How Running on Low Fuel Affects the Electric Fuel Pump of Your Car
Posted: May 31, 2014
The electric fuel pump is one of the most critical components of your car. All modern cars are fitted with this. It is generally located inside the tank. To avoid burning and wearing, it is submerged in gasoline or diesel. It uses electric power to deliver fuel (at high pressure) to the engine from the tank.
Replacing or fixing it is laborious and expensive (especially in diesel cars). For these reasons, it is important to protect it from overheating, wear and tear. One of the major causes of its failure is, running on low level of gasoline or diesel for longer period.
The electric fuel pump is placed in the middle of the tank. It continuously delivers gasoline/diesel to engine when the car is running. During its functioning, the temperature raises. When the tank has adequate level of gasoline or diesel, it submerges the fuel pump and decreases its temperature and cools it down. When the car is running on low level of gasoline or diesel, it is not submerged. This increases the temperature further and results in overheating and burning. Continuously running on low level of fuel drastically increases its temparature resulting in its failure.
Forms moisture in the tank and sediments
The other disadvantage of having low fuel is the formation of moisture in the tank that may lead to accumulation of rust inside the tank. The rust particles formed in the tank enters the fuel pump and the engine will adversely affect your vehicle's performance.
Fuel injection system (FIS) returns hot fuel
The FIS is designed to return the left-out fuel from the hoses and fuel lines back to the tank. The temperature of this left-out fuel is high. Remember, the temperature of the fuel pump will keep increasing during its operation. The 'hot' fuel returned by FIS to tank will further increase the overall temperature of the fuel and tank rapidly. Continuous and rapid increase in the temperature will burn and wear it out.
Running the car on low fuel will decrease its lubrication. Sediments that are present in gasoline or diesel and debris (that enter with fuel or while refueling) get accumulated at the bottom of the tank. These sediments and debris cause clogging and failure of the fuel pump.
Car manufacturers know the importance of keeping it submerged in gasoline or diesel. They design the 'low fuel' light to glow whenever it is about to get exposed or a few miles left when it starts exposing out. So, it is strongly recommended to fill fuel whenever the low fuel light glows in order to keep your fuel pump submerged in gasoline or diesel and thus keeping it cool and wet. Filling with clean and quality gasoline or diesel is also helpful.
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