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How to Reset a Fuel Inertia Switch

by Dan Ferrell

Many vehicle models come equipped with a fuel pump switch, commonly known as the inertia switch. Vehicle owners and mechanics use this switch to cut off fuel to the fuel system as a safety measure during car repairs, when necessary. Moreover, this switch cuts off fuel to your vehicle's engine during a collision to prevent a more serious accident. Either way, you can restore fuel flow to your fuel system by resetting the inertia switch yourself.

Turn off the ignition switch and remove the keys from the ignition lock cylinder.

Open the hood of your vehicle and verify you do not have a fuel leak. If you do have a leak, you will notice a strong smell of gasoline or find wet spots around the fuel injection system --- the assembly on top of the engine that holds the fuel injectors.

Walk around the vehicle and look for possible leaks that might come from the fuel lines or the fuel tank itself.

Look for the fuel pump switch or inertia switch. This is a small box with a plastic button on top and an electrical connector at the bottom. On some vehicle models, this will be located in the luggage compartment. Look on a side panel for a small, round button which you can pry off with a small screwdriver. Through this access hole you will be able to see the reset button on top of the inertia switch. On other vehicle models, the inertia switch is located on the passenger's side floor pan, under the dashboard.

Depress the reset button on top of the inertia switch.

Turn the ignition switch to the "On" position for about 10 seconds and then turn it off. This will let you pressurize the fuel system.

Start and idle the engine for a minute or two to verify that the fuel is flowing properly to the fuel injectors. Check again for leaks.

Turn off the ignition switch. Close the hood and replace the small plastic button, if you had to remove one from the side panel of the luggage compartment to access the reset button on the inertia switch.

Items you will need

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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.

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