Lifestyle

Everything you need to know about fuel pumps

There is no denying that a car would be stranded without a fuel system. A fuel pump is essential to an automobile’s fuel delivery system. In most vehicles, engines are located at the front end while the fuel tank is at the rear end. The primary function of fuel pumps is to draw the fuel from the storage tank and force it to the engine. Though some old models do not require a pump to direct the fuel towards the engine, in many of the latest non-gravity-based engines, it is often referred to as “the heart of the vehicle”. There are two basic types of pumps available- electrical and mechanical. This article will discuss both of them in detail and explain the advantages of one over the other; read on!

Types of fuel pumps

Electrical

Electrical pumps are used in fuel injection systems to pump the fuel from the fuel tank to the injectors. Unlike old mechanical pumps, electrical pumps are usually located in or near the fuel tank and deliver the fuel at 30-85 psi to the fuel injector. Today a wide variety of electrical pumps are available in the market for various applications, such as,

  • Turbine pumps
  • Roller vane pumps
  • Gerotor pumps
  • Solenoid pumps
  • Peripheral pumps
  • Brushless pumps

Mechanical pumps 

These are further categorized into two types, old-style mechanical pumps and new-style GDI pumps.

  • New style high-pressure GDI pumps- The advent of Gasoline Direct injection (GDI) systems has given rise to the high-pressure pumps. These pumps are designed to deliver fuel pressure up to 2000 psi and thus helps the GDI engines to improve fuel economy with reduced emissions and high power output.
  • Old-style mechanical pumps- These are often found in a few old-model engines with carburettors. In these old cars pump draws fuel from the tank and pushes it to the carburettor when the engine is running. Their output pressure is relatively low- 4 to 10psi. These low-pressure pumps are often mounted on the top of the machine.

Advantages of electrical fuel pumps over mechanical pumps 

They alleviate vapour lock issues- In case a vehicle is left unused for some time, the liquid fuel inside the tank changes to a gaseous state and thus disrupts fuel pump operation, causing feed pressure loss to the carburettor. Vapour locks are common in old fuel systems with low-pressure mechanical pumps. But in the case of electric pumps, since the pumps are in the tank’s interior and run cooler, the pump pressurizes the fuel lines and prevents vapour locks.

They are highly durable- The presence of fuel pumps inside the tank allows it to get cooled by the flow of the gasoline. This prevents overheating the electric pump, a common issue in mechanical pumps. 

They enhance safety- Fuel injection systems have a unique device called Electrical Control Unit (ECU) for controlling the power to the fuel pump. It can shut off the pump if it detects low pressure. Having these features helps avoid the risk of fire in an engine in the event of collisions or terminal failures. As mechanical pumps lack these features, they are considered less safe.

They are smaller and lighter- Electrical fuel pumps are smaller in size and lighter in weight compared to the old mechanical pumps. This compact size allows electrical pumps to accommodate inside the fuel tank easily. Moreover, being small reduces the electrical load and controls fuel consumption. But electric pumps are a bit pricey.

If your vehicle demands a fuel pump replacement, consider purchasing it from a reputed and experienced manufacturer. You can find a manufacturer/ seller that provides these pumps at the most competitive prices online. 

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