Fuel Pump Failure

How-to's and repair secrets for your 4WD can be found here. Have a question? Ask it in here!
Post Reply
User avatar
marlinh
Highest Ranking Member
Posts: 1533
Joined: Sun Apr 08, 2012 9:15 am
My tercel:: 'Everett' Blue mint 4WD wagon and 'Rocky' 86 4WD Wagon
Location: Kootenays

Fuel Pump Failure

Post by marlinh » Sat Aug 01, 2020 8:35 am

A little over a week ago my car seemingly ran out of gas. Fuel gauge has been inaccurate but only had a few hundred km after topping up because I reset the trip meter every time. Fuel line and filter was empty of gas so I hitched a ride to a gas station filled a jerry can and got the car going. Fast forward three days ago, the car died again. A kind Samaritan towed me to a gas station and I topped up the tank but it still wouldn't start. Tank was definitely not empty. Fuel line and filter was. I sucked fuel up to the pump and it still wouldn't start. So, I replaced the pump and the car ran fine.

Here is my question. When a mechanical fuel pump fails is it typical for the fuel lines before it to be empty? Has anyone ever had a fuel pump fail and then work again?

The pump that was on the car was aftermarket and brand new. No more than 4 months on the car that was barely driven due to Covid. And yes, Petros I know they are 'junk out of the box'. The tank that was in the car was a used one that had a dent in the bottom of it. I removed the tank hoping to find damage to the pick up tube but it was fine. I pressure tested the fuel line from the pump to the tank and no pinhole leaks. I am sure that I had at least a third of a tank of fuel in the car when it first died on me and it was almost full the second time. Could it have been the pump both times? Curious for feed back from any one else who has seen this before.

Thanks for all your help.

User avatar
slimdude85
Advanced Member
Posts: 69
Joined: Thu Jun 01, 2017 1:50 pm
My tercel:: 1981 Toyota Tercel
Location: Missouri, USA

Re: Fuel Pump Failure

Post by slimdude85 » Sat Aug 01, 2020 11:08 am

Have you tried running a hose from the fuel pump inlet, eliminating the fuel system from the pulp back, into a bottle or can with gas in it to verify the pump is bad?
Do not be afraid of sudden fear nor of the onslaught of the wicked when it comes; For the LORD will be your confidence and will keep your foot from being caught.
‭‭Proverbs‬ ‭3:25-26

I have learned to kiss the wave that slams me into the Rock of Ages. -C.H. Spurgeon

User avatar
slimdude85
Advanced Member
Posts: 69
Joined: Thu Jun 01, 2017 1:50 pm
My tercel:: 1981 Toyota Tercel
Location: Missouri, USA

Re: Fuel Pump Failure

Post by slimdude85 » Sat Aug 01, 2020 11:12 am

As far as line being empty, it stands to reason that would occur. Between gravity, siphon action, and lack of suction keeping the fuel from moving to the rear as you accelerate, there’s nothing to keep it in the lines if the diaphragm in the fuel pump has failed, as is likely the case.
Do not be afraid of sudden fear nor of the onslaught of the wicked when it comes; For the LORD will be your confidence and will keep your foot from being caught.
‭‭Proverbs‬ ‭3:25-26

I have learned to kiss the wave that slams me into the Rock of Ages. -C.H. Spurgeon

xirdneh
Highest Ranking Member
Posts: 2024
Joined: Thu Aug 04, 2005 11:38 am
My tercel:: 87 tercel 4x4 wagon w/reringed engine, 83 tercel 4x4 wagon w/salvaged engine and 4.1 Diff's
Location: seabeck, washington, USA

Re: Fuel Pump Failure

Post by xirdneh » Sat Aug 01, 2020 4:01 pm

Did you replace fuel filter or check to see if its loaded up? I have had fuel filter that stopped the engine. After sitting for a bit the engine would run again. Sometimes for hours.
Love those Tercell 4x4 wagons but they sure suffer from road noise.

User avatar
marlinh
Highest Ranking Member
Posts: 1533
Joined: Sun Apr 08, 2012 9:15 am
My tercel:: 'Everett' Blue mint 4WD wagon and 'Rocky' 86 4WD Wagon
Location: Kootenays

Re: Fuel Pump Failure

Post by marlinh » Sun Aug 02, 2020 7:41 am

Fuel filter is also new with no restrictions. Yes, I am familiar with that issue xirdneh. I've seen it before.

Slimdude: I didn't try that at the time being in a gas station parking lot. Just wanted to get home. It fired right up after replacing the pump so that was enough verification for me that it was bad. My curiosity is the empty lines checked very shortly after the car stalled. Fuel draining back makes some sense, but NO gas in the filter, not even in the bottom of the bowl? I would expect the supply line to be dry just before the pump.

Post Reply