Car Fuel Pump Won’t Turn On – Causes And Solutions

Car Fuel Pump Won’t Turn On – Causes And Solutions

You probably have woken up on a bright morning already late for work. You quickly took your bath, dressed up, and rushed to your car, ready to hit the road.

But unfortunately, your car wasn’t starting, or you noticed some sputtering sound coming from your car’s engine.

Car fuel pump wont turn on

Your car fuel pump won’t turn on because it is probably faulty. But don’t panic; it’s not time to take your car to the dumpsite.

What Is A Car Fuel Pump?

A car fuel pump is a mechanically or electrically powered device located directly on the top of a fuel tank. It functions by pumping fuel to the engine of your car.

Causes Of Fuel Pump Not Turning On

Fuel Pump Relay Problems

The power control module (PCM) gives the car fuel pump energy through the fuel pump relay for a few seconds to build pressure.

It happens when the ignition of your car is turned on.

If there are no revolution per minute (RPM) signals from the engine, it indicates that the engine has started the PCM cuts off the energy transmission to the fuel pump relay.

Eventually, the supply to the fuel pump is cut off. When this happens, then the fuel pump won’t power on.


Locate your car fuel pump in the engine compartment, remove it and shake it properly.

If you notice any rattling within the fuel pump, it probably has broken and may need to be replaced.

Problem With The Fuel Pressure Regulator

The fuel pressure regulator is a device in the car. It functions to build a sufficient amount of pressure to supply the required amount of fuel to the car engine.

Pumping too much fuel leads to their failure. Pump pressure below the required amount causes the car fuel pump not to turn on.

The regulator maintains proper fuel pump pressure. Any imbalance in the functioning of the regulator results in too much or little fuel reaching the engine.

It is a reason the fuel pump won’t turn on. If this occurs, please have it checked by your mechanic.

An insufficient amount of fuel or a more-than-required amount of fuel entering your engine may be disastrous to your car.

It is also dangerous to your life, especially if it fails during transit.


Replace the fuel pressure regulator or fix it using the steps in the user manual. If the regulator is not damaged, fill the pressure gauge with air.

But if the sure valve is leaking, complete replacement is recommended. Do not allow the fuel level in the tank to fall below the minimum requirement before you top up.

Clogged Fuel Filter

A fuel filter filters the fuel entering the engine from the fuel tank through the fuel pump.

It holds back dirt and debris that has been mixed with the fuel in the car while it allows the clean fuel to pass through.

It simply acts as a semi-permeable membrane where it holds back the unwanted solid mixtures in the fuel.

With time, the fuel filter becomes clogged with these unwanted fuel components. If the filter is not cleaned or replaced, it interferes with the pump pressure.

It results in a low amount of fuel entering the engine. Your engine will have difficulty starting in situations like this or keeps cutting out even if it manages to start.

It doesn’t even start in difficult situations, and you feel your car fuel pump isn’t coming on.


If you find yourself in this situation, get it cleaned or examined by a professional as is necessary.

Disassemble the filter apparatus; clean it with a soft brush and suitable fluid (fuel or lubricant). Assemble the device again and reinstall it.

Moreover, always use fuel from authentic dealers to avoid low-grade products.

The Faulty Electronic Control Unit (ECU)

Say the crankshaft sensor is not correctly working, the revolution by the engine won’t be read by the ECU.

It could be due to a faulty crank sensor or ECU, or the crank sensor signal is not read.

If this happens, your car fuel pump won’t power on, and the ignition system won’t start. Has your mechanic checked it?

If the car fuel pump doesn’t turn on, it won’t be able to send fuel to the engine.

The inability of your car fuel pump to pump enough fuel to your engine is one of the symptoms of a faulty fuel pump. It may result in your car not starting.


If you have this issue, check the crank and other sensors for signal. Does the problem persist?

The ECU must be repaired or replaced. ECU components and repairs are costly, but they are preferable to entire replacement, which is capital intensive.

Finding an expert to repair or reprogram the ECU may be difficult due to a scarcity of competent individuals in the region.

However, some technicians now provide online repair services. You can use this method to contact an expert.

You deliver the ECU to their shop. They repair it and return it to you without requiring your presence.

Car fuel pump wont turn on causes and solutions

Fuel Pump Power Supply

Usually, the fuel pump power supply is a fuse. The location of your car fuse supplying energy to your fuel pump differs depending on the brand, model, and other types.

If the car fuel pump doesn’t turn on, have the fuse been checked for any damage when you have pulled it out.

But if not, check for damage in other fuses linked to the fuel pump system.


If the fuse is bad, replace it with the specified fuse and voltage. Remember that this is related to the car’s electrical circuit; therefore, you must check the ECU.

If you don’t seem to find the problem, have it examined by your mechanic.

Bad Fuel Pump Wiring And Terminals

Check for bad wiring in the fuel pump relay when your car fuel pump isn’t turning on. Also, check for bad fuel pump electrical terminals.

These often get rusted, depending on the environmental conditions they are exposed to.


Check for corrosion at the terminals, replace damaged wires and correct wrong wiring. Your fuel pump should turn on.

Disconnected Fuel Pump Wires

The fuel pump wiring may be done appropriately and the terminals intact, but the problem is from a disconnected wire.

It usually happens when the fuse is burnt or if there is corrosion of any adjoining wiring.


Check the connections and adjoining wires to be sure there is no disconnection. If there is a disconnection, use an electrical binder to connect the wire again.

Ensure proper contact at the right points. It is always recommended to consult a mechanic for any wiring issue in a car.

They should fix the fuel pump turning on problems.

Inertia Switch

If your car fuel pump doesn’t turn on, it could be a simple case of the inertia switch. The inertia switch turns off the car fuel pump.

An inertia switch is a device installed in a vehicle that gets triggered when the car gets into an unexpected shock.

An accident is an example of a shock that can trigger an inertia switch. Not every crash triggers an inertia switch.


In a case of a trigger, first, switch off your ignition and check for fuel leaks. Ensure there is no leakage of fuel before resetting your car inertia switch.

Reset by opening the access panel and pushing the reset button. Then, turn the ignition on and wait for a few seconds before returning it to the off position.

Check further for ending fuel leaks. Start your car.

When your car fuel pump is damaged, it refuses to turn on. Also, it is essentially a series of signs indicative of faults why the car fuel pump won’t turn on.

You may need to have your fuel pump examined by a professional whenever you notice a glitch in the fuel pump function.

Essentially, your car fuel pump will function even if it is faulty but may not function properly.

An improperly functioning fuel pump may show such signs as a loud, whining sound. You may also experience difficulty starting your car.

The car fuel pump that won’t turn on cannot pump an adequate amount of fuel to the engine. It may also cause your engine to sputter.

Has it been repaired or replaced to avoid further damage to the vehicle?


Car fuel pump not turning on is one of the most common car issues people face daily. To avoid this confusing situation, ensure your fuel pump is in good shape.

Check the fuel pump for any damages or irregularities before hitting the road. Make sure not to let your fuel level drop too low.

It will help the fuel pump not lose its prime and cool the pump motor. Note that most fuel pump problems are not directly connected to the fuel pump.

If you are not sure about your car, please, it’s best to visit a professional.