How to Identify a Broken Fuel Pump

Posted on: 7 February 2022

Out of all your vehicle's fuel injection system parts, the fuel pump is one of the most crucial. This part has the job of transferring fuel into the fuel tank injectors, which then transfer fuel to the engine for the combustion process. Here are some ways to identify a broken fuel pump.

Service Engine Soon Light

There are a few error codes related to a broken fuel pump that can identify a potential problem. Unfortunately, the codes will only show up if your vehicle has a fuel pressure sensor. It will cause the service engine soon light to illuminate, and you'll get a code related to a lack of fuel pressure or lean fuel conditions. A mechanic can then troubleshoot the problem and narrow down the part to the broken fuel pump.

Another error code related to the broken fuel pump is related to engine misfiring. This happens from the engine not getting the proper fuel to air ratio needed for the combustion process, which causes the engine to misfire as a result. 

Engine Starting Problems

An engine that doesn't start could be related to a broken fuel pump. The engine will crank when you turn the ignition key, which identifies that the starter is working properly, but nothing happens. The engine needs a spark, fuel, and air to start the combustion process when you turn on your vehicle, and it is not going to get the fuel it needs if the fuel pump is broken. 

If the fuel pump is not completely broken, it's possible that you need to crank the engine a lot before the engine starts. This is due to the fuel pump limiting the amount of fuel that is passing through it, and the engine eventually gets the fuel that it needs to start after enough cranking. 

Power Loss

Is the vehicle not going as fast as it used to when you press down on the accelerator pressure? Accelerating opens the throttle plate to allow more air into the engine, and then tells the fuel pump to send the right amount of fuel as well. If the fuel pump is not sending enough fuel, it is going to result in a problem that feels like your vehicle is losing power. 


A broken fuel pump can result in your engine stalling at any time. This is due to the fuel pressure in the engine not being pressurized because the fuel pump isn't working properly. You may be able to start your car again to get the car running, or you may be out of luck and need to have your vehicle towed to an auto shop.