Fuel Contamination Can Cause Diesel Fuel Pump Failure


diesel engine fuel pumps | Highway & Heavy Parts


Contaminated fuel can cause big problems for diesel engines. This is especially true for engines that have a high-pressure common rail system. 

Contaminated fuel is one of the main causes of common rail fuel pump failure. You might be wondering why this is such a major issues and what it means for your engine. Today, we're taking you through why contaminated fuel can spell trouble for your common rail fuel pump and what you can do about it. 


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If you're in the market for fuel pumps, learn more about how remanufactured pumps can increase your profits!


Fuel Contamination and Common Rail Pumps

If your fuel pump is failing, you might notice some of the following symptoms:

  • Rough Running Engine
  • Hard Starting
  • Engine Misfires
  • Engine Stalls
  • Overall Loss of Engine Power
  • Excessive Smoke
  • Unusual Engine Noises

But, fuel contamination might not be the first thing that comes to your mind when you're looking for possible causes of fuel pump failure. You might even be thinking, "I've never noticed a problem with my pump from contaminated fuel before, why would that be the cause now?"

And that's probably because you've been running an engine with an older style rotary pump. Those pumps can handle more debris and contaminants before you notice a problem. But, with newer engines, we're seeing more and more common rail fuel systems. These pumps have tighter tolerances and higher pressures than any system we've seen before. 

Because of this, fuel contamination becomes a much larger issue. Microscopic contaminants can wreak havoc on the whole system.

With these common rail fuel systems, the components need to be built in an environmentally and temperature controlled clean room to prevent any dust and debris from being introduced into the system.

With older pumps, you might have had a filter rating of 10 microns, but now a lot of manufacturers are recommending filters with a much lower micron rating for your common rail system, because contaminants 3 microns or even smaller can create big problems for your engine. To compare, a human hair, on average, is between 50 and 80 microns. 

That means the tolerances on these systems are so tight that contaminants 20 times smaller than a hair on your head can cause a failure in your system. That's why it's so important to ensure you're using high quality, clean fuel, and that your fuel system components have been rebuilt to the highest standards.

If your high-pressure fuel pump fails, all the fuel system components are exposed to contamination. That means you might also have injectors that are contaminated. If you're replacing your common rail pump, it might be a good time to replace your injectors as well, saving you from another costly repair in the future. 

Sometimes, people make the decision to try and rebuild their fuel system components on their own, especially fuel injectors. Sure, sometimes they might get lucky and end up with working injectors, but the main problem is that they can't test the performance of those injectors. 

That's why it's important to buy rebuilt injectors from a reputable supplier. We make sure that these important fuel system components pass numerous performance tests to ensure that the timing, fuel volume, and return are all correct. That's not something you can do from home. And you're running the risk of introducing contaminants into the system, because you can't rebuild the components in the necessary cleanroom environment. So, you're risking engine failure just to save a few hundred bucks.

Want to know more about fuel pump failures? Read our post, Diesel Engine Fuel Pumps Explained


Fuel Pumps from Highway & Heavy Parts

If you're looking for a fuel pump for your diesel engine, Highway & Heavy Parts is here to help!

We have remanufactured fuel pumps that are built to meet or exceed OE performance and durability. All wearable components are replaced with new OE parts, and the pumps have been remanufactured with upgrades to components. 

Produced with the latest OE equipment and technology, these pumps will give you improved fuel economy, higher torque, higher engine performance, and quiet running, in addition to meeting emissions requirements. 

When you buy reman fuel pumps from HHP, you'll be getting:

  • Genuine OE Replacement Parts
  • Parts that Meet or Exceed OEM Specifications
  • Expert Advice from ASE Certified Techs
  • Free Core Returns
  • High Inventory for One-Source Shopping
  • Fast and Easy Ordering 
  • Fast Shipping
  • Nationwide Distribution Centers
  • Parts that Cost a Fraction of What OEM Dealers Charge
  • Backed by an Industry Leading Warranty

If you need replacement parts for your diesel engine, HHP takes the risk out of buying parts!


Looking for a high-quality fuel pump for your diesel engine? Give our ASE Certified Techs a call at 844-304-7688! Or, you can request a quote online.