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Other Fuel Pump Questions

By Chris Myer

People ask the most unusual questions...

How long do fuel pumps work?

It just depends. In most cases they outlive the car. Sometimes, whether because of an especially long-lived car or some sort of mechanical failure caused by fuel tank contamination or some other fault, they die prematurely.

How much fuel is left in tank when you run out of fuel?

Not enough!

Seriously, it is going to vary widely depending on the car. It will even vary depending on whether the car is on a hill or not, unless the pickup is located PERFECTLY at the bottom and PERFECTLY at the center of the tank.

The only reason I can think of to ask this question is if you're trying to calculate fuel mileage very precisely but there is just no way to know unless you run the car out of fuel, take out the tank, and empty it and measure the remainder.

How to run two fuel pumps with fuel cell?

This is very doable, but it requires two separate fuel lines, or else one fuel line that is large enough to accomodate the full flow from both fuel pumps. Most cars use fuel lines that are about 5/16" inside diameter (id). A high performance car with a single fuel pump would typically use 3/8" id. If you are requiring enough fuel to run two fuel pumps, I would recommend running 3/8" id out of the pump and then ensuring that the mating-point forward is 1/2".

How do you start a fuel injection engine that has run out of gas?

Back in the day, when folks had carbureted engines with mechanical fuel pumps, it was often necessary to "prime" the carburetor by pouring a little fuel into it. This was necessary because the fuel pump was located way up on the engine. Because of the long, empty fuel line through which this fuel pump had to pull fuel, it was not unheard of to run the battery dead trying to turn the engine over long enough to cause the mechanical fuel pump to get fuel all the way up to the engine.

This is no longer the case with fuel injection fuel pumps. These pumps are located either in or just in front of the tank. In either case, as long as the pickup is submerged in fuel (which will happen when you refill the fuel tank), the pump will push fuel to the engine as soon as the key is turned on. No special effort is normally required.


Safety IssuesUse this handy lookup feature to find the right fuel pump for your car right now!

By Chris Myer

Only certified and licensed automotive technicians should do fuel system maintenance or modification. This is especially true of fuel injected fuel delivery systems, because the high pressure in these lines can be maintained for hours or even days. In-tank fuel pumps present additional risks due to the nature of placing a 12-volt electric circuit into a fuel tank. Gasoline vapors are highly explosive. They can be easily ignited by many different heat sources (including static electricity) and can travel unseen for long distances to be ignited, only to return in the form of flames to the fuel source. Fuel-Pumps.net and its partners and parent corporation make no express or implied approval of any of its products for any application. The buyer holds the sole responsibility for the selection, purchase, safe installation, and safe use of any of the products on this website. For a list of precautions for fuel system service, click here.

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