Maintenance Tips, Tricks And Hacks For Your Vehicle

Airtex Fuel Pumps Most Common Problems




Airtex is a company that makes both original equipment and aftermarket fuel pumps. Like any other vehicle parts, fuel pumps fail too. But, are the Airtex fuel pumps any good?

What are the most common problems that you might encounter with the Airtex fuel pumps?

In this article, I am going to talk about the most common problem that Airtex fuel pumps have and whether are they worth it.

Key Takeaway

  • Airtex Fuel Pumps are precision-engineered water and fuel pump components, designed for quiet operation and industry-leading performance, manufactured by Airtex, a global company with over 75 years of OEM and aftermarket experience.
  • The most common problems with Airtex fuel pumps include a check engine light due to a lack of fuel pressure, a crank but no start due to a limited supply of fuel, a long crank before starting, loss of power, and engine stalling.

What Are Airtex Fuel Pumps

Airtex Fuel Pumps are automotive components manufactured by Airtex, a leading global water and fuel pump manufacturer established in the early 1930s.

They produce various types of fuel pumps, including electric and mechanical ones, designed to optimize performance while ensuring efficient fuel delivery in vehicles.

The products range from in-tank electric fuel pumps to mechanical fuel pumps, fuel filters, and fuel pump accessories.

These pumps are widely available for purchase from various automotive parts retailers and online platforms, providing essential functionality for a wide array of car and truck models says AirTex.

Airtex Fuel Pumps Most Common Problems

Airtex Fuel Pumps Most Common Problems
  • Check engine light
  • Crank but no start
  • Long crank before starting
  • Loss of power
  • Engine stalling

Fuel pumps have the purpose of taking the fuel from the fuel tank, filtering it, and then sending it to the fuel injectors where it gets sprayed in the combustion chamber on command.

Airtex is a well-known brand that manufactures fuel pumps. But, as with all parts, these fuel pumps tend to fail eventually. Here are the most common problems with Airtex fuel pumps:

1. Check engine light

The first problem with a bad Airtex fuel pump is an ignited check engine light on the dashboard. The check engine light ignites for a lot of reasons. So, you will need a scanning tool to determine the right cause. If your vehicle has a fuel pressure sensor, while scanning your vehicle, you can get a P0190 trouble code which is associated with a lack of fuel pressure.

The fuel system is a pressurized system where the fuel pump sucks fuel from the gas tank and delivers it to the fuel injectors. If the Airtex fuel pump is faulty, the fuel supply will be disrupted due to the lack of fuel pressure.

Each time you press on the gas pedal, the fuel pump won’t be able to supply enough fuel to the engine and if present, the fuel pressure sensor will notice this and will trigger a check engine light.

Another trouble code that triggers the check engine light due to a faulty Airtex fuel pump is P0171. This trouble code is associated with a lean condition, meaning, there is more air than fuel in the combustion chamber. The lean condition is known to cause multiple misfires, so you might also get a trouble code associated with a misfire.

However, you can also have a bad Airtex fuel pump without any trouble codes or a check engine light.

2. Crank but no start

Airtex Fuel Pumps Most Common Problems

Crank but no start is another common problem with a faulty Airtex fuel pump. If you have been experiencing this, it is time to check your fuel pump. If your vehicle is cranking (you can actually hear the engine turning) but no start, it means that there is little to no fuel getting to the fuel injectors.

When you first turn your key on, the fuel pump activates immediately and starts to supply fuel to the fuel injectors. If you turn off the radio, you can hear the fuel pump humming. Then, when ordered by the vehicle’s main computer, the fuel injectors start spraying fuel into the combustion chamber and the engine starts working.

This is all done by a properly working fuel pump that produces enough fuel pressure. A faulty Airtex fuel pump often has low fuel pressure. This means that the fuel pump isn’t able to supply the engine with the required amount of fuel. Without the right amount of fuel, the engine will only crank but not start.

The crank but no start occurs only in scenarios where the Airtex fuel pump has completely failed. However, if the Airtex fuel pump has only started failing, you will experience a long crank before starting.

3. Long crank before starting

Airtex Fuel Pumps Most Common Problems

The Airtex fuel pump will show signs of failing before it actually fails. One of the most common signs that a failing fuel pump shows is a long crank before starting. At this point, the fuel pump is struggling to supply the engine with fuel, but somehow is still managing.

A failing Airtex fuel pump requires more time to supply the fuel injectors with fuel. That is why you experience a long crank before starting your vehicle.

Many car owners confuse this symptom with a bad battery or a bad starter. That is why it is important to turn off the radio and roll down the windows. When you turn the key in on position, you should hear a humming noise coming from the rear of the vehicle.

This is actually the fuel pump starting to supply fuel. If you hear this, it means that the fuel pump has not completely failed.

Then, when you crank, you should be able to hear your engine actually turning. If the battery is dead, or the starter is bad, you won’t hear the engine turning. This is how you will determine that the fuel pump is going bad. If the engine is turning and cranking, but it takes more time than usual to start your vehicle, the Airtex fuel pump has started to fail.

