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How to Tell if a Fuel Pump Relay is Bad? (5 Symptoms)


If you are experiencing poor acceleration, stalling, or stuttering, it is highly likely to be a fuel delivery issue. The problem could either be with the fuel pump relay or the fuel pump itself.

The fuel pump relay is a small electronic device that is designed to activate the fuel pump by supplying it with current. It does so anytime you turn your ignition key ON and every time you press the gas pedal.

One of the reasons behind the fuel pump relay failure could be a broken or burned winding. It is possible that excessive current went through a relay or it simply deteriorated with time and usage.

Since it’s a primary electronic switch that is responsible for delivering fuel to your engine, if it’s not working properly, you will notice! This is how you check your fuel pump relay with a multimeter:

If your car dies randomly while you are driving, and everything is fine with the relay, you may want to check your fuel pump:

The fuel pump relay and the pump itself are very important components of your fuel delivery system. If any of the tests above show that you have a problem, see your mechanic immediately before more damage is done.

The fuel pump relay is often located inside the fuse box:

Now, let’s go over the obvious and not-so-obvious signs of a bad fuel pump relay.

#1. The engine does not start

This symptom is very obvious, but too general since anything could be a cause for your vehicle not being able to start. But if your engine does not start, before you start testing anything else, go to the next step (#2) and listen…

#2. No noise from the fuel pump

Before you start your car, you generally put your ignition into the ON position for a second or two:

A slight buzzing sound should come up when you do so. If you DON’T hear the sound (especially if your car is not starting), you should look for problems with your fuel pump relay.

If you just have a button or remote control, just press a button:

Engine start stop button of a car

In a normal working car, if the fuel pump relay is working properly, the buzzing sound should come up right before it starts.

#3. Your car is stalling or stopping

If you managed to start your car, but after driving for a while, it stalls, this is a VERY COMMON sign of fuel pump relay problems. When your relay fails to trigger the fuel pump, the needed quantity of fuel will not be supplied to your engine, and it will shut down on you!

In a good scenario, you will not get out of your driveway. In a bad one, your car can suddenly stop, and let’s hope you have some space to pull over…

If in random situations your vehicle suddenly slows down and stops, you could possibly have the following problems:

  1. You just ran out of gas.
  2. Your fuel filter is clogged.
  3. There is no pressure in a fuel pump.
  4. Your fuel pump relay needs replacement.

#4. Your car is slowing down

If your engine seems to lose power while driving, this could mean that it is not getting the right quantity of gas and possible trouble with the fuel pump relay. Now it’s a good time to get your car checked out before it comes to a halt at the very wrong moment on the road!

#5. Your Check Engine light is ON!

When your Check Engine light comes ON, this simply means that the computer is getting some kind of electrical signal about one of your onboard devices that is not functioning at the required specifications. If you have an OBD2 scan tool and read the code P0230 or P0231 on it, it means you have trouble with the primary circuit of the fuel pump.

It does not specifically lead you to the fuel pump relay, but this is how you know what problem your car is experiencing before taking it to your mechanic. But, before you go, it’s a good idea to check if you have a blown pump fuse.

Feel free to save the infoPin below for your future Reference :

** Warning! Doing electrical work yourself is dangerous if you don’t know what you are doing or are not qualified to do so. Leave it to professionals:

Attention! This article is for informational purposes ONLY and is NOT a replacement for professional advice! ALWAYS consult your local specialist for an appropriate solution to your problem. All statements, prices, contact information, recommendations, and reviews contained herein came from sources that we believe to be reliable, but the accuracy or completeness thereof is not guaranteed. Please contact the service provider for complete details and updates.

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