3 Types of Fuel Pumps and How They Work

Audi fuel pump

There are three main types of fuel pumps that your vehicle may be equipped with. Each functions differently so it is important to understand the characteristics of one against another. For example, when shopping for a fuel pump, you will need to know if it pumps the gas into a carburetor or into the fuel injection system. Here’s more information on the different types and what they mean for you.

Mechanical Fuel Pump

The mechanical fuel pump is one that is most often used with engines that use a carburetor. Back before fuel pumps became a necessity for cars, the fuel was fed directly into the carburetor. This was done through the act of gravity. Carburetors are no longer common since they pump fuel at very low pressure rates. Over time they are being used less and less, most exclusively in older cars. Pretty much any new or even newer car is not going to use this type of fuel pump since it likely will not have a carburetor. Eventually they will be completely phased out as newer cars do not require them at all.

Because the mechanical fuel pump pumps the fuel into the carburetor, this slows down the efficiency of the fuel delivery. The fuel injection has become the more contemporary source with cars.

Electric Fuel Pump

fuel pump

The electric fuel pump is the most commonly used fuel pump that you will find. It has mostly replaced the mechanical fuel pump. You will find that the electric fuel pump is located directly inside the fuel tank. In comparison to the mechanical fuel pump, the electric fuel pump pumps gas to the fuel injection system at a much higher pressure. Because of this they are found in most new or newer cars as opposed to the mechanical fuel pump.

The electric fuel pump works with the fuel injector in the car. It helps to get the fuel going where it needs to quicker and easier. Because of this, it obviously is the more desired choice when it comes to fuel pumps.

Turbo Pump

You will not often find a turbo pump being used in an automobile. They are very large and are normally reserved for a more high volume engine type. Typically, you will see these types of fuel pumps on a jet or other high-capacity engine. They may become more popular as technology allows for more research and the parts to make them become less expensive. They are still very large pumps and will not be used for your typical automobile or a smaller engine as they are much too powerful to work properly for that application.