Sputter, Surge, Stall… Car Won’t Start

Believe it or not, the simple fuel pump, hidden away in the gas tank, can cause all kinds of strange car behavior if it malfunctions. Fuel pumps are found in virtually every modern vehicle that uses an internal combustion engine. The fuel pump is the component that delivers fuel from the gas tank to the engine. It delivers this gas at the appropriate pressure required to meet the performance demands. When the key is turned, the fuel pump is activated and pressurized, which can be heard as a quiet hum in some cars (the proverbial purr). Since this is a relatively self-explanatory part, it is a no-brainer that any malfunction or questionable activity is reason for concern.

Two Types of Fuel Pumps

Mechanical Fuel Pump

This is your granddad’s fuel pump. A mechanical pump resembles a diaphragm and uses the pumping action of the diaphragm to create low pressure (10-15 psi) which transports fuel from the tank to the carburetor. These pumps are located on the mount outside of the fuel tank and are less likely to malfunction compared to modern electronic pumps. Most commonly, these pumps will be damaged due to a tear or split which prevents the pump from reaching the proper pressure balance.

Electronic Fuel Pump

Since car manufactures have moved away from the use of carburetors in favor of advanced fuel injection systems, the use of mechanical pumps has decreased. Unfortunately, the mechanical fuel pumps can’t generate the level of pressure required to work with these modern systems. Instead, vehicles now include an electronic pump which injects your fuel at a high pressure (40-60 psi). These pumps are located inside of the gas tank itself and works by spraying a fine mist of fuel inside of the engine’s chambers. Since this uses a computer control system, it adds another element to the potential failure points.image of car with hood open, stopped in road.

How to Identify Malfunctions

There are a few common issues which can point toward a problem with the fuel pump. Before reading the potential symptoms, let’s remember what the primary purpose of the fuel pump is… First, it pumps fuel from the gas tank to the fuel injector or carburetor. Second, it creates the proper amount of pressure to guarantee the right amount of fuel is being delivered to the engine. Now, let’s look at the potential signs of trouble.

  1. Engine Sputters at High Speeds.

One of the clearest indicators of a fuel pump problem is found while driving at a consistently high speed. If the vehicle suddenly sputters and then goes back to normal, regular performance, there is likely trouble with the fuel pump. This sputter occurs when the pump is struggling to deliver a constant stream of pressurized fuel to the engine.

  1. Rising Vehicle Temperatures

Though rising temperatures can point a several issues, one of them may be related to the fuel pump. If the heat rises and the car stalls, this may indicate a problem occurring with the pump. If the vehicle continues to stall out, this is a clear sign that the pump may be deteriorating or needs to be replaced.

  1. Abrupt Loss of Power When the Vehicle is Under Stress.

A vehicle endures a tremendous amount of stress when hauling heavy loads or climbing up a hill. Should your vehicle lose power while performing these tasks, it could mean that the fuel pump has already started to weaken and needs to be addressed.

  1. Surging

Sometimes when the fuel pump is going bad, you may notice that your vehicle speed may spike as if the gas pedal is depressed. This can happen when driving at a consistent speed, out of nowhere.  This is caused by irregular resistance in the fuel pump motor. Some may blame this on a dirty or damaged fuel filter, but if you’ve already tried that and the problem persists, look at your fuel pump next.

  1. Engine Won’t Start

Ignoring any of the issues outlined above will inevitably lead to a vehicle which will not start. When a fuel pump fails completely, absolutely no fuel can reach the engine, and therefore the car will not work. Your car may crank and rev, but it won’t do much else.

No Fuel, No Go

Your car will not work if fuel is not reaching the engine. This is an avoidable issue with a little bit of preparedness. Fuel pumps are vital for any combustion engine, and this is a part all drivers should have a fundamental understanding of – a little knowledge goes a long way! Understanding these warning signs, correctly identifying them, and acting early will prevent you from finding yourself stranded with a big bill in tow.

Related: What You Should Know About Fuel Injectors

AAMCO Colorado Can Help with Your Fuel Pump Problems

Fuel pump problems need to be addressed sooner than later, otherwise greater damage could occur. Your car may be trying to tell you something important, but if you’re struggling to interpret those messages, AAMCO Colorado can help. We have the experts in place to help you identify trouble and get it resolved before the problems get worse.

We’re Locally Owned & Operated

Find your local Colorado AAMCO automotive repair and maintenance center and book an appointment today.

 
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AAMCO Lakewood

8808 W Colfax Avenue | Lakewood, Colorado, 80215

(303) 234-1263
Hours of Operation
Mon-Fri: 7:30am – 5:30pm
Sat: 8:00am – 1:00pm
Also Serving: Golden, Evergreen, Wheat Ridge, Conifer, and Edgewater.

