Can You Drive With a Bad Fuel Pressure Sensor?

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A car’s fuel monitoring and management system comprise several sensors—a typical car with at least 30—and modules that track various data to ensure smooth operation. One of these sensors is the fuel pressure sensor, which keeps track of the fuel pressure within the fuel rail.

A bad fuel pressure sensor can be a pain on several levels. You’ll notice lower gas mileage as you will not have the fuel pressure you need to get an optimal amount of air into combustion. However, for many, one thing about the fuel pressure sensor that does not get clarified: is whether you can drive with a faulty fuel pressure sensor.

Can You Drive With a Bad Fuel Pressure Sensor

In this article, let’s dig deeper into what will happen if you drive with a bad fuel pressure sensor; in the same way, we answered the question of driving with a bad oxygen sensor in one of our articles.

1. Can I drive with a faulty fuel pressure sensor?

The simple answer is yes; you can still drive a car with a bad fuel pressure sensor if the problem isn’t too serious. But if it malfunctions in the long run, your car’s capacity to provide the engine with the proper amount of fuel will be greatly reduced.

It usually depends on the damage’s significance, and you can still drive your car to a repair facility with no issues. However, expect symptoms such as weak acceleration, engine stalling, and poor fuel mileage. The longer you drive with a faulty fuel pressure sensor, the worse your issues will become until you reach a stage when maintaining and starting the car is a difficult task.

Simply said, it is not a good idea to continue driving with a faulty fuel pressure sensor for any longer than absolutely necessary.

2. Symptoms of a bad fuel pressure sensor

The fuel pressure sensor keeps track of the fuel pressure within the fuel rail. The engine control unit (ECU) won’t function properly if there is an issue with the fuel pressure sensor. The following are the five most typical indications of a faulty fuel pressure sensor: 

1. The “Check Engine” warning light turns on – The problem may not necessarily lie with the fuel pressure sensor itself, but it can indicate another issue within the fuel system. This is why it’s important to have your car checked by an expert mechanic as soon as possible.

2. Having trouble starting the car – Although this is usually caused by a bad starter, if the fuel pressure sensor is malfunctioning, it will be harder for your car to start. You might have difficulty turning over the engine or hear a clicking sound when you try to start the car.

3. Weak acceleration – If your engine is only running at idle speed and refuses to accelerate past this point, it may be because of a faulty fuel pressure sensor or another issue in the system, such as air leaks or clogged jets.

4. Engine stalling – This may be because of a fuel pressure drop or an engine issue that causes it to cut out.

5. Poor fuel mileage – If your car is using more fuel than it should, there may be an issue with the fuel system. The fuel pressure sensor can play a role in regulating how much fuel enters your engine.

In 2022, Volkswagen recalls SUVs with bad fuel pressure sensors. This results in incorrect fuel pressure, causing the engine to run rough or even preventing it from starting. 

3. How to test the fuel pressure sensor?

A diagnostic scanner or a multimeter can be used to test the fuel rail pressure sensor. Connect the diagnostic scanner, then examine the results. Compare the numbers to the numbers in the repair instructions.

We strongly advise INNOVA 5210. The newest OBD2 Diagnostic Code Scanner for the Innova features a Battery/Charging System Test, can read and erase ABS codes, reset oil light indicators, and provides live data for more precise information.

A multimeter can also be used to test the sensor, but you must first obtain the accurate measurements for the sensor under consideration.

You might also be interested in knowing how to test your car’s fuel pressure without a gauge. If so, read our guide here.

4. How much does it cost to replace a fuel pressure sensor?

On average, the cost of replacing a fuel pressure sensor ranges from $50 to $250. Depending on your car model, a fuel pressure sensor will cost you $50 to $150. Depending on the repair shop, labor costs might range from $50 to $100. Doing it yourself will undoubtedly help you save money. 

For most car types, replacing the fuel pressure sensor is typically relatively simple. After replacing the fuel pressure sensor in some car models, you may also need to use a diagnostic tool to erase the error codes.

5. Conclusion

The fuel pressure sensor is one of the most crucial parts of a car’s fuel distribution system. If it malfunctions, there will be an increase in fuel consumption brought on by the engine’s reduced efficiency. Although you can drive with a faulty fuel pressure sensor, we strongly discourage it.

In the worst case, if it malfunctions while you’re driving, your engine won’t get any fuel at all, which will cause your car to stall. Unburned fuel in the exhaust can harm the performance of your exhaust system, which can also result in its total failure. 

Therefore, watching for any warning signals of a malfunctioning fuel pressure sensor is crucial. If you’re unsure of the symptoms, visit a car care expert because they can also be caused by other issues. 

Now that we have answered the question, “Can you drive with a bad fuel pressure sensor?” you can continue reading our related articles, like the article where we answered the question, “How long can you drive with a bad speed sensor?” 

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