The fuel systems on today’s vehicles are a vast improvement over the old carburetor systems. They are computer controlled and inject the exact amount of gas each and every time to provide the perfect combustion for maximum performance, fuel economy and cleaner air. There are numerous sensors located throughout the engine and exhaust that are providing information to the computer up to 100 times a second allowing the system to minutely regulate the fuel. These sensors wear out and need to be replaced from time to time. If a drivability problem arises or the “check engine” light comes on we need to plug in a scanner to the vehicle’s computer and run a series of tests on the sensors to test their efficiency. This is called a computer scan and it provides us with an astonishing amount of information to diagnose the problem. Often we have to take the information we get from the scanner and go through a trouble tree type of diagnosis to ultimately locate the cause. This can be a time consuming job, but once we have the answers, we will be able to give you an accurate estimate of the repair.
The other major component in the fuel injection system is the fuel pump. The fuel injectors cannot work correctly without the proper fuel pressure. Most fuel injection systems require high fuel pressure to fire the injectors, up to 65lbs. The fuel pump is located inside the gas tank on most all vehicles and is a common failure. Typically the fuel pump will fail after you have driven the vehicle and then shut off the engine. The next time you go to start the vehicle, it will make a slight effort to start and then it will just crank, but will not start. If this happens, you will need a tow. Sometimes the vehicle will die while driving, but this is a rare occurrence. To replace a failed fuel pump the gas tank has to be removed from the vehicle and then the fuel pump is removed, in some cases as a complete module. If the module does need to be replaced, this can be a fairly expensive repair, costing between $500 to $1000. You will probably need to replace your vehicle’s fuel pump at least once in its lifetime.