Common Questions Consumers Have About Their Fuel System

One area many people have questions about is the fuel system on their car or truck. A well-maintained fuel system not only provides better performance and gas mileage but helps reduce costly repairs to your vehicle’s engine. In this article, we’ll answer three of the most common questions we get about fuel systems.

1. Is There Any Way I Can Replace A Fuel Pump Without Dropping The Fuel Tank?

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The ease of replacing the fuel pump depends on the design of the vehicle. Almost all vehicles made for the last thirty years or so have a fuel pump located in the fuel tank. There are two basic methods to gain access to the fuel pump:

  • In many older vehicles, you have to remove the fuel tank to get to the fuel pump. This is because fuel tanks are mounted tightly to the vehicle frame with the fuel pump inside or near the top of the tank. This is an expensive job for a shop to do because of the labor involved to remove and reinstall the fuel tank. It’s difficult to do at home due to the weight of the tank.
  • In many newer vehicles, the manufacturer put in an access panel in the floor of the vehicle’s body to make it easier to get at the fuel tank. The access panel is sometimes located under the rear seat, or may be located under the carpeting in the cargo area (or trunk). This makes getting at the fuel pump a pretty easy job, either in the shop or at home.

Fuel pumps are located in the fuel tank because it helps the fuel pump last longer. The fuel in the tank cools the fuel pump as it is running.

2. Should I Buy A Fuel System Cleaner?

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In theory, a fuel system cleaner is supposed to clean fuel injectors and other components of your fuel system. However, most of the time there isn’t much benefit. A vehicle’s fuel system has at least one filter. All vehicles with electric fuel pumps have two filters, one in the tank itself and another one inline. In older vehicles with mechanical fuel pumps usually have only one filter that is located inline. It may be a screen/filter in the fuel tank, or there may be a filter located in the fuel line. If any of these filters get clogged it’s unlikely a fuel system cleaner will fix the issue. Instead, the fuel filter will need to be cleaned or replaced.

3. When Replacing My Fuel Pump, Should I Clean Out My Fuel Tank? 

Cleaning out your fuel tank is difficult, time-consuming, and expensive. While it sounds like a good idea, it involves extensive steam cleaning and is not something most shops are equipped to do. This means the repair shop would need to ship the gas tank to a special facility, adding considerable cost and time. Additionally, most of the contaminants are usually removed when the repair shop drains the tank. If you have any doubts about your fuel tank, or are worried about contaminants, it’s usually cheaper to replace the tank than have it cleaned.

About Us

Since 1943, GMB has been one of the largest global manufacturers of OE and Aftermarket automotive products. We offer quality parts including universal joints, water pumps, tensioner & idler bearings, wheel bearings & hub assemblies, fuel pumps, fan clutches, and steering & suspension parts. Each product line has extensive Asian, Domestic, and European coverage that meets or exceeds OE standards. If you have more questions about your vehicle’s fuel system, contact us online or call us at 1-800-421-5019. You can also sign up for the GMB Insider for tech info and other news.


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