How To Start A Car With A Bad Fuel Pump?

To start a car with a bad fuel pump, turn the ignition key to the “on” position and allow the fuel pump to run for a few seconds before attempting to start the engine. A bad fuel pump can cause starting issues, but this workaround can help overcome the problem in the meantime.

It is vital to address the root cause of the problem by replacing the bad fuel pump promptly to avoid further damage to the vehicle’s engine. Additionally, it is advisable to check the fuel filter and fuel pressure regulator, as these components may also contribute to starting problems.

Regular maintenance and timely replacement of worn-out components are critical for the smooth and safe operation of the vehicle.

How To Start A Car With A Bad Fuel Pump?


Understanding The Symptoms Of A Bad Fuel Pump

Your car’s fuel pump is responsible for supplying combustible fuel from your car’s tank into the engine. When the fuel pump is faulty, it can cause various problems in starting your car, resulting in frustrating and stressful situations. Understanding the symptoms of a bad fuel pump can help you diagnose the issue and take corrective action.

In this post, we will discuss some of the most common symptoms of a bad fuel pump.

Common Symptoms Of A Bad Fuel Pump

  • Engine cranking but not starting: One of the most common symptoms of a bad fuel pump is the engine cranking but not starting. This happens because the fuel pump fails to supply sufficient fuel pressure to the engine.
  • Sputtering engine: A bad fuel pump may also cause your car’s engine to sputter while driving, indicating a disruption in the fuel flow.
  • Loss of power: Another symptom of a bad fuel pump is a sudden loss of power while driving, preventing your car from accelerating smoothly.
  • Unusual sound: A faulty fuel pump can also cause unusual sounds like whining noises coming from the fuel tank while driving or idling.
  • Stalling engine: A car with a bad fuel pump might also stall suddenly while driving, often accompanied by a sudden loss of power.
  • Rotten egg smell: A sulfur-like rotten egg smell is a typical indication of a failed fuel pump, usually noticeable when you start your car or while driving.

By recognizing these symptoms, you can quickly identify if your car’s fuel pump is failing and take it to a mechanic for repair or replacement. In the next section, we will discuss how to diagnose if a bad fuel pump is the problem or not.

Steps To Start A Car With A Bad Fuel Pump

Starting your car with a bad fuel pump can be tricky, especially if it’s an emergency situation. If you’re in a hurry and need to get your vehicle up and running, you’re going to need to follow a few specific steps.

Below, we have explained how to start a car with a bad fuel pump in a few straightforward steps.

Ensure Your Car Battery Is Fully Charged

Before anything else, you need to make sure your car battery is fully charged. A dead battery can make it impossible to turn over the engine, even if the fuel pump is in working order. You can either jump-start your car battery or use a battery charger to ensure that it has enough power.

Alternatively, you can check the voltage with a multimeter to ensure that it is reading between 12 and 13 volts.

Try To Start The Engine

Once you’ve confirmed that your car battery has enough power, try to start the engine as you usually would. Turn the key in the ignition and wait for a few seconds to see if the engine turns over. If nothing happens, turn off the engine and try again a few more times.

Use An Alternative Fuel Source

If your fuel pump is not working correctly, you may need to use an alternative fuel source. For example, you can use a small amount of gasoline or diesel fuel and pour it directly into the carburetor or fuel injector.

This technique will use the available fuel to create a spark and, in turn, start the engine. Be sure only to use a small amount of fuel, as too much fuel can cause damage to your car’s engine.

Get Your Car To A Mechanic

It’s essential to get your car to a mechanic as soon as possible if your fuel pump is not working correctly. As useful as the above methods are, they are not permanent solutions to your problem. Getting your car to a professional mechanic will ensure that it can be identified and repaired correctly.

Knowing how to start a car with a bad fuel pump can be incredibly helpful. By following these simple steps, you can get your vehicle started when your fuel pump is giving you trouble. However, bear in mind that these are temporary solutions and seek professional attention to avoid further damage.

Preventing Issues With Your Fuel Pump

Maintaining Your Car

Regularly maintaining your car can go a long way in preventing fuel pump problems. Here are some key points to keep in mind:

  • Follow the manufacturer’s recommended maintenance schedule to ensure that your car’s fuel system is functioning correctly.
  • Regularly check and replace dirty air filters, as a dirty air filter can reduce fuel efficiency and place strain on your fuel pump.
  • Keep your fuel tank at least one-quarter full, as this ensures that the fuel pump is submerged in gasoline, reducing heat and extending its lifespan.
  • Check and replace worn or damaged fuel lines as they can impede fuel flow, wear down your fuel pump, and even cause an engine fire due to gasoline leakage.
  • Avoid driving on empty or low fuel, as this can cause the fuel pump to suck in air, leading to overheating and damage.

Treating Your Car With Care

In addition to maintaining your car, how you drive and treat it can also impact the fuel pump’s lifespan. Here are some key points to keep in mind:

  • Avoid hard acceleration and sudden braking, as this can cause the fuel pump to work harder and wear down more quickly.
  • Drive on smoother roads whenever possible, as rough driving can put unnecessary strain on the fuel pump.
  • Avoid repeatedly switching the car on and off for short trips, as the fuel pump has to work harder when it’s cold, leading to quicker wear and tear.
  • Don’t overload your car with unnecessary items, as this can put unnecessary strain on the fuel system and lead to reduced fuel efficiency.
  • Consider investing in fuel system treatments, which can help clean your fuel system and promote optimal performance.

By following these simple tips for maintaining and treating your car with care, you can extend the lifespan of your fuel pump and prevent costly repairs. Remember, prevention is always better than cure when it comes to your car’s health and longevity.

Frequently Asked Questions On How To Start A Car With A Bad Fuel Pump?

Can A Bad Fuel Pump Prevent A Car From Starting?

Yes, a bad fuel pump can prevent the proper fuel flow and cause starting issues.

Can You Jumpstart A Car With A Bad Fuel Pump?

Jumpstarting a car won’t work if the problem is with the fuel pump.

How Can I Start My Car With A Bad Fuel Pump?

You can use starting fluid or bypass the fuel pump relay to start the car.

How Much Does It Cost To Fix A Bad Fuel Pump?

The cost can range from $500 to $1000, depending on the make and model of the car.

How Long Does A Fuel Pump Last On A Car?

A fuel pump’s lifespan ranges from 100,000 to 150,000 miles, although some can last longer.


With the advice and tips provided in this article, you can start your car with a bad fuel pump without wasting too much time and money. Remember to always prioritize safety when attempting these methods and seek professional help if necessary.

Whether it’s hotwiring your fuel pump or using a fuel pump bypass, it’s important to know what to do in case of emergencies on the road. Don’t let a bad fuel pump ruin your road trip or daily commute. By following the steps outlined in this article, you can troubleshoot your fuel pump issues and get yourself back on the road in no time.

So, stay proactive and stay safe!