A fuel pressure regulator is an important part of the fuel system. Just as the name implies, its work is to regulate the pressure of fuel that is being deposited into the fuel injectors.
Now that you know what it does, the next thing is to understand its location. This is key mostly during the maintenance period.
The fuel pressure regulator is mostly located at the end of the fuel rails in most cars. It will also be connected to the car injectors. So, follow the fuel rail on the engine up to the end, and you should find the fuel pressure regulator.
The location might change in different car models. You could check the car’s manual to find out where the fuel pressure regulator is located. Or consult with your mechanic to find out more about its location.
Symptoms You Have a Bad Fuel Pressure Regulator
The reason why you may be looking for a fuel pressure regulator is that it might be malfunctioning, or you have an idea it could be the reason the car is not working.
Someone might ask, what are the symptoms of having a bad fuel pressure regulator? Here are the symptoms you keep in mind.
1. Engine misfires
This might be the earliest sign that you have a bad fuel pressure regulator. You will notice that the engine has a misfire during idle or when accelerating.
Misfires are easy to identify in any car. A person will start to hear a sputtering sound from the engine. Also, there is a lack of power when trying to accelerate.
Take note that misfires can be a result of many other faults. So, you may also have to consider diagnosing the regulator further before changing it.
Here is a video on why your engine might be misfiring
2. Car losses acceleration more often
The fuel pressure regulator ensures your engine receives the right amount of fuel. That is why if there is a fault, you might find that the engine runs too lean or too rich.
Both scenarios, whether too lean or too rich, cause a drop in acceleration. So, if your car now seems too slow, it could be a problem with the fuel pressure regulator.
3. You have a check engine light
Most cars right now come with a monitoring system. Such a system is key in checking the engine’s functionality plus its sensors.
In case you see a check engine light on your dashboard and the engine seems to misfire more often, you should then consider having it checked.
It is best if you can have a diagnostics machine plugged into the car’s system to verify that it is actually the fuel pressure regulator is working.
Also, other things can make the check engine light come on, so use a diagnostic machine to verify where the fault is coming from.
4. Fuel leak
Another symptom to check out for would be fuel leaks. Let us say you have parked a car overnight in a spot; then, you find fuel leaks on the ground the following morning.
These fuel leaks can mean that there might be a problem with the fuel pressure regulator.
Fuel leaks are bad for your safety. This is because the fuel might drop on the hot parts, thus leading to a potential fire outbreak.
5. Having black smoke from the car
Black smoke is caused by having a too-rich air-fuel mixture ratio. This is because the fuel pressure regulator is dumping too much fuel in the combustion chambers.
Black smoke can mean a lot of things too. So, do not assume it is the fuel regulator alone. Have a mechanic check out the car in detail to find out more.
Here is a video explaining the different smoke types from a car and their meaning.
6. Spark plugs have black debris
An engine running too rich can be faulty because the fuel pressure regulator is faulty. When more of the fuel is not combusted correctly, it could leave a lot of soot on the spark plugs.
Start by checking the ends of the spark plugs to see if you have any soot on the spark plugs. If the fuel regulator is damaged, replace it and also change the spark plugs.
Can you fix a faulty fuel pressure regulator?
Most of these fuel pressure regulators are sealed and cannot be repaired. Maybe the older fuel pressure regulators, but again it is cheaper to replace with a brand new part. At least you will know it will work great.
Will a bad fuel pressure regulator make the car not start?
If the fuel pressure is so bad, the fuel pressure can be too low to get the engine going. Also, sometimes you might be having other problems that make the car not start. So, have other parts checked just to be sure.
How long can a fuel pressure regulator last?
Most of the time, fuel pressure regulators may last the lifetime of a car. However, at times it can fail, but it is not hard to replace. Just have it diagnosed properly to ascertain it is faulty before replacing it.