Any vehicle with an internal combustion engine is going to have a fuel system with a fuel pressure regulator and fuel injectors. This is basically like a network of components that pass fuel from one component to the next. First, the fuel in the gas tank gets supplied to the fuel injectors. After that, the fuel injectors supply the engine cylinders with fuel for combustion purposes. This is how the engine generates power to move the vehicle.
As for the fuel pressure regulator, this is the component which manages the pressure of the fuel that goes into the injectors. If the pressure is high, then more fuel flows into the injectors. If the pressure is low, then less fuel gets supplied. The amount of pressure depends on the demands being placed on the engine by the driver. The engine control unit ultimately regulates the fuel system and these components.
7 Bad Symptoms
If there is a bad fuel pressure regulator in your vehicle, then it will disrupt your entire fuel system. The injectors won’t receive an adequate amount of fuel, which means they can’t supply the engine cylinders with enough fuel to satisfy the power demands of the driver. This will ultimately diminish your driving experience and possibly damage your engine too.
You need to make yourself aware of the main symptoms of a bad fuel pressure regulator. That is the only way you will be able to recognize when it is time to replace your fuel pressure regulator. Otherwise, your fuel system and the engine could suffer severe damage.
Below are the top 7 symptoms of a bad fuel pressure regulator in the car.
1) Weak Engine Performance
The main symptom you will notice is a weaker engine performance. As you step on the accelerator pedal, the vehicle will not move as fast as it should to accommodate your demands. This is due to a bad fuel pressure regulator not being able to send the proper amount of fuel to the injectors. If the injectors cannot transfer enough fuel to the cylinders, then a low amount of power will be generated by the engine.
2) Dirty Spark Plugs
When you have a bad fuel pressure regulator, oil will likely burn at the head of the engine. This will cause a black carbon-based substance called soot to dirty up the spark plugs. You may not think to inspect your spark plugs until they stop performing properly. If you’re not getting a good ignition in your combustion chamber cylinders, see if your spark plugs are covered in soot. If they are, it could be due to your fuel pressure regulator.
3) Gasoline Smell in Oil
Another symptom of a bad fuel pressure regulator is fuel leaking into your oil. When you go to test your oil level with a dipstick, you may notice the oil on the stick smells like gasoline. If it does, your fuel pressure regulator should be replaced. You will also need to change your oil as well because it has been contaminated with gasoline.
4) Black Smoke
Sometimes a bad fuel pressure regulator can send too much fuel to your engine cylinders. Whenever you have a rich fuel combustion, it will cause black smoke to be produced in the exhaust system. This black smoke will come out of your tailpipe, so it will be easily noticeable.
5) Low Fuel Economy
In continuation of the last symptom, too much fuel consumption will result in a weaker fuel economy. This means that you’ll be heading to the gas station more often than normal to fill up your tank with gas.
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6) Fuel Leak
The sides of your fuel pressure regulator of seals on them. These seals tend to get worn out after a while, resulting in fuel leaking through them. This is another thing that can ruin your vehicle’s fuel economy. Furthermore, the gas could leak onto other components and cause all sorts of burning and damage issues with them.
7) Fuel Pump Noises
When you go to accelerate your vehicle with a bad fuel pressure regulator, the fuel pump will be under pressure to provide more fuel to the engine. If it is unable to do that because of the bad regulator, then your pump will start to make whirring sounds.