4. Loss of power

Airtex Fuel Pumps Most Common Problems

Loss of power is another problem with faulty Airtex fuel pumps. If you press down on the gas pedal to increase the speed and you seem not to go as fast as you used to, it means that there is not enough fuel going to the engine due to a faulty fuel pump.

The engine might start to stutter and really struggle to increase the speed. This is all due to the lack of pressurized fuel coming from the fuel pump.

When you press down the gas pedal, the throttle plate opens up and brings in more air. When more air comes into the engine, the main vehicle computer requests more fuel to stabilize the air-to-fuel ratio. But, due to the fact that the Airtex fuel pump has started to fail and is unable to bring that extra fuel to the engine, you will experience a loss of power.

As I mentioned before, if your vehicle doesn’t have a fuel pressure sensor, you won’t be able to determine this issue by scanning your vehicle.

5. Engine stalling

Stalling engines is a very common problem associated with faulty Airtex fuel pumps. If you are driving on the highway and your engine randomly turns off, it means that the fuel supply has been disrupted.

Without a constant fuel supply, the engine is unable to run. If the fuel pump is starting to fail, the engine will get at least some fuel and will stutter. But, when the Airtex fuel pump completely fails, the fuel supply to the engine will be completely cut off and the engine will turn off.

Before actually replacing your fuel pump, it is best if you first check the fuel pump fuse. Then, you can perform a fuel pressure test.

Does Airtex Make Good Fuel Pumps?

Airtex makes good fuel pumps that can last well past 100,000 miles. The company has been running for more than 80 years. The Airtex fuel pumps are made in North Canton, Ohio.

Airtex manufactures both mechanical and electric fuel pumps. In fact, more than 250 million vehicles are equipped with an Airtex fuel pump.

Symptoms of a Failed Airtex Fuel Pump

  • Engine sputters at high speed: One of the earliest symptoms of a potential issue with an Airtex fuel pump is a high-speed engine sputter.
  • Decrease in power, acceleration, and fuel efficiency: A failing fuel pump can cause the vehicle to experience a reduction in performance across the board.
  • Vehicle won’t start: Another symptom commonly associated with a problematic fuel pump is a no-start condition.
  • Surging: Another symptom that could point to a failing fuel pump is the engine surging, where the car unexpectedly accelerates for a few seconds.
  • Loss of power when under stress or carrying heavy loads: The vehicle may stall or hesitate when climbing hills, hauling loads, or during other high-stress driving conditions.
  • Unusual noise: A failing fuel pump might produce a noticeably loud whine or howl when it’s running.
  • Check Engine Light comes on: In some cases, the “Check Engine” light may come on if there are issues with the fuel pump.


Q: How do I know if my Airtex fuel pump is leaking?

A: If you notice fuel odor or see fuel dripping from the fuel pump area, it is likely that your Airtex fuel pump is leaking.

Q: What can cause the motor of my Airtex fuel pump to fail?

A: The motor of an Airtex fuel pump can fail due to issues such as electrical faults, worn-out brushes, or a burnt-out armature.

Q: How can I diagnose if my Airtex fuel pump has insufficient fuel pressure?

A: You can diagnose insufficient fuel pressure in your Airtex fuel pump by using a fuel pressure gauge to measure the pressure at the fuel rail or by performing a fuel pressure test.

Q: What are the signs of incorrect fuel delivery from an Airtex fuel pump?

A: Signs of incorrect fuel delivery from an Airtex fuel pump include engine hesitation, stalling, and poor acceleration.

Q: What should I do if my Airtex fuel pump is experiencing one of these common problems?

A: If your Airtex fuel pump is experiencing any of these common problems, it is recommended to replace the fuel pump with a new one to ensure proper and reliable fuel delivery.

Q: How can I prevent these common problems with my Airtex fuel pump?

A: To prevent these common problems with your Airtex fuel pump, it is important to regularly inspect the fuel system, replace fuel filters as recommended, and ensure proper installation of the fuel pump.

Q: Are Airtex fuel pumps covered by any warranty?

A: Yes, Airtex offers a limited warranty on their fuel pumps. The specific warranty period and coverage may vary, so it is important to check the warranty details provided by the manufacturer.

Q: Where can I find a replacement Airtex fuel pump?

A: You can find replacement Airtex fuel pumps at various automotive parts stores, online marketplaces, and directly from Airtex or their authorized distributors.

In Conclusion

Airtex fuel pumps are renowned for their reliability and quality, however, they can be subject to certain common problems.

These issues include clogged filters, blocked air holes, worn parts, and low-pressure problems.

It is essential that any maintenance or repair is handled with care and carried out by experienced professionals, in order to ensure your Airtex fuel pump runs at peak performance for many years.



Vide Polowenski, Senior Mechanic

The information in this article is current and up-to-date in accordance with the latest mechanic SOPs.

Please take the time to leave a comment if this article has helped you in any way, you need additional help, or you have a suggestion.

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