Overheating doesn’t always mean your radiator; it could also be your fuel pump. When the fuel pump is the cause, your car, truck, or SUV will overheat and then stall. This will happen continuously and the reason why is that the pump is overheating and, in turn, causing your engine to overheat. J&R Automotive would be happy to inspect your vehicle if it is running too hot and then shutting down, and it’s important that you bring it in as soon as possible to avoid further damage.
The Fuel Pump
In general terms, your pump is tasked with moving fuel from your gas tank into your engine. The pump will move the fuel when you first turn on the ignition to start your car and it will then move fuel as you drive. The amount of gas your fuel pump sends to the engine depends on how fast you are driving and other engine demands. For example, your engine needs more fuel to maintain speed up a steep hill.
Engine performance, including overheats and stalls, is an indicator that your pump is failing. Most fuel pumps last over 100,000 miles, with some lasting as long as 200,000 miles. This said, if your vehicle has 100,000-plus miles on it and it is overheating and stalling, it could be time to consider replacing the fuel pump. Fuel pumps can also fail due to manufacturing glitches or other unexpected problems.
Fuel Pump Failure
Your vehicle may not overheat and shut down even though your pump is on the verge of death. There are other signs that your fuel pump has problems. For example, if your pump is sending too much gasoline to your engine, you might notice a substantial drop in your vehicle’s gas mileage. An engine that is getting too much fuel will also surge off and on while you’re driving.
There are times when a failing fuel pump will also not send enough gas to your engine. If your pump is completely dead, your engine will be, as well. You won’t be able to get your vehicle to start. You may also feel your vehicle jerk and sputter at high speeds or slow down to a crawl when you’re going up a hill. An engine cannot perform as it should without enough fuel, so a dying fuel pump can cause engine lag.