Vehicles are complex machines that run on other complex machines, so knowing the various warning lights and malfunction symptoms can be crucial to keeping you on the road. For internal combustion engines, the pressure at which fuel is supplied to the machine will make a difference in whether the vehicle starts, stalls or otherwise breaks down.
In addition to a “check engine light” shining on your dashboard, signs of low fuel pressure include a stalling engine or unresponsive throttle, difficulty starting the car and a misfiring engine. Since these can be signs of other problems, it is good to get a diagnostic code from the vehicle’s computer and check common issues such as fuel leaks or clogged air and fuel filters. For diesel engines, make sure that your AirDog fuel pressure system works properly and is the right fit for your vehicle; and if you have an older car, make sure to check the carburetor.
While your vehicle may still run with low fuel pressure, the engine will run hotter than usual, damaging critical parts such as valves and pistons. Depending on what is causing the low fuel pressure, waiting too long to fix it can also damage parts of the fuel system, such as lines and filters. If your fuel pump is pulling in air from low fuel levels, it can lead to failure of the system as a whole through overheating or particulate buildup.
Low fuel pressure can be fixed by changing the filters regularly and adding fuel injector cleaner to your routine maintenance checklist. You should also check that the pump receives the proper voltage and that the pump relay is working correctly, your fuel lines are not leaking or clogged, and your pressure regulator is in good working order. An easy way to check for leaks is to wipe away the grime on the system and clean the parking surface for the vehicle; you can then run checks on other parts, such as the injectors and pump, while you watch for fuel to appear at connection points or under the vehicle.
Trying to diagnose a problem with your vehicle can take specialized equipment, but it can also just be a matter of spotting the signs and knowing which parts to check first. If your engine light comes on or your vehicle stalls, it is a good idea to check filters and look for leaks before moving on to more rare and difficult-to-fix problems.