As a vehicle owner you already know that there are parts of your car that need regular routine maintenance. Things like your oil, tire pressure, and brakes all need TLC every so many miles to keep your vehicle safe on the road and operating as it should. You may forget other parts because they do not make the routine maintenance list. These parts will cause troubles for you. Of course, this is until you figure out what exactly is causing the issue and what steps you need to take in order to correct it. This article points out one of such parts – it is your fuel pressure sensor.
What exactly is a fuel pressure sensor, and what is its purpose? How do you know if it is time to replace that fuel pressure sensor? We will try to address those questions in this article.
How does a Fuel Pressure Sensor Work?
Simply put, the main job of a fuel pressure sensor is to monitor the positive and negative pressure in the fuel tank. This information then transmits to your PCM (powertrain control module) which will use it to monitor for leaks in the evaporation system. When it finds a system leak, the PCM will then likely illuminate your check engine light. However, the codes it may show won’t necessarily point right to the pressure control sensor as the culprit. Thus, you will need to know the possible symptoms of a faulty sensor to help you make a quicker diagnosis.
A leak in the system will allow fumes from your gasoline tank to escape. These vapors can be deadly if one inhales them in large amounts. The evaporation system, or EVAP, was developed to keep those harmful fumes in the system and sent back to the engine instead of out to you or to pollute the environment. In many states if your EVAP system is not up to regulation, you are not allowed to drive the vehicle until it is fixed. Thus, your pressure regulator sensor is an integral part of this system as a whole.
- Part of your fuel pump assembly;
- Monitors positive and negative pressure in your EVAP system;
- Will set off a check engine light when faulty;
- Typically mounted inside the tank but can also be mounted on the top of the tank;
- Repair usually consists of dropping the fuel tank to gain access to the fuel pressure sensor;
- Has a spot to attach a pigtail connector in order for it to be able to send the information to the PCM.
PROs and CONs of Repairing a Fuel Pressure Sensor
- A fuel pressure sensor keeps your EVAP system under monitoring. It does this by sending important information to the PCM on your vehicle to monitor it for proper functionality.
- A properly functioning system is better for the environment as it prevents fume leakage into the atmosphere.
- Redirects harmful fumes back to the engine. Also, it prevents them from releasing elsewhere, such as into the cabin, where you can inhale them.
- Keeps your vehicle within environmental regulation allowing you to pass your e-check with flying colors.
- It may be hard to pinpoint: While the illuminating of your check engine light is the main indication your fuel pressure sensor needs attention, it may not point directly to it as the issue. Thus, you may have to do some diagnostics to figure it out.
- Cost: The sensor itself is fairly inexpensive. However, troubleshooting it may cause you to replace unnecessary parts or seek the help of a mechanic before you figure out it was just the sensor.
- Difficulty of the replacement: Due to the location of the fuel pressure sensor, often it is necessary to drop the gas tank in order to safely get at the sensor in order to change it. This takes a bit of extra time and effort than many of the other sensors found in your vehicle.
Examples of Fuel Pressure Sensors
Bosch 0261230348 Fuel Pressure Sensor
- Bosch is a well-known name in original equipment as well as aftermarket parts for a plethora of vehicles. They are also praised for their innovations. In fact, they have been involved in the racing circuits for over 100 years.
- What does that translate to for the regular gear head or every day driver? Well, that is a solid knowledge base to tap into and products that are built to last.
- Customers have plenty to say about their durability and the ease of changing out their well-fitting parts.
- Available on Amazon for $31.86.
Edelbrock 3546 Fuel Pressure Sensor
- Another well-known name in the industry by both racers and do-it-yourself-ers alike is Edelbrock. From meager beginnings as a repair shop in 1933, Edelbrock has come to be known as a go-to name in automotive parts for not only original equipment but racing as well.
- They can claim many firsts and innovative breakthroughs throughout their long history. Moreover, they continue to flourish even today. They own state of the art testing facilities to make sure they continue to constantly improve their product lines.
- Customers can see and feel the difference some hard work and research can make.
- Available on Amazon for $67.50.
Dorman Fuel Pressure Sensors 904-500
- Dorman has been supplying original equipment to the market since 1918. They have an extensive product line that customers love because it makes finding and installing parts easy.
- The cost is also a selling point since they tend to be a slightly cheaper without having to sacrifice a decent quality part.
- Available on Ebay for $98.99.
There are many systems and components that help to monitor and keep your vehicle running as it should. Your fuel pressure sensor is one of those parts. Its job is to help make sure your EVAP system is not leaking and spilling harmful fumes into your vicinity or into the atmosphere causing terrible pollution. It is also imperative to getting your vehicle to successfully pass an e-check which is necessary in many states in order to operate your car legally. So, though it is not a routine maintenance type of part, do not ignore that check engine light when it comes on. It may be your fuel pressure sensor sending a message that something isn’t quite right.
Have you ever had a failed e-check because of your EVAP system? Leave any helpful comments for others below.