You’ve probably heard of a fuel pump, a component inside the fuel tank that creates pressure in the fuel lines to push gasoline to the combustion engine, allowing it to run. Unfortunately, the fuel pump can fail for various reasons, one of which is a lesser-known issue with the fuel pump relay.The fuel pump relay is an electronic component found in all vehicles with an internal combustion engine.
To “relay” means to “receive and transmit.” When the ignition is turned on, the fuel pump relay supplies or “passes on” a constant voltage to the fuel pump.
As a result, problems with the fuel pump relay will cause the fuel pump to malfunction, resulting in start-up issues. A bad or failing fuel pump relay will frequently exhibit symptoms to alert the driver that something is wrong.
Learn how the fuel pump relay works, the warning signs of a failing fuel pump relay, how to diagnose it, the cost of replacement, and regular maintenance tips.
What exactly is a Fuel Pump Relay?
The fuel pump relay is required for the combustion engine model to function. The combustion engine requires fuel to operate, and the fuel pump relay ensures that the engine receives what it requires.
Typically, it is controlled by the ignition or the power control module.When you turn on the ignition, the fuel pump relay is activated and supplies power to the fuel pump. When you turn off the ignition, the fuel pump is turned off.
The fuel pump relay is frequently found in the fuse box in the engine bay, which is usually a long black box containing the fuel pump relay and various other fuses and relays.
The fuel pump relay can be found in various locations on various vehicles, including under the hood, on the firewall, and near the steering column, to name a few.
When you turn the key in the ignition to start your car, the combustion engine’s “start cycle” begins. Next, the fuel pump relay is activated for sufficient time to supply the current required to turn on the fuel pump.
The key here is to send a small amount of voltage to the fuel pump constantly.When the engine starts, the fuel pump relay turns off.
The oil pressure sending unit supplies power to the fuel pump at this point.When you turn off the ignition, the fuel pump relay is re-engaged for a short period, allowing the fuel pump to power down and shut off.
The signs of a faulty fuel pump relay
There is no power supplied to the fuel pump, a common symptom of a faulty fuel pump relay is an engine that refuses to start, even though the engine may still crank when the key is turned.
Of course, you are aware that a wide range of other issues can cause a no-start problem, so you should conduct a thorough diagnosis in this case.
The engine stalls.
A stalling engine is one of the most common symptoms of a failing fuel pump relay. The fuel pump relay abruptly cuts power to the fuel pump while the vehicle is running, causing the engine to stall.
If your engine stalls and will not restart, you have a completely failed fuel pump relay that must be replaced.
On the other hand, if you’re lucky and your car restarts after a few moments, your fuel pump relay is faulty and needs to be replaced right away.
If the car suddenly loses power while driving or slows down for no apparent reason, the fuel relay could be blamed. However, this does not always imply that the vehicle will stall.
For a short period, the vehicle will continue to run normally. However, if you experience a sudden loss of power while driving, an inspection and repair are strongly advised, as there is always the risk that the car will come to a halt the next time, leaving you stranded in the middle of the road.
There is no noise from the fuel pump.
When you turn on the ignition, there is no noise from the fuel pump, which is another sign of a faulty fuel pump relayThe fuel pump is located near the vehicle’s rear in the fuel tank and is usually audible when the engine starts.
A healthy fuel pump combined with a healthy fuel pump relay will frequently produce a low volume hum or whine that can be heard from inside the vehicle or outside, near the fuel tank.If the fuel pump relay fails, the fuel pump will not receive power and will therefore be silent.
How to Clean a Fuel Pump Relay
Cleaning the fuel pump relay is a simple maintenance task that you should learn because the relay can become dirty in various situations.
The heat from the engine can impede the relay’s performance if it is located inside the engine bay, which can get hot from the engine’s heat.
Furthermore, in the rare cases where the relay is located in the engine bay but outside the fuse box, it will be exposed to heat and dust, and dirt.
Because any debris will impair the performance of the fuel pump relay, you should inspect it regularly and clean it as needed.