Practically all modern vehicles come with a fuel pump. If your vehicle has an internal combustion engine, then it contains a fuel pump. Fuel pumps are responsible for carrying fuel from the vehicle’s gas tank to the engine. If the fuel pump fails, it can damage the internal components of the vehicle.

Types of Fuel Pumps

Fuel pumps are either mechanical or electrical. Mechanical fuel pumps are located on the engine block. They pass fuel from your vehicle’s gas tank to the carburetor, like a piston. Many older stock engines will use a mechanical performance fuel pump. If the fuel pump fails, it could cause the fuel to flow directly into the carburetor disturbing the pressure balance of the fuel pump system.

An electric fuel pump is used in fuel injection systems that require gas to be delivered to the engine at a higher rate of speed than mechanical fuel pumps. The fuel pump is inside of the gas tank. It uses a computerized system to spray a gentle mist across the inside of the engine’s compartments. Because the engine, the tank, and the fuel pump work together, any malfunction can cause an entire fuel system failure. There are three reasons your electric fuel pump can be noisy.

Reasons for the Noise

  1. Low Gas – If you hear a whining noise, it could be that your fuel pump is working harder than it should. Riding on “E” will cause extreme stress on your fuel pump. If your car is making this noise don’t wait until your tank is practically empty. Fill it up when your gas gauge reaches one-fourth full.
  2. Loss of Pressure – Your vehicle may lurch forward, create a stalling sound, and then drive regularly. With this malfunction, it means that your vehicle does not have enough power coming from the fuel pump. The pressure will usually restore after a few seconds, but you may need to find a replacement fuel pump.
  3. Contaminated Fuel – If your fuel is contaminated, you could hear a grinding noise. You may also experience hard starts and stalled engines. You’ll know almost immediately after you fill up your tank if the fuel you pumped was contaminated.

The fuel pump is an essential part of the fuel-engine team. Without the pump, the engine will stall. Ignoring a squeak or grinding sound can cause your vehicle to stall completely. Buying a replacement fuel pump may be the first step to getting back on the road.