What Does A Fuel Pump Do

A fuel pump delivers fuel from the tank to the engine and fuel injection system or carburetor. These are used in systems that don’t rely on gravity to feed fuel. For a majority of vehicles, a fuel pump is a necessary part of the system. Most pumps used in modern cars are electric, providing better efficiency. Auto Barn and Auto Parts 123 carry fuel pumps and other parts.

Two Types of Pumps

There are two types of pumps in use, depending on the engine system. Engines that feed fuel to a carburetor usually use a mechanical pump. This arrangement is often found in older cars. Engines that use fuel injectors usually have an electric pump. Some engines with fuel pumps have separate high and low pressure pumps.

How Mechanical Pumps Work

A diaphragm, which is flexible, controls the pumping action. A special check valve keeps the fuel flowing in one direction. The whole assembly allows the amount of fuel that’s needed to flow into the carburetor. While not as commonly used, mechanical pumps are considered to be safer because they don’t start automatically.

How Electric Pumps Work

Electric pumps are located inside the tank. One reason for this placement is because there is a lower fire hazard risk. Most pumps allow unused fuel to return to the tank, which eliminates the risk of the fuel boiling. Electric pumps are equipped with safety switches that allow the pump to shut off in dangerous situations.