How to Start a Car with a Bad Fuel Pump: Tips and Tricks

Dealing with a bad fuel pump can be a real headache, especially when you need to start your car and get moving. A malfunctioning fuel pump can prevent fuel from reaching the engine, making it difficult or impossible to start your car. So, what should you do if you find yourself in this situation? In this post, we’ll share some tips and tricks on how to start a car with a bad fuel pump.

What Causes a Bad Fuel Pump?

Before we dive into the solutions, let’s first discuss what causes a bad fuel pump. There are several reasons why your fuel pump might fail, including:

  • Age and wear and tear
  • Contaminated fuel
  • Electrical problems
  • Overheating

Check Your Battery

One potential solution for starting a car with a bad fuel pump is to check your battery. A weak or dead battery can prevent your car from starting, even if the fuel pump is working correctly. If your car won’t start, try turning on your headlights. If they’re dim or don’t turn on at all, it’s likely that your battery is the culprit.

Use Starting Fluid

Another option is to use starting fluid, also known as ether, to get your car started. Starting fluid is a highly flammable liquid that can be sprayed into the air intake system to help start the engine. Be careful when using starting fluid, as it can be dangerous if not used correctly. Follow the instructions carefully and use only as directed.

Check Your Fuel Filter

A clogged fuel filter can also prevent fuel from reaching the engine, making it difficult to start your car. If you suspect that your fuel filter is clogged, try replacing it and see if that solves the problem. A new fuel filter can improve fuel flow and help your car start more easily.

Try Jump Starting Your Car

If your car won’t start due to a bad fuel pump, you may be able to jump-start it using another vehicle. Connect the positive and negative terminals of the dead battery to the corresponding terminals on the working battery, and then try starting your car. If this works, it may be a temporary solution until you can get your fuel pump repaired or replaced.


Dealing with a bad fuel pump can be frustrating, but there are several solutions you can try to get your car started. From checking your battery to using starting fluid, these tips and tricks can help you get back on the road quickly and safely. Remember, if these solutions don’t work or if you’re uncomfortable trying them yourself, it’s always best to seek the help of a professional mechanic.