How to Change a Fuel Pump: Covering Different Aspects

When you have a bad fuel pump your car doesn’t start because the gas or fuel is not traveling even if you have the gas tank full. Maybe you are noticing other symptoms of a bad fuel pump such as whining noise, low gas mileage, or the car doesn’t start at all. In either case, you should learn how to change a fuel pump as it is the only way to tackle your car without any problem the next time.

How to Change a Fuel Pump: The Detailed Guide        

Before replacing the fuel pump, it is wise to have some basic knowledge about where different parts of your car exist. Read your manual and be confident about if you can do the replacement. Else, it is advised that you take your vehicle to a professional instead of choosing the DIY way.

Things You will Need:

  • Replacement fuel pump assembly
  • Jack and jack stand or lift
  • Wrench or socket set
  • Vehicle-specific repair manual
  • Hand-siphon pump
  • Gasoline container
  • Rags or kitty litter to handle the spill

Tip: You should also check the fuel tank for any damages so you can replace both at once. Do check the clogged filter, gas line, or electrical problem as well.

How to change a fuel pump
Changing fuel pump when car produces explosion sound (Photo Source: tumblrgallery)

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Quick Steps to Fuel Pump Replacement

  • Disconnect the battery
  • Drain fuel from the tank
  • Remove fuel lines and electrical connectors
  • Loosen or remove the fuel tank filler neck
  • Support tank with jack or wood
  • Remove straps to remove the fuel tank
  • Undo fuel pump retainer ring
  • Remove the fuel pump and sender module

Any work-related to fuel should be cross-checked as if there should be no chances of catching fire. Repair your car in an open space with all the tools mentioned. Wear gloves and eyewear and disconnect the battery before going any further with fuel pump replacement.

The first step is about removing the fuel or the fuel tank. Remove the gas cap and measure how much fuel is present by inserting any stick-like thing. Get the container to collect the fuel and keep it under the tank. You can also remove the tank if it is empty or close to empty; do not remove a fuel tank that is full, or it can cause injury.

To do the replacement easy, get to the gas tank filler neck mounting bolts or remove the filler tube.

In the next step, you need to remove the electrical connectors and fuel lines. For this, you need to locate the electrical connector and inspect it for any damages or burns; replace it right away, if any.

For removing the fuel line, you should use the fuel line removal tool and use the container to collect the fuel just after you remove the fuel line. Disconnect or remove all the fuel vapor lines.

Continuing with the Steps 

Make sure all the wiring or the electrical connectors are detached. Support the tank using a jack as it comes pretty heavy. You should see the tank mounting bolts, loosen these bolts and remove the tank easily.

Now use an aerosol cleaner to clean the area there and remove the dirt. To access the fuel pump, remove the mounting bolts, and remove the unit. Make use of the hammer if the mounting bolts demand, and this will take the fuel pump off.

There should be no dirt or foreign material inside the space where you are replacing a fuel pump. Use a flashlight to have a glance there and get your new fuel pump.

Remember that your new fuel pump should be identical to the old one. Get a new gas-level float arm and a new primary fuel filter as well.

Clean the mounting tools and seal the surface using a shop towel and carburetor cleaner. Get the new O ring gasket/seal and install it properly before you install the new pump.

When you have installed the fuel pump, get all the mounting bolts and secure them tightly to keep everything in place.

Put everything back in order or reverse the steps, and there you have the new fuel pump installed.

How Long Does It Take To Replace Fuel Pump?

It’s true to say that replacing the fuel pump is not a simple process. If your vehicle is designed with an external fuel pump, it can take an hour or two to replace it. However, if you need to change its entire fuel system and need to empty the fuel tank, this can take up to about 4 or 5 hours. It’s hard to predict the exact time to replace your fuel pump in the car since it will depend on some factors:

  • The model, make, and year of your vehicle and the original fuel pump.
  • Availability of the replacement parts.
  • Based on my experience of replacing fuel pumps in specific cars. You can save much time by searching online for guidance to help with the process. Most manufacturers also provide manuals for their cars, including instructions and illustrations for fixing them, if they don’t use videos. Remember that some repairs are best left to the experts. 