At AAMCO of Lakewood, Colorado, we work hard to provide you with the best transmission repair and auto maintenance services around. From oil and filter change, cooling and radiator service, brake repair and service, to fluid service, strut and shock repair, tune-ups and more, your locally owned and operated Lakewood AAMCO center is your one-stop shop for auto repair and maintenance. Whether you need exceptional auto repair or just want to talk with a mechanic, your local, independent AAMCO of Lakewood, Colorado dealer can help. Come in to your neighborhood Lakewood AAMCO Center today for affordable, friendly, and reliable auto repair and maintenance services.

AAMCO Fort Collins

3737 S. Mason Street | Ft. Collins, Colorado, 80525

(970) 226-4477
Hours of Operation:
Mon-Fri: 7:30am – 5:30pm
Sat: 9:00am – 1:00pm
Also Serving: Loveland, Estes Park, Windsor, Wellington, and Laramie.

As your local, independent AAMCO Fort Collins, Colorado transmission repair dealer, we promise you’ll find the help you need and a local Fort Collins auto repair experience you’ll want to repeat. Come in to your neighborhood Ft. Collins AAMCO Transmission Center today to visit an expert mechanic for honest and affordable auto repair and maintenance services.

AAMCO Northglenn

11450 Huron Street | Northglenn, Colorado, 80234

(303) 451-5400
Hours of Operation
Mon-Fri: 7:30am – 5:30pm
Sat: 9:00am – 1:00pm
Also Serving: Dupont, Westminster, Welby, and Henderson.

When you need affordable, expert auto repair, visit your local AAMCO of Northglenn, Colorado. We work hard to set the standards in tranmission repair, rebuilds, and auto repair by offering you superior service, technology, and expertise at a price you can afford. From oil and filter changes, cooling and radiator services to brake repairs, fluid services, struts and shock repairs, tune-ups and more, your locally owned and operated Northglenn AAMCO transmissions and total car care center is your one-stop shop.

AAMCO Evergreen

27659 County Hwy 74 | Evergreen, Colorado, 80439

(720) 708-6954
Hours of Operation:
Mon-Fri: 8:00am to 5:00pm,
Also Serving: Kittredge, Idledale, Morrison, Idaho Springs, and Georgetown.

AAMCO transmission and auto repair of Evergreen, Colorado provides you with the best local transmission repair and service, oil change, brake repair and service, cooling and radiator service, fluid service, struts and shocks repair, car tune-up, and much more. We know what it takes to keep your vehicle running smoothly - in the mountains or down in the city. Come to AAMCO Transmission Repair and Auto Service Center in Evergreen, CO for the best service around.

27659 County Hwy 74 | Evergreen, CO, 80439

(303) 287-5181
Hours of Operation: Mon-Fri: 8:00am - 5:00pm

When you bring your car to AAMCO of Brighton, Colorado you'll see firsthand how much we care about giving you the best service possible for all your transmission and auto repair needs. We offer a full range of automotive maintenance and repair services, including transmission rebuilds, oil and filter changes, air conditioning repair, engine cooling system and radiator service, brake repairs and service, fluid service, suspensions, tune-ups, exhaust systems, and more.

AAMCO Aurora - Hampden & Tower

18355-A E. Girard Avenue | Aurora, CO, 80013

(303) 400-4842
Hours of Operation: Mon-Fri: 8:00am to 5:30pm

At AAMCO of Aurora, Colorado transmissions and car care center (located on E. Girard Ave, at Hampden and Tower Rd.) we care about your vehicle as much as you do. We specialize in affordable transmission rebuilds and replacements, but we also provide complete auto repair and maintenance services such as oil and filter changes, cooling and radiator services, brakes, shocks and struts, exhaust systems and much more.

AAMCO Denver

187 W. Alameda Ave. | Denver, CO, 80223

(303) 462-2626
Hours of Operation:
Mon-Fri: 8am – 5pm, Sat: 9:30am – 1pm
Also Serving: Edgewater, LoDo, Cherry Creek, Glendale, Park Hill, & Stapleton.

At AAMCO Denver Transmission Shop we take the difficulty and hassle out of your Transmission Repair. We have a simple mission: provide the highest quality transmission repair, rebuilds and customer service in the Denver metro area. When you visit your local AAMCO center in Denver, Colorado you can be sure your auto repair is in the hands of experienced, well-trained auto mechanics. AAMCO Denver also serves the greater metro area, including Glendale, Cherry Creek, Park Hill, and Englewood.

Foreign Car Transmission Experts
AAMCO Denver has in-house experience servicing transmissions for many makes and models of foreign cars. Our mechanics can help you with any transmission issues you have, from Audi and BMW to Mercedes and VW, Honda and Hyundai to Kia and Toyota. Call or make an appointment today with our expert service technicians.

