Nissan Sentra Fuel Pump Problems [Symptoms & Fixes]

Does your Nissan Sentra’s engine appear to ‘choke’ or struggle to maintain