How to Change a Fuel Pump

by Dan Ferrell

After years of service, a fuel pump will loose pressure, supply irregular fuel flow or leak. In such cases, a replacement is necessary. Electric fuel pumps--the most common units in use--come in different designs and pressure ratings depending on vehicle model and engine size. Installation also varies: Some vehicles mount their units outside the fuel tank; some in-tank pump models provide an easy access for replacement; while others require lowering the fuel tank. Whatever your vehicle model, follow these simple steps to replace the fuel pump in your vehicle.

Park your vehicle on a level surface in a safe place with enough room for you to work at the back of your car.

Relieve the fuel pressure from the fuel system. If you do not know the correct procedure for your vehicle, remove the fuel pump fuse from the fuse panel or fuse box, located under the dashboard or engine compartment.

Start the engine until it stalls from lack of fuel. Reinstall the fuse and disconnect the black, negative battery cable.

Locate the fuel pump. If you have an in-tank fuel pump, look for an access door underneath the back seat or trunk. You will need to remove the seat and carpet to locate this door. Unscrew the door using a Phillips screwdriver or ratchet and socket. Go to step 7.

Raise the back of the vehicle with a jack and support it safely on jack stands if you have an inline pump. To remove the inline fuel pump, follow the fuel lines coming out of the tank to locate the pump. Use one wrench as a back up and a tubing wrench to unscrew the holding nut to avoid line damage. Remove the pump and install the new unit in place. Lower the vehicle and connect the black battery cable.

If you have an in-tank fuel pump with no access door to it, raise the back of the vehicle with a jack and support it safely on jack stands. Remove the straps holding the tank in place using a ratchet. You might have to support the tank with a jack to lower it slowly once the straps have been removed.

Unplug the electrical connector and remove the fuel lines connected to the cam lock holding unit. You can use a special cam tool or a long punch and light hammer blows to rotate the lock tabs counterclockwise.

Lift the cam off the tank, being careful not to lose the ring gasket underneath the cam. The fuel tank sending unit and fuel pump are attached to the cam door. Disengage the fuel pump from the assembly and install the new pump. Reinstall the fuel-sending unit assembly and lock the cam. Reinstall the tank, lower the vehicle and connect the black battery cable. If you are working through an access door, install the access cover and connect the black, negative battery cable.

Tip

  • check If you need to locate or identify components, consult your vehicle service manual. You can buy one at most auto parts stores.

Items you will need

About the Author

Since 2003 Dan Ferrell has contributed general and consumer-oriented news to television and the Web. His work has appeared in Texas, New Mexico and Miami and on various websites. Ferrell is a certified automation and control technician from the Advanced Technology Center in El Paso, Texas.

Photo Credits

  • photo_camera Photo courtesy of Mechanic at Wikipedia.org