how to check fuel pressure

How To Check Fuel Pressure

Your car may be giving you signs that it is not getting enough fuel. Struggling to accelerate is one sign you may notice when you’re on the highway. Your car may not be getting the gas it needs because it has a partially blocked fuel filter, fuel line, injector or fuel pump. There are ways you can check your fuel pressure to see what the reason is for your vehicle to be acting incorrectly.

Various fuel systems are at 30 – 40 psi whereas others are at a range of 50 to 60 psi or even more. Once you master the range of your fuel pressure, you will be at position to check the correct specifications of your automobile.

You can get this specifications of your automobile at several sources for example at alldataDIY. If you notice that your pressure is a bit low, confirm that your high-pressure line and filter are plugged or pinched in the right way.

Checking fuel pump

There are two methods of checking the fuel pump. One of the method includes the use of an electrical test.


The steps include;

  • Checking the pump fuse
  • Check the voltage of your pump
  • Then perform a drop test by use of a voltmeter

The second message entails;

  • Eliminating the filter if possible
  • Get the fuel pressure gauge
  • Hook pressure gauge to your fuel pump test fitting
  • You should also have a good helper rev your engine for you to check its gauge

Types of Fuel Systems

Two types of fuel systems are available. They include;

  • A fuel system with fuel return line at the back of the system and fuel tank and do not require a fuel pressure regulator. This system is also referred to as a returnless fuel system.
  • A fuel system which uses the pressure regulator and usually located at the fuel rail. This type of system has a return line back to fuel tank.

Fuel systems without a fuel pressure regulator do not contain a fuel line back to fuel tank. Most of these tanks make use of fuel pump control unit or driver module fuel pump. These types of unit are pulse modulated signal which are responsible for sending the fuel pump from engine computer and driver module to monitor speed of fuel pump.

This then controls the fuel pressure. Pulse width signal is directly proportional to fuel pressure. Different fuel systems have different fuel pressure so ensure you get the right specifications for your system. Fuel pressure test port mainly placed at the driver’s side of the engine. You should just attach a pressure gauge to fuel rail then turn the key on then take your pressure readings.

Perform an Electrical Test

Sometimes it’s not the pump that’s not working properly; it’s the power the pump needs to perform. You can start by making sure your pump is getting the proper power. The owner’s manual for your vehicle will show you how to locate the fuse box and the fuse you need to check for the fuel pump.

Look for signs of the fuse being defective by checking to see if it is broken, burned, or blown. Check all fuses that relate to the fuel system at this time and replace any showing signs of not working.


  • Make sure you replace any fuse with the proper amp rating
  • Check all circuits to ensure none are drawing a higher amp than they should. If after replacing a fuse and it blows again as soon as you start your vehicle, then you’ll know there’s a short, and you should have your car serviced as early as possible to get it properly diagnosed.
  • Check the voltage at the pump to see if it’s getting juice from the system. Vehicle manuals have instructions in them to show you how and where to perform this procedure for your specific car or truck.
  • Make sure there isn’t a problem with your relay. Check if the charge leaving the fuse is making it to the pump. If it is not making it to your fuel pump, you will have to test the fuel pump relay circuit.
  • One last electrical test to perform is to see if the power wire has full voltage and your grounding wire is connected securely.

If your vehicle passes all these electrical tests and doesn’t reveal any issues, then it’s time to look at your fuel pump.

Which type of pressure tester is good to use?

Different types of pressure testers are available. You should be careful there. Purchase the “Actron CP7838 Professional Fuel Pressure Tester“, as this is a great investment for almost any make or model of vehicle. If you have been looking for some long-lasting and high-quality fuel pressure test kit, it is highly recommended for you.

This tool will enable you to check the fuel pressure. The Actron CP7838 Professional Fuel Pressure Tester is designed for fuel injected systems and will measure your vehicles fuel pressure. It has a six-foot hose and reaches any testing point.

The best part of it is that it is easy to use and cheap. It is availed with basic adapters and can pick it for around 44 bucks.

Perform Fuel Pressure Test

The first thing to check is your fuel filter. If this becomes clogged, it could cause your vehicle to experience difficulty accelerating. A fuel filter clogged with sediment is also a good indication there may be problems with your fuel pump.

Begin by removing the filter from your vehicle and draining any excess fuel that may remain inside. With the use of a short hose, blow through the inlet on the filter and see if there is any resistance. Make sure there is no debris caught in the screen and replace if either of these tests shows any problems.


  • With the Fuel Pressure Tester, find your fuel pump’s test point. On your fuel pump find where it hooks up to the filter injector rail so you can attach the pressure gauge.
  • Check your vehicle’s manual if you are unsure where the fuel pump is located.
  • Have someone help you at this point by revving the engine to check the gauge readout. Check the pressure at an idle and at the rated speed shown on your pump specifications.
  • Your repair manual should list the specifications which should appear on the gauge, and it should show an increase as you rev the engine.

If your vehicle fails the pressure test, it may be a sign you need a new fuel injector kit. The ACDelco Fuel Injector Kit may be the answer for your vehicle’s poor performance. This kit is a GM recommended replacement part which has been manufactured to GM OE specification for fit, form, and function.

You can also check this video for more details.

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The above points are vital in confirming any problem with your pressure gauge system hence accelerating the speed of your automobile. Diagnosing this problem play a vital role in your engine performance.

Checking fuel pressure has been a major part in daily life just like other appliances which concern automobiles. We should therefore often use the above criteria to help solve such concerns in our automobiles.

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