Top 5 Symptoms of a Bad Fuel Pump: What to Look Out For

Fuel Pump Overheating

If your fuel pump overheats, it can disrupt gas delivery to your engine, leading to your car frequently stalling on the road. Overheating your fuel pump for too long can damage it, clog the fuel filter with tank sediments, and lead to power loss.

But how can you tell that your fuel pump is overheating?

Common signs of a bad fuel pump are noticeable heat and unusual sounds from the pump. Sometimes, an overheating fuel pump can lead to your engine overheating.

Learn how to spot the signs and make changes before the problem becomes complicated

Key Takeaways

The top signs of a failing fuel pump are:

  • The fuel pump feels hot
  • Lower fuel efficiency
  • Stalling engine
  • Overheated engine
  • Loss of power

Signs That Your Fuel Pump Is Overheating Video

Fuel Pump Overheating Symptoms

1. Fuel Pump Feels Hot

A clear sign of an overheating fuel pump is it feels noticeably hot. The fuel pump will feel so hot that it might become difficult to hold.

Fuel pumps comprise different components: metal, rubber, an electric motor, a pressure regulator, etc.

The overheating of the fuel pump is most evident in the rubber parts. An unusual increase in heat suggests overheating and the need for a replacement.

2. Reduced Fuel Economy

If your fuel pump overheats, you'll see a noticeable increase in fuel consumption compared to normal levels. Overheating can also reduce acceleration, as it prevents the necessary pressure and power from reaching your engine.

Prolonged overheating greatly increases the risk of fuel pump failure. This can lead to the fuel pump delivering too much fuel, causing the engine to burn more gas than usual. Check your fuel pump if you notice you are losing gas mileage.

3. Stalling Engine

An overheating fuel pump can make your engine stall and misfire, often happening when you press the gas pedal.

Engine stalling due to an overheated fuel pump often happens if the fuel filter or intake sock is clogged or if air gets into the fuel system, disrupting the fuel ratio.

4. Overheated Engine

Even without coolant or radiator issues, an overheated fuel pump can cause your engine to overheat, especially under high power demands.

If your fuel pump overheats, it may fail to deliver enough gas for high-speed driving. A failing fuel pump may supply inconsistent fuel amounts, causing your engine to run hot. This is particularly likely if the pump is close to failing.

5. Loss of Power

Proper gas delivery is essential for your car to achieve high speeds and optimal power.

If the fuel pump overheats and malfunctions, it reduces gas flow to the engine, resulting in power loss and decreased speed.

Can a Failing Fuel Pump Cause Overheating?

Yes. A failing fuel pump can cause your engine to overheat. A failing fuel pump can deprive your engine of gasoline, forcing it to work harder, which may cause overheating.

Why Is My Fuel Pump Overheating?

Here are some of the common reasons why your fuel pump is overheating.

  • Running on an empty or close to an empty (less than 1/4) gas tank
  • Clogged fuel pump system
  • Clogged sock intake
  • Introduction of air into your fuel pump system
  • It cannot pick up fuel
  • Contaminated gas
  • Electrical issues
  • Problems with fuel filter

Will a Bad Fuel Pump Display a Code?

Yes. A bad fuel pump will show a “P0087 code,” which means the fuel rail/system pressure is too low. It will also trigger a check engine light.

A bad fuel pump will throw a code when the pump is not delivering the required pressure or the supply is below the minimum level.

What Happens When the Fuel Pump Goes Out While Driving?

Your fuel pump can go out while driving. The occurrences are rare on modern vehicles, but we can’t rule out the possibility.

If your fuel pump fails while driving, expect a loss of engine power and your car to jerk. This issue may cause speed fluctuations; your car might suddenly accelerate and then slow down, even if you don't press the gas pedal.

The impact of a fuel pump failure while driving varies with the vehicle type. Your car may either continue for a short distance before the engine shuts down, or you may experience sudden power loss, stalling, or misfiring.

Will a Bad Fuel Pump Work Sometimes?

Yes. A failing fuel pump might occasionally function, but this inconsistent operation shouldn't mislead you into thinking it's reliable.

Even if a failing fuel pump works intermittently, be wary of frequent power loss, engine issues, and starting difficulties.

Can a Fuel Pump Fail Suddenly?

Yes, a fuel pump can fail suddenly. But that’s not the end of the world. Bad things happen. Fuel pump failures often occur unexpectedly and at inconvenient times.

It's best to always be on the lookout for signs of a failing fuel pump and address problems promptly.


Spotting an overheating fuel pump early can save you from a world of hassle down the road.

If your fuel pump's getting too hot to handle, guzzling gas like there's no tomorrow, causing your engine to throw tantrums, or even making it sweat bullets, it's high time to give it some TLC. These red flags are your car's cry for help, signaling that your fuel pump might just be on its last legs.

Don't let these warnings slide or you might find yourself stranded.

Schedule a car inspection if you observe any changes in your fuel pump performance or fuel economy.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I know if my fuel pump is overheating?

If you notice that your car stops working and the engine feels hot, it may be due to a bad fuel pump. A bad fuel pump may cause stalling and sputtering or reduce fuel efficiency.

What causes a fuel pump to go bad?

Electrical wear, bad gasoline in your car, clogged fuel filters, or driving without enough gas can lead to failing fuel pumps.

Can a weak fuel pump cause overheating?

Yes, a failing or clogged fuel pump will lead to engine overheating.

How long do fuel pumps normally last?

The average lifespan for afuelpump is over 100,000 miles.