AAMCO Colorado Springs

432 W. Garden of the Gods Rd. | Colorado Springs, CO, 80907

(719) 599-8843
Hours of Operation:
Mon-Fri: 7:30am – 5:30pm
Sat: 9:00am – 1:00pm
Serving Colorado Springs, Manitou, Fort Carson & surrounding areas.

At AAMCO Colorado Springs transmission center we specialize in transmissions, but we can handle all your car repair and maintenance needs. From tune ups and factory recommended maintenance, to oil changes, brakes, exhaust system and muffler repairs, shocks and struts, radiators, cooling systems, and air conditioning, we’ll keep your car in top operating condition. Your vehicle will receive total car care and transmission repair by knowledgeable, well-trained, expert technicians.

Honda Acura Expert
AAMCO Colorado Springs has in-house experience in Honda Acura transmissions and repairs. Our expert can help you with any issues you have, from Civic to Pilot, ILX to MDX, Integra to Legend. Call or make an appointment today with our expert Honda Acura service technician.

AAMCO Greeley

2445 West 29th St. | Greeley, Colorado, 80631

(970) 330-4858
Hours of Operation:
Monday-Friday 8:00am to 5:30pm
Saturdays: 9:00am to 1:00pm
Also serving: Loveland, Windsor, Evans, Fort Morgan, and Johnstown.

At AAMCO of Greeley, Colorado you can expect the best quality service for Greeley transmission repair, Greeley oil and filter change, cooling and radiator service, Greeley brake repair and service, fluid service, strut and shock repair, Greeley car tune-up service, and all your other Greeley auto repair needs. Come visit a Greeley mechanic at your neighborhood Greeley AAMCO Center today and see why we stake our reputation on our award-winning customer service.

AAMCO Aurora - E Colfax Ave

14871 E Colfax Avenue | Aurora, CO, 80011

(303) 366-4842
Hours of Operation: Mon-Fri: 8:00am to 5:00pm

As your local, independent AAMCO of Aurora (East Colfax Ave.) we stake our reputation on our award-winning customer service and high-quality auto repair. Come in to your neighborhood Aurora, Colorado AAMCO Center today for affordable, reliable auto repair and maintenance. From cars and trucks to 4x4's and AWD's, we've got you covered!

AAMCO Pueblo

1910 W US Hwy 50 | Pueblo, Colorado, 81008

(719) 542-8040
Hours of Operation:
Mon-Fri: 8:00am – 5:00pm
Sat: 8:00am – 4:00pm

At AAMCO transmission and auto repair of Pueblo, Colorado we know what it takes to keep your vehicle running smoothly. Let us provide you with the best transmission repair and service, oil and filter change, cooling and radiator service, brake repair and service, fluid service, strut and shock repair, car tune-up service, and much, much more.

AAMCO Arvada

6437 Miller Street | Arvada, Colorado, 80004

(303) 431-1991
Hours of Operation:
Mon-Fri: 7:30am to 5:30pm,
Sat: 8:00am to 12:00pm
Also Serving: Westminster, Wheat Ridge, Golden, Idaho Springs, and Georgetown.

At AAMCO transmission and auto repair of Arvada, Colorado we know what it takes to keep your vehicle running smoothly. Let us provide you with the best transmission repair and service, oil and filter change, cooling and radiator service, brake repair and service, fluid service, strut and shock repair, car tune-up service, and much, much more.

AAMCO Littleton

10168 W. Chatfield Ave. | Littleton, CO, 80127

(303) 933-1535
Hours of Operation
Mon-Fri: 7:30am – 5:30pm
Sat: 9:00am – 1:00pm

At AAMCO Transmissions of Littleton, Colorado, our mission is to provide the best customer service and auto repair in Littleton. We provide total car care – from oil and filter change, cooling and radiator repairs, to brake service, struts and shocks, exhaust systems, and more. Your locally owned and operated AAMCO of Littleton, Colorado transmission center is your one-stop shop for transmission repairs and auto maintenance and repairs.

AAMCO Longmont

1611 Vista View Dr | Longmont, Colorado, 80504

(303) 651-0443
Hours of Operation: Mon-Fri: 7:30am – 5:30pm

When you visit your locally owned and operated AAMCO of Longmont, Colorado, you’ll see why we stake our reputation on our award-winning customer service and superior auto repair. With high-quality service in areas like transmission repair and auto maintenance, we are your #1 shop for oil and filter changes, cooling and radiator service, brake repair and service, fluid service, strut and shock repair, and tune-ups, and more. We offer the fast, reliable maintenance you need at an affordable price.

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