A First-Timer’s Guide To Replacing Your Fuel Pump

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A First-Timer’s Guide To Replacing Your Fuel Pump

Replacing a fuel pump can be daunting for any first-timer. It’s tough to know what tools you’ll need or the exact steps, as they differ depending on the vehicle you’re working on. Luckily, there are a lot of commonalities when it comes to replacing fuel pumps, whether you’re talking about a car, truck, motorcycle, snowmobile, boat, or Side-by-Side/UTV.

If you’re nervous about diving into your fuel system for the first time, you’ve come to the right place! We’ll be going through some helpful tips, tricks, and guidelines that will get you prepared to perform a fuel pump replacement in your vehicle. 

Your OEM fuel pump will fail and need to be updated with a reliable Quantum Fuel Systems fuel pump. QFS is a fuel system industry leader specializing in direct OEM replacement components for virtually every vehicle on the road, trail, or water today — all backed by a lifetime warranty.

Direct OEM replacement means you’ll never have to worry about our proven products not fitting your application. We painstakingly design our products to be installed as trouble-free as possible. 

If you’ve followed our guide on how to diagnose a bad fuel pump and want to take the plunge, then let’s get into what you’ll need, what you’ll need to know, and what you can expect before you start diving into a fuel pump replacement. 

Getting these jobs done is approachable, but difficulty levels vary considerably. This article aims to help you determine if you can do it yourself or want to call in the help of an authorized professional, and it shouldn’t be used as a strict guide —there are simply too many vehicle variations to cover. We always recommend that owners have a model-specific service manual to precisely assist them with the process.

Identify and Diagnose

Before you press the checkout button on a shiny new QFS fuel pump replacement kit for your car, truck, boat, motorcycle, ATV, or UTV, you’ll want to ensure it’s the right call. 

Be sure to reference the steps in our article, “How to Diagnose a Bad ATV, Motorcycle, UTV/Side-by-Side Fuel Pump,” which has a wealth of information to get you pointed in the right direction. Don’t worry; if you’re working on anything in the automotive world, all the advice there still applies. 

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There are several symptoms of a bad fuel pump, but these are the most common: 

  • Not starting
  • Hard starting (struggling to start)
  • Failing to idle
  • Power surges
  • Acceleration issues
  • Audible whining

While those symptoms can indicate deeper mechanical issues, these symptoms or a combination can often indicate fuel system issues. 

Then there’s diagnosis. You’ll want to confirm if the fuel pump is priming, check all fuses and relays, and confirm the pump is getting power and creating enough pressure. If it fails any of those tests, it’s time to break out the tools.

Tools of the Trade

In most cases, you won’t need anything more than a basic set of hand tools to get the job done. But there are plenty of other considerations as well. Since we’ll be dealing with highly flammable fuel and potentially harmful vapors, we’ll want to ensure that we have proper safety equipment and work in a well-ventilated space. 

Here’s a short list of the tools you’ll need to have on hand:

  • Fuel-safe storage container
  • Eye protection
  • Nitrile gloves
  • A complete set of hand tools (metric for foreign vehicles; standard for domestic)
  • Mechanics picks
  • Pex clamp tool
  • Pliers
  • Rags/absorbent for spilled fuel (clay-type cat litter, baking soda, or commercial absorbent)
  • Jack stands
  • Floor jack w/ fuel tank-sized block of wood
  • Wheel chocks
  • Fire extinguisher
  • Siphon or pump to transfer fuel
  • O-ring grease

Weigh Your Options: Do It Yourself or Contact The Pros

Paying a certified mechanic can be incredibly costly between parts and labor. Meanwhile, performing the job yourself in the comfort of your garage will save quite a bit of your hard-earned cash. The question here is: Should you?

There are some considerations. This type of work means you’ll be handling and exposed to flammable fuel, which poses risks. For example, you may need to drain the fuel tank if the entire fuel tank must be dropped from a car, truck, or van or physically removed from a motorcycle/ATV. These types of situations can be labor intensive. 