Generally speaking, changing your fuel pump is not a challenging task, but it is very critical that you should need time and do the process exactly. The average time to replace your fuel pump takes about two hours. However, depending on the model and your experience, it may take longer.

Symptoms Of A Bad Fuel Pump             

You should keep an eye out for any bad fuel pump symptoms because the fuel pump is a crucial part of your car. The good news is that your car will let you know if the fuel pump is falling or is about to fail through some symptoms. Let’s examine some of the typical signs of a bad fuel pump in more detail:

Power loss

You’ll experience power loss because your engine is constantly stressed, especially, if your fuel pump is extremely damaged. Don’t be shocked if you have to deal with an engine stalling or abrupt stop when that occurs.

Car overheating

One of your vehicle’s worst enemies is overheating because it quickly causes serious breakdowns. For instance, if you are driving a car and notice that the temperature gauge is significantly rising, it may be a sign that your fuel pump is malfunctioning and it’s time to changing fuel pumps. But please remember that a variety of possible causes could be involved in a car overheating incident.

Engine sputtering

Have you ever been driving your car and noticed the engine sputtering, especially, if you are maintaining a high speed while doing so? If it occurs, it’s obvious that your fuel pump is failing and you should replace it as soon as possible. When the engine struggles to maintain a steady-state fuel supply to the engine at high speeds, it alters the problem. As a result, the engine won’t produce the steady-state energy needed to keep operating your car efficiently.

Low fuel economy

Your engine constantly anticipates a certain amount of fuel supply. You’ll notice that you’re stopping at the gas station more frequently than usual when your engine doesn’t receive this amount because it will need more fuel. 

Problematic fuel pressure gauge

Since the fuel pressure gauge serves as your primary means of determining how much fuel is still in your tank. It’s possible that it will display odd readings when the fuel pump is going bad. Because the pump is not supplying your engine with enough fuel and at that time the gauge will become faulty. This is why occasionally the gauge will read very high before abruptly dropping sharply and without warning.

Your vehicle not starting

You can’t start your car in some dire situations and when the fuel pump isn’t working. What would happen If the fuel-the engine’s primary source of power was not delivered? It will be very similar to driving your car completely out of gas. Therefore you must watch for early symptoms that your fuel pump is bad before it gets to this point.


How to change a fuel pump
Fuel pump wears out with time and needs a replacement (Photo Source: depositphotos)

What Happens with the Fuel Pump?

The fuel pump is significant in your car and its primary function. The fuel pump as its name suggests is in charge of transferring fuel from the tank to the entire fuel system. Depending on your vehicle, this pump may operate using electrical or mechanical force. The fuel is distributed to all other parts, including the fuel injector and the cylinders after it is pumped from the gas tank. With time the motor wears out, resulting in weak fuel pressure or no fuel passage at all. Replacing the fuel pump gets everything back in order if the issue is with the fuel pump and not any other parts.

The Overall Cost for Fuel Pump Replacement

The fuel pump replacement kit charges anywhere from $110.00 and $240.00 (US). The kit can be purchased online or offline from car shops that sell parts and assemblies of cars. Reading the Maintenance Tips about the fuel pump is always helpful to understand the replacement process easier.

However, if one needs to have the fuel pump replaced professionally, the labor cost would be there. The cost will range from $124 and $260 and it depends on the state as well as the place you opt for. If you want to do it yourself, then you only have to spend on the replacement kit.

Replacement of the fuel pump can be very expensive, especially, if you drive a luxury vehicle. Therefore you must access the entire situation and determine that your vehicle is worth the investment before spending a penny on replacing the fuel pump.


replacing a fuel pump
Disconnect negative terminal of the battery before proceeding with replacement (Photo Source: istockphoto)


The cost of the replacement can be greatly compromised when the labor is not included. However, you should fix the fuel pump if you have some experience with your car in terms of repairs and if you understand the process of how to change a fuel pump completely. Also, you can watch some videos on fuel pump replacement in case of any doubt.