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How to Know When a Fuel Pump Is Leaking

by Fahlen Brown

A fuel pump is designed to deliver gasoline from the gas tank to the engine of a vehicle. If it stops working properly, it can stop the engine from running. Knowing the warning signs of a malfunctioning fuel pump can allow you to get the pump replaced in a timely fashion. Replacing a faulty fuel pump can prevent the car engine from completely shutting down.

Highway Speed Test

Pull the car onto the highway.

Pay attention to how the car runs for the first mile on the highway. If the car jerks or falters in the first mile before hitting top speed, this may indicate a fuel pump problem.

Focus on the car's speed as it travels along the highway. A sudden loss of speed even when the accelerator is pressed could be indicative of a fuel pump problem.

Acceleration Test

Start the car. Place the car in drive.

Press down on the accelerator.

Pay attention to the acceleration of the car. If the car moves and then seems to lose power and acceleration after traveling a few feet, it could indicate a problem with the fuel pump.

Start Test

Place the key into the car's ignition.

Start the engine.

Pay attention to how long it takes before the car's engine turns over and starts. Excessive cranking of the engine or the inability of the engine to turn over at all could be indicative of a fuel pump problem.


  • After the initial mile on the highway, the car may not exhibit any more problems for 50 or more miles. This is not indicative that the possible problem with the fuel pump has been corrected.
  • During the start test, a loose engine belt could also prevent the car engine from starting. A mechanic could check to make sure the problem is the fuel pump and not the engine belt.

About the Author

Residing in Raleigh, North Carolina, Fahlen Brown started her freelance writing career in 2011. She currently writes eHow articles and has held jobs in the administrative and customer service fields. Fahlen has a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from Meredith College.

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  • New car petrol engines image by Christopher Dodge from