How To Replace Your Fuel Pump: DIY

Without a fuel pump, your engine will quickly starve. A bad fuel pump will kill things quickly. You can easily replace and install an electric fuel pump. This how-to will guide you through the process step by step.

Level of Difficulty: Moderate

What You'll Need:

  • Fire Extinguisher!
  • Replacement Fuel Pump
  • New Fuel Line
  • Open End Wrench Set
  • Socket Set
  • Flat Head Screwdriver
  • Phillips Head Screwdriver
  • Large Fuel Catch Container

When you're ready to replace your fuel pump, be sure you have safety in mind. Work in an open, well-ventilated area, and be sure you have a fire extinguisher close by.

*Note: If your car or truck has an in-tank fuel pump, check out this tutorial on How to Replace an In-Tank Fuel Pump.

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Relieve the Fuel Pressure and Cut Power to the Fuel Pump

Relieving the Fuel System Pressure
You'll need to relieve the fuel pressure before you remove the fuel pump. photo by Matt Wright, 2007

An electric fuel pump produces high fuel pressure to supply your electronic fuel injection system with plenty of pressurized fuel. The pressure doesn't go away just because you turn the engine off. You'll need to take steps to release the fuel pressure before you can remove the fuel pump or any associated parts.

Here are instructions on how to release your fuel pressure in one simple step. When you're sure there is no fuel pressure in the fuel lines or fuel pump, you can proceed with the fuel pump removal.

You will also need to disconnect the negative terminal to your battery to avoid any sparks.

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Unbolt the Fuel Pump: Under Car Setup

Under car fuel pump mounted in sleeve.
This fuel pump is insulated in a sleeve. photo by Matt Wright, 2007

There are two types of ​electric fuel pumps. One type mounts inside the gas tank, the other mounts underneath the car just in front of the fuel tank. If your fuel pump mounts underneath the car, it will be held in by a couple of bolts. You can locate your fuel pump by sliding underneath the car (if you can't fit, you can place the car securely on jack stands) and looking just in front of the gas tank on one side of the car or the other. You can also follow the fuel line from the tank to the fuel pump. The pump will often be in a black insulating sleeve. Unbolt it and let it drop down slightly. You won't be able to remove it from the sleeve until everything is disconnected.

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Unbolt the Fuel Pump: In-Tank Setup

An in-tank fuel pump.
The fuel pump and sender are in the tank. photo by Matt Wright, 2007

If you have the type of fuel pump that mounts inside the fuel tank, you'll need to remove it from inside the car. The access point to an in-tank fuel pump is either underneath your back seat or if you're lucky it's under the carpet and an access panel in the trunk.

When you've located the pump, you'll need to disconnect everything before you remove it from the tank. This is covered in the following steps.

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Disconnect the Fuel Lines

Remove the fuel fitting.
Remove this high pressure fuel pump fitting. photo by Matt Wright, 2007

Now that you can clearly see everything, you need to disconnect the fuel lines. If you have an in-tank pump, there will be one line on the top of the pump that needs to be disconnected. If you have an under car pump there will be both a line in and a line out. These are also called the low pressure and high-pressure side of the pump.

To remove the lines, loosen the hose clamp or fitting that are holding the low-pressure side in, then loosen the fitting and remove the line.

Be sure to have something on hand to catch the gas that leaks from the lines so that it doesn't splash the floor and create a fire hazard.

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Disconnect the Fuel Pump Wiring

Remove the wiring and out it comes.
Disconnect the fuel pump wiring. photo by Matt Wright, 2007

The last step in removing your fuel pump is disconnecting the wires that power the pump. There will be two wires, one is positive, the other ground. It's a good idea to make a note of which is which. What seems obvious while you're taking it off can be baffling when it's time to put it all back. The wires will be held on by plugs, screws, or really small bolts.

With everything disconnected, you're ready to remove the pump. As the saying goes, installation is the reverse of removal, so go ahead!

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