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​Symptoms of a Failing Diesel Fuel Pump

Apr 14th 2022

automotive fuel injection pump for a diesel engine

Diesel engines need a steady stream of fuel to generate power. That’s where your diesel fuel pump comes into play. This powerful component sends fuel into the combustion chamber where it mixes with highly pressured air before combusting. The fuel system needs to maintain a precise ratio of air and fuel to maximize efficiency. The pump is just one part of a much larger process. If any of these parts break down, your engine may burn through more fuel than necessary, assuming it fires at all.

Learn what happens when your diesel fuel pump goes bad and what you can do to prevent your pump from failing.

What Is a Diesel Fuel Pump?

The fuel pump is responsible for throttling the amount of fuel that goes into the combustion chamber. The pump pressurizes the fuel as it enters the chamber. Diesel fuel injectors spray the pressurized fuel into the chamber as a fine mist as it mixes with the pressurized air to generate power.

Inline injection pumps, or jerk pumps, use plungers to force the pressurized fuel into the chamber. The plungers are controlled by a mechanical cam that’s connected to the engine. The cam increases the flow of fuel based on how much is needed to power the engine.

More sophisticated electronic rotary pumps use electronic signals to adjust the amount of fuel that enters the chamber. The injection control pressure sensor records the pressure of the fuel in the injectors. The injection pressure regulator (IPR) valve will then adjust the pressure based on the signal it receives from the vehicle’s electrical computer.

working on a diesel injection pump

Your fuel also passes through a series of particulate filters before reaching the combustion chamber. These filters remove debris and particulate matter that can clog your pump’s fuel line and injectors.

Diesel Fuel Pump Symptoms and Problems

Your diesel fuel pump depends on a number of sensors and mechanical parts. If any one of these components break down, the engine won’t be able to do its job.

Watch out for these warning signs that something is wrong with your diesel fuel pump:

Loss of Power

The pump should be able to deliver enough fuel to power the engine based on the situation at hand. If there isn’t enough fuel in the chamber, you will experience a sudden loss of power. Forcing your engine to work harder only puts more pressure on your fuel pump. Heaving towing, driving uphill and fast accelerations can overwhelm the pump if it is damaged or clogged in any way.

Squeaking Sounds

When you step on the gas or tow a large load, you may hear squeaking sounds coming from your diesel fuel system. This is a sign that your pump is having trouble delivering fuel into the combustion chamber.

No Fire

The pump needs to send fuel to the chamber to start the engine. If the pump can’t deliver fuel to the chamber, you won’t be able to start your vehicle at all.

Injection Pressure Regulator (IPR) Valves Need Replacing

If you have an electronic diesel fuel pump, there may be a problem with the IPR valve or ICP sensor. These devices set the pace of the fuel delivery system. You can test the pressure of the fuel to see if these sensors are working properly. You can find diesel fuel system replacement parts online to resolve the issue.

mechanic testing a diesel injector

Clogged Filters

If your pump is clogged or using dirty fuel, your filters will likely be the first to go. Inspect your fuel filters regularly to see if they are accumulating particles faster than usual. Once your filters clog, the pump will have to work harder to move fuel into the chamber, which can further damage your fuel system.

Problems with the Fuel Injectors

The same may also be true of your diesel fuel injectors. These parts can clog or leak over time. They are an essential component of your diesel fuel system. Watch out for symptoms of failing injectors and clean them regularly to help your fuel pump do its job.

Find a Replacement IPR Valve 7.3

Your diesel fuel pump should last approximately 100,00 miles. It will start to wear down with time, but there are several things you can do to extend the life of your pump.

Use diesel fuel additives to break up particles that can clog your filters. Clean your injectors regularly and keep an eye on your filters to see if you are using dirty fuel.

If you fall behind on regular maintancne, you risk damaging your pump beyond repair. Consider replacing your diesel fuel pumps before the problem gets worse to avoid damaging the other components of your engine.

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