Pressure Regulator?
- Poor gas mileage.
- Smell of gas in the engine compartment.
- Fuel is leaking.
- Black smoke coming out of the exhaust (tail pipe).
- Failed emissions test.
- Check engine light is on.
How important is this service?
When gas is sent from your gas tank to your engine, the fuel pressure regulator makes sure that the fuel pressure is optimal. The fuel pressure regulator is responsible for returning excess fuel to the gas tank, and making sure that the fuel injectors get the perfect fuel pressure. When the regulator malfunctions, the fuel pressure will not be controlled, and your engine will not run optimally. Your engine will also be at risk for fuel flooding, which can result in serious damage and even fire.