Want more? Enjoy a free subscription to Aftermarket Business World magazine to get the latest news in the automotive aftermarket industry. Click here to start your subscription today.
Distributor/retailer Derwin Williams, co-owner of The Pump House in Columbus, Ohio, emphasizes the importance of making sure the fuel pumps you carry come from reputable sources lest you be left with unhappy customers.
“Just because they have a lifetime warranty,” says Williams, “they don’t want to spend a lifetime taking the fuel pump in and out of there. The end result is that they bought it from you.”
Offering quick, specialized deliveries throughout a wide-ranging regional marketing reach, The Pump House serves driveway DIYers along with nearly 500 professional installers, plus auto parts stores, large auto dealerships and smaller used-car lots.
Echoing the AASA’s Brucato, Williams stresses the necessity of being properly educated in the finer points of diagnosing and completing the repair given the sophistication of these systems. “If the fuel pump is running and the car is not, it could be something else,” he says.
“Anytime you change the fuel pump you need to change the fuel filter – the fuel filter protects everything – and you have to clean the fuel tank out,” according to Williams. “Sometimes they let the fuel tanks run low at gas stations and there’s debris in there. It acts like sandpaper, and it opens the system up so it can’t run.”
Aside from a fuel pump aging beyond its functional lifespan or other issues, the unit can be disabled if the vehicle’s fuel tank is running on empty. Under these circumstances the existing gas supply gets heated past a certain degree, rendering portions of the fuel system inoperable when fresh, cold gas is pumped into the tank. “That creates a ‘shock’ to it, and it causes a problem,” Williams says, adding that the possibility of faulty electronic controls, excess moisture and rust, frayed wiring and a host of related component failures must also be taken into account.