Common Types of Fuel Pumps & How They Work

As a vital part of any internal combustion engine, fuel pumps work to deliver fuel from the tank to the engine, ensuring consistent and reliable fuel flow to support the combustion process. There are several types of fuel pumps commonly used in automotive applications, each with its own set of characteristics and operating principles. To learn more about these complex components, we will explore the different types of fuel pumps available on the market and how they work.

The most common types of fuel pumps is the mechanical fuel pump, which is commonly found in older vehicles or in applications where electric power is not readily available. As its name suggests, this pump is driven by a mechanical linkage connected to the engine, and it consists of a diaphragm or piston that moves up and down to create a vacuum which draws fuel from the tank. To achieve this, the movement of the diaphragm or piston is driven by a camshaft or eccentric on the engine.

A more modernized version of mechanical pumps, electric fuel pumps are commonly used in newer vehicles due to their reliability and ease of installation. These pumps are typically located inside the fuel tank and are powered by the vehicle's electrical system. As such, electric fuel pumps utilize an electric motor to create pressure and push fuel from the tank to the engine. In addition, they are capable of generating higher pressure values than mechanical fuel pumps, which is often necessary in fuel injection systems.

Within the category of electric fuel pumps, there are two main subtypes: in-tank pumps and external pumps. In-tank pumps, as their name implies, are installed inside the fuel tank. More specifically, they are directly submerged into the fuel, which helps to keep them cool and lubricated. For this reason, they are commonly found in vehicles with fuel injection systems, as they provide the necessary pressure and flow rate.

External electric fuel pumps, on the other hand, are installed outside of the fuel tank. They are typically mounted near the fuel tank or along the vehicle's frame rail. These fuel pumps are often used in carbureted engines or in situations where the original in-tank pumps has failed. As an added benefit, they are usually more accessible for maintenance and replacement.

In addition to mechanical and electric fuel pumps, the last type we will cover are lift pumps. Lift pumps are primarily used in diesel engines to supply fuel from the tank to the high-pressure injection system. These pumps are often mechanical and can be found located on the engine or near the fuel filter. They work by drawing in fuel from the tank and delivering it to the injection pump, which then pressurizes the fuel for injection into the engine cylinders.

With the crucial role that fuel pumps play in delivering fuel from the tank to the engine in internal combustion vehicles, it is paramount that you only source high-quality components for your fuel delivery system. On Internet Of Purchasing, we have a plethora of fuel system parts that have been sourced from top global manufacturers on our Approved Vendor List (AVL). To kick off procurement, we welcome you to fill out and submit an RFQ form as provided on our website detailing all of your operational constraints, and within 15 minutes of reviewing your submission, one of our experts will reach out with a customized solution.


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