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You can probably figure this out if you successfully change a flat tire. Any enterprising at-home mechanic can complete these tasks within an afternoon. QFS fuel pumps are designed to work seamlessly with your specific make and model. But, if you feel your time is more valuable spent elsewhere, having an authorized and licensed mechanic perform the service isn’t a bad route.

Replacing a Fuel Pump

Getting Prepped To Replace Your Fuel Pump

Those feeling confident about working on their rides should understand the level of work they’re committing to on their day off. Of course, a factory service manual will clearly outline every step necessary to upgrade the fuel pump. However, we’ll hit the highlights to paint a clearer picture. 

When performing any major service work, always disconnect the negative battery terminal to disable the electrical system to prevent any damage to electrical components and avoid fire hazards. 

In addition, you’ll want to secure your vehicle safely. Use jack stands, wheel chocks, motorcycle stands, etc., to ensure your vehicle does not move unexpectedly.

Access The Fuel Pump

Most modern cars, trucks, motorcycles, snowmobiles, and Side-by-Sides/UTVs use “in-tank” fuel pumps inside the fuel tank. This location helps keep the fuel pump cool while submerged in liquid fuel and prolongs its lifespan but makes it difficult to access. Some automobiles and Side-by-Sides/UTVs have a fuel tank access under the seat, making servicing far easier.

Many cars and trucks require that the fuel tanks be unbolted from the undercarriage, which will require the assistance of a floor jack, especially if the fuel tank has fuel in it. 

To do that successfully, you’ll want to disconnect the filler neck from the fuel tank and relieve any pressure from the high pressure on the exterior — refer to your model-specific service manual for those steps. Using the floor jack with a block of wood can assist in lowering the fuel tank. Disconnect all electrical connectors, vent hoses, and high-pressure fuel lines if you can access the fuel pump assembly.

Lower The Fuel Tank

Depending on your application, you may need to lower the tank slightly before performing that step.

Nearly all motorcycles, snowmobiles, and quads will need the fuel tank removed to access the fuel pump — that means bodywork surrounding the area will most likely need to be removed. It’s also easiest to manage with the tank drained of all fuel. All the same steps apply here: Disconnect electrical connectors, vent hoses, and fuel lines from the fuel pump assembly.

With the tank lowered or removed, you’ll have clear access to the retaining ring, which secures the fuel pump assembly to your tank. Be sure to clean the ring’s surrounding area so debris or contaminants are not introduced to the tank. Also, inspect the interior of the fuel tank for rust or any other pollutants and remove any settled debris.

Remove The Fuel Pump Assembly

At that point, the entire fuel pump assembly is removed, and the pump is replaced with a high-quality QFS unit. It’s wise to test your new QFS fuel pump with a 12V battery to confirm its operation before replacing your old unit. In addition, all O-rings need to be lubricated with petroleum grease before coupling pressure lines together. Triple-check that all hose clamps (if applicable) are tightened, as minor pressure leaks can cause the fuel pump motor to overwork and lead to premature failure.

QFS fuel pump replacement kits have everything you need to get the job done. Our catalog also offers durable O-rings, gaskets, high-pressure tubing, and all other fuel-system-related required components during this process. 

Once the fuel pump assembly is thoroughly inspected and upgraded with QFS components, slide it back into place and always use a new fuel-tank gasket. These gaskets are for one-time use only.

Reinstall

Relocate the fuel tank into position, reconnect all electrical connections, high-pressure lines, and vent hoses, then cycle the ignition several times to pressurize the fuel system.

After completing those steps, you can reconnect your vehicle’s battery and cycle the ignition on/off several times to prime the fuel pump. If the fuel pump is priming and you can hear an audible whirring noise, you can finally start the engine. Once the engine is running, thoroughly inspect for fuel leaks from all fuel lines or gaskets. 

While performing this kind of work on your vehicle will differ, these are the significant steps all in-tank fuel pump replacements take. As always, have your vehicle’s service manual handy to reference detailed microfiches. A trained QFS staff will assist you with any technical questions.

Want To Get Started? Give Us a Call!

Quantum Fuel System is available Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. PT. Place orders over the phone or check out our massive catalog. If you have technical questions, visit our support staff; they’ll get back to you as soon as possible.