What Happens When Fuel Pump Goes Out While Driving?

Can a fuel pump fail suddenly or go out while driving? Let’s find out. Contemporary vehicles, vehicles have electronic fuel pumps in their internal combustion engine. 

You can’t downplay the efficacy of the ‘unsung hero’ (fuel pump) since it has a crucial role in your gasoline and diesel automobile engines.

Although, the failure of your fuel pump is disheartening and could cause sudden interruption to your workplace or even keep you stranded on the roadside. 

Since it sends fuel from the gas tank through the fuel filter and to the fuel rail, it is distributed to the injectors and then into each cylinder.

What Happens When Fuel Pump Goes Out While Driving

However, the fuel pump channels fuel to the carburetor in older automobiles, a better understanding of the essential aspect of the fuel pump will help you know when it has gone wrong.

Relax as this article will explore the following contents; what happens when the fuel pump goes out while driving, what to do if a fuel pump goes out while driving, fuel pump goes out while driving, what happens when you drive off with a gas pump, what would cause a fuel pump to keep going out, fuel pump failure while driving and many more.

What Happens When Fuel Pump Goes Out While Driving?

Significantly, a typical fuel pump should last for at least 100,000 miles before it goes bad or wrong since vehicle parts do not last forever. If your fuel pump goes out while driving, it will result in disheartening performance and drivability problems with your vehicle.

Here you have them!

·      A Sputtering Engine

Suppose your engine begins to sputter as you hit the highway at top speed. It becomes evident that your engine had not received a sufficient supply of fuel, and this insufficient/starvation of fuel power has caused the fuel pump to go out while driving.

·      Loss Of Engine Power

In most cases of loss of engine power, the fuel pump going out is the result of such. 

·      An Overheating Engine

Eventually, your fuel pump goes out, which might result in overheating, which causes the engine to overheat too. Though, overheating with regards to the fuel pump will stall the engine. Pulling over if your vehicle shows any signs of overheating is vital

·      Low Fuel Pressure,

It is crucial to test your fuel pressure to determine the cause of fuel pump failure. And as well as ascertain the level of pressure force necessary for the effective working of the fuel pump.

The above also applies to; what happens if the fuel pump goes out while driving.

What Happens When Fuel Pump Goes Out While Driving

What To Do If A Fuel Pump Goes Out While Driving?

Importantly, you must check for symptoms and confirm that your fuel pump has gone out while driving. Such signs of a faulty fuel pump are; the engine suddenly stalling, low speed, a misfiring engine, low pressure, reduced power, and a few more. Though here is what you can do to remedy the situation.

1.    Replacement Of The Faulty Fuel Pump

Pull over and get a certified mechanic who will diagnose and completely replace the faulty fuel pump with a quality brand new one to avoid overheating the engine.

2.    Fix The Faulty Fuel Pump Without Replacement 

Firstly, the use of a fuel pressure gauge. However, most mechanics or experienced car owners use this method to drive and continue driving their vehicles when their fuel pump goes out. You would need to attach the pressure gauge to your vehicle’s engine. Your car will start again even when it indicates a faulty fuel pump.

Secondly, applying external pressure to your vehicle will start a faulty fuel pump and lowers the car’s pressure. So, external pressure will maintain the required pressure of your vehicle’s engine to create and perform.

Thirdly, maintain the engine’s heat by allowing your car to cool when you notice overheating due to the fuel pump going out. That said, your fuel pump resets itself without significant heat in your car’s engine. So far, resetting your fuel pump will reduce the frequency of malfunction and promote maximum performance.

Fuel Pump Failure While Driving: Fuel Pump Goes Out While Driving

Fortunately, your fuel pump can’t go out without any sign or notice. There are signs that your fuel pump is going out while driving, and they include;

  • The check engine light tells you that the OBD system has picked an issue in your vehicle’s ECU that might result from a faulty fuel pump.
  • An excessive gasoline smell might signal that the fuel pump distributes too much gasoline to the engine.
  • Poor fuel economy due to too much distribution to the engine will bring about many expenses.
  • Engine smoking can also result from the fuel pump going out during driving.

These and more could be signals indicating fuel pump failure while driving.

What Happens When You Drive Off With Gas Pump?

Luckily, if you drive off with a gas pump, there will be no significant danger. Since the gas pump has a mechanism that disengages the hose immediately, this mechanism stops the flow of fuel through the hose when pulled with high force. However, driving away with a gas pump will only cause damage to the gas pump.

What Would Cause A Fuel Pump To Keep Going Out?

Being an integral component of your vehicle, supplying fuel necessarily to the cylinders can eventually wear out after some time. Here are the causes/reasons why your fuel pump keeps going out.

·      Electrical problems

Electrical issues are heavy contributors to fuel pumps going out or failing. These electrical issues result from connectors, loose connectors, or even melted connectors. You should check/test your vehicle for poor electrical connections with a quality digital multimeter for voltage drops.

·      Fuel contamination

Since contaminated fuel consists of corrosion and debris, avoid it because it can cause your fuel pump to go off.

·      Clogged filters/strainer

Fuel contaminants can clog components such as strainers, filters, and the fuel pump. When these mentioned components are blocked, there will be starvation of fuel to the engine, and as a result, the fuel pump goes out while you drive and stop the engine.

·      Lack Of Fuel/Low Fuel

Low or lack of fuel is the most common cause of your fuel pump going out often. It would be best if you didn’t run the tank so low on energy to avoid overheating and damaging your fuel pump.

Can A Fuel Pump Go Bad While Driving?

Yes, it can go wrong while you are driving! However, both electronic and mechanical fuel pumps can go wrong or faulty when driving due to some factors like; bad or contaminated gasoline, poor electrical wiring, the low gasoline level, lousy clog filters, and more. 

What Happens When Your Fuel Pump Goes Out While Driving?

Similarly, when driving your vehicle for an important trip, you could be disappointed on your way due to your fuel pump going out. Perchance, this failure or going out fuel pump while driving may be caused by;

·      Decrease In Gas Mileage

In a situation when your fuel pump is distributing much gasoline to the engine, the relief valve doesn’t regulate properly. There will be signs that your vehicle needs to have the correct mileage it deserves. I recommend your check your gasoline mileage for fuel efficiency. However, a drop in this fuel efficiency results from a bad or faulty fuel pump.

·      Surging Engine 

Though the flipside of insufficient fuel supply is too much fuel supply, that said, the fuel pump can send too much fuel to your engine; when this happens, your vehicle’s engine surges. Surging (meaning that the car picks up speed and drops) of your vehicle can be very dangerous, especially on highways. In essence, the above issues are answers to; what happens when a fuel pump goes out while driving.

Can A Fuel Pump Turn On And Still Be Bad?

Of course, yes! A fuel pump can turn on and still be bad since it does not function to start your car but rather the ignition. The ignition sends voltage to the fuel pump relay and regulates the sending and stoppage of gasoline to the engine. Although, when the relay is jammed in a position and continues to distribute electrical power to the fuel pump as it keeps running. If this happens, your fuel pump will run continually with a humming sound rather than quietly as it should be, but your engine will overheat since it has been de-energized by the relay. There you have it!


My final thought is that your fuel pump serves as the heart of your vehicle in terms of pumping fuel away from the fuel tank and into the required components for general functioning purposes. Having experiencing issues with your fuel pump while driving, check, inspect and diagnose and replace the faulty fuel pump with a brand new one, or you could fix it by allowing the engine to cool. As a result, the fuel pump must have reset itself. In the same vein, using these tips, you can maintain and make your fuel pump last longer than expected; always keep your gasoline tank at least a quarter full, and you should perform frequent fuel system maintenance.

I recommend you trust the heart of your vehicle (the fuel pump) to a certified technician/mechanic as you head to your destination safely if this issue should arise. I am sure you understand What Happens When Fuel Pump Goes Out While Driving and what to do fuel pump fail suddenly. Do like and share this informative article with others!

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