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Mechanical vs. Electric Fuel Pump

In Automotive
March 22, 2022
Mechanical Vs. Electric Fuel Pump

When stepping into the world of vehicle maintenance and modification, it can be difficult to know exactly where to start.

Even the most simple and well-known part of a vehicle, present no matter what form it takes, the engine has a variety of methods used to allow it to get whatever it is inside moving.

In order to get gas from the tank into the engine, a pump is needed, and that pump can come in more than one form. You may have spent time online, trying to find any results for “Mechanical vs. Electric Fuel Pump” only to be overwhelmed with technical jargon.

This article is to help you find the right type of fuel pump for yourself, in an easy-to-understand way.

Mechanical Fuel Pumps

Since the advent of the motorized vehicle, mechanical fuel pumps have been the main method of getting fuel into an engine.

Seeing a picture of the inner workings of a mechanical fuel pump may be intimidating to understand at first. It is actually a lot of simple science you would have learned about in school.

In the simplest of terms, when a mechanical fuel pump activates it pushes a lever into part of the pump known as a diaphragm. When the lever reverses, the suction it generates forces fuel out of the gas tank and into the carburetor, providing fuel to the engine as needed.

Electric Fuel Pumps

Much more popular than its mechanical cousin, the electric fuel pump rose to popularity in the 1980s. It has since become the go-to form of the fuel transfer pump.

Instead of using the premise of volume displacement and suction, electric pumps instead use a computer. This computer directs them to activate a motor to suck fuel out of the gas tank, into the carburetor which uses it when necessary.

It is much easier to find individual electric pumps for sale, as they have become the norm for most forms of vehicles. A variety of online stores offer these products, such as Jegs’ wide selection of electric inline fuel pump which offer not only pumps themselves but replacement pieces and installation tools.

The Differences Between Mechanical vs. Electric Fuel Pumps

While both mechanical fuel pumps and electric fuel pumps do their job well, there are a few key differences between the two.

For mechanical fuel pumps, there is a beauty in their simplicity. While there may be more moving parts involved in the transfer of fuel into the engine, it is all visible. Should one part of the pump be defective or acting up, a skilled eye can see that error with little difficulty and get to work fixing or replacing that part.

On the other hand, electric fuel pumps can require professional help should there be a problem with them. Replacements are not too difficult, however, and with a wide variety of electric pumps available it isn’t hard for you to find one that works for you.

Choosing What is Right for You

Hopefully, this article provided a little more info on the mechanical vs. electric fuel pump debate. There is plenty of history and explanation into how both types work than could be described here. Hopefully, this whetted your appetite for the wide world of fuel pumps!