How To Start A Car With A Bad Fuel Pump

If you’ve ever experienced a car that won’t start or begins to sputter while driving, there’s a chance you might be dealing with a bad fuel pump. A faulty fuel pump can be a serious obstacle to getting your car back up and running. In this article, we will discuss how to start a car with a bad fuel pump and provide some valuable tips to overcome this situation.

Important Outline

In order to start your car with a bad fuel pump, it’s essential to understand the necessary steps and precautions. Below is an outline of key points you need to consider to safely and effectively get your vehicle started:

1. Diagnosing the problem: Ensure that the issue is in fact a bad fuel pump by checking other possible causes of a non-starting car, such as the battery, alternator, ignition system or security system.

2. Locating the fuel pump: The fuel pump is typically found within the fuel tank or externally mounted near the tank. Consult your owner’s manual or a service guide for your specific vehicle to accurately locate the fuel pump.

3. Applying external pressure: One workaround to start a car with a bad fuel pump is by applying external pressure to the fuel tank or fuel line, which can force fuel to the engine. This can be done using a bicycle pump, hand pump, or air compressor.

4. Use of starting fluid: Another temporary solution is to use starting fluid, which helps ignite combustion inside the cylinders. Spray the starting fluid into the air intake or throttle body while attempting to start the engine. Be cautious with the amount of starting fluid used, as excessive amounts can cause damage or backfire.

5. Consider a fuel pressure booster: In some cases, installing a fuel pressure booster or aftermarket fuel pump can overcome low fuel pressure caused by a failing fuel pump. This can keep your vehicle running until a permanent fuel pump replacement can be scheduled.

6. Seek professional assistance: Assure to consult or seek help from a certified automotive technician to diagnose the exact cause of the problem and determine the best course of action.

It’s important to note that these tips and techniques are short-term solutions to getting your car started with a bad fuel pump. The best and safest solution is to replace the fuel pump as soon as possible, as driving for an extended period with a failing fuel pump can lead to further complications and damage.

In conclusion, knowing how to start a car with a bad fuel pump can be a useful skill in emergency situations. However, it’s crucial to seek professional assistance and prioritize the replacement of your fuel pump to ensure that your vehicle runs safely, efficiently, and reliably.

Step by Step Guide

In this section, we will provide a comprehensive, step-by-step guide on how to start a car with a bad fuel pump. This guide will walk you through the process from diagnosing the problem to seeking professional assistance when needed.

1. Confirm the issue: First, ensure the problem is actually a bad fuel pump. Check other potential causes including the battery, alternator, ignition system or security system.

2. Find the fuel pump: Locate your vehicle’s fuel pump, which may be inside the fuel tank or externally mounted. Consult your owner’s manual or a reputable service guide for assistance.

3. Check the fuel pump relay: Inspect the fuel pump relay and the fuse for any issues. Replace them if necessary before moving on to more advanced measures.

4. Utilize a fuel pressure gauge: With a fuel pressure gauge, you can check the fuel pressure in the system. If the pressure is too low, it’s an indication that the fuel pump is not functioning properly.

Step by Step Guide with Bullet Points

If you need a quick reference, here’s a bullet-point summary of the step-by-step guide:

– Confirm the problem is a bad fuel pump
– Locate the fuel pump on your vehicle
– Check the fuel pump relay and fuse
– Utilize a fuel pressure gauge to measure the fuel pressure

Pros and Cons

There are both advantages and disadvantages to attempting to start a car with a bad fuel pump.

– Temporary solution in emergency situations
– Potential to avoid the need for towing or immediate repair expenses
– Gain a better understanding of your vehicle’s fuel system

– Only a short-term fix, and not a permanent solution
– Additional stress on the engine, potentially causing more damage
– Safety risks, including potential fires or engine failure


Q: Can a bad fuel pump damage my engine?
A: Yes, driving with a faulty fuel pump can damage your engine over time by causing it to run lean, leading to higher temperatures and additional wear.

Q: How can I tell if my fuel pump is going bad?
A: Symptoms of a failing fuel pump include difficulty starting, reduced fuel efficiency, engine sputtering or stalling, and loss of power during acceleration.

Q: How much does a fuel pump replacement cost?
A: The cost of replacing a fuel pump can vary widely depending on the make and model of your vehicle. On average, it can range from $300 to over $1000, including parts and labor.

Q: How long does a fuel pump typically last?
A: A fuel pump’s lifespan can vary, but most last around 100,000 miles or more. Regular maintenance, such as changing your fuel filter and using quality fuel, can extend its life.


While knowing how to start a car with a bad fuel pump can be helpful in certain situations, it should only be considered a temporary fix. Attempting these methods can potentially cause additional damage to your vehicle and carries safety risks. It is crucial to seek professional assistance and replace your faulty fuel pump as soon as possible to ensure your car continues to run safely and efficiently.

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