Arguably the most important instrument in your day-to-day activities is your car. You likely use it to get to and from work, to get the kids to school and any other errands you have each and every day. As such, auto issues are one thing that you try to limit as much as possible to avoid long spells without your vehicle and the inconvenience that comes with extended vehicle repairs.
There are a few critical parts in your car that when in need of service demand immediate attention. The check engine light and anything involving the word “transmission” can send shivers down the spines of vehicle owners. One part that doesn’t quite have such a notorious reputation but should be taken care of as soon as possible is the fuel pressure regulator.
In most vehicles, the fuel pressure regulator is a piece of the engine that is responsible for regulating the pressure of fuel that will cycle through the engine. Many regulators use vacuums but there are also some that have electronic regulators as well. Because of this responsibility, it’s critical that any potential issue be addressed as soon as possible to avoid further and more complicated issues. Fortunately, there are a few common signs to look for that indicates that your vehicle’s fuel pressure regulator may be going bad.
Black smoke coming from your vehicle’s tailpipe almost certainly signals an issue with the fuel pressure regulator. If you’re seeing black smoke, you should have the regulator checked or replaced as soon as possible. Normally if any smoke is emitted from your tailpipe it should be white or gray, black smoke is an immediate signal of trouble.
Another way involving the tailpipe that can warn you of potential fuel pressure regulator is if there is gasoline dripping from the tailpipe. It can be the result of overfilling your gas tank but most likely it’s because the regulator is leaking, allowing gasoline to runoff into the lines.
When you’re idling at a light or before putting your vehicle in gear and you notice your engine making unusual noises, change your oil filter and also check the pressure regulator to try and fix the problem. If you have trouble getting your car to start and notice it not turning over immediately, it can also signal a bad fuel pressure regulator.
If you notice that when you push your gas pedal down that your vehicle stalls then that could be an indication that the fuel pressure regulator is bad. When you accelerate you should have absolutely no hesitation and your car should begin to move immediately. If you begin to notice even a little hesitation when you attempt to accelerate, it could be an early sign of your fuel pressure regulator beginning to go bad.
A bad fuel pressure regulator can lead to a build-up of excessive gasoline that can lead to your engine backfiring or the smell of fuel when you decelerate your vehicle. Again, if you notice even a slight issue, it’s important to have it checked to correct any problems fast before further damage can be inflicted.
These are five of the most common signs that your fuel pressure regulator could be going bad. There are still other signs that you can look for and if you notice your vehicle doing anything unusual when it comes to accelerating or any strange sounds coming from your engine then there’s a good chance it can be the fuel pressure regulator.
If you begin to notice any of these signs in your vehicle, it’s important that you run a diagnostic test to have a precise answer. If you have a scanner tool, you can scan your vehicle’s computer for the error code to diagnose the problem. If you don’t have any scanning tools or are unsure of what to look for, find a local trustworthy service center that can diagnose your vehicle correctly as well as quickly repair your vehicle. On average, the cost for a replacement fuel pressure regulator should be less than $100 though it can cost upwards of triple that when factoring in the cost of labor.