What You Need To Know About Your Car's Fuel Pressure Regulator

Your car's fuel system relies on consistent pressure to ensure that fuel delivery is happening the way that it is intended. This is done with the use of a fuel pressure regulator. When the regulator is malfunctioning, there are a few key warning signs. Here's a look at the things that you should watch for as signs of impending problems with your car's fuel pressure regulator.

Fuel Flow Issues

If your car is having problems with consistent fuel flow, that's a sure sign that the regulator is failing. If the regulator isn't pumping enough fuel through the system, your car might stall intermittently. On the other hand, if it's not slowing the fuel flow when there's enough in the system, the unburned fuel is going to leave a residual odor of fuel around the engine compartment.

Acceleration and Deceleration Issues

When the fuel pressure regulator isn't working as intended, the car may not get enough fuel when you accelerate. This can lead to hesitation when you press the gas pedal. If your car has lost the get-up-and-go that it used to have, it may be the fuel pressure regulator causing the problem.

When you're decelerating, a faulty fuel pressure regulator may not slow the fuel flow properly. This could lead to an excess of gasoline in the engine. If you notice backfiring during deceleration or a marked odor of fuel in the emissions, that's another key indicator.

Error Codes

Since newer car models use a computerized system to monitor the sensors and regulators, a faulty fuel pressure regulator will typically lead to an error code appearing when you scan the car's computer. The "Check Engine" light may come on to tell you that there's a problem, but even if it doesn't, you can have the computer scanned by a mechanic or an auto parts specialist to check for error codes.

Black Exhaust Smoke

When your car is running rich, it will release black smoke from the exhaust pipe. When an engine is running rich, that means that the fuel concentration is higher, or there is too much fuel in the system. If you start seeing black smoke from the exhaust, you'll want to have the fuel pressure regulator checked.

Poor Fuel Mileage

One of the functions of the fuel pressure regulator is to control how much fuel is used in the engine. When the regulator isn't working properly, your car will burn more fuel than it needs to, leading to poor fuel mileage. If you're filling the tank more frequently than before, the regulator could be to blame.

As you can see, the fuel pressure regulator is an important component. Knowing the warning signs of a problem will help you catch it early, potentially saving you significantly in unnecessary fuel expenses. For more information, contact a shop like Malibu Motors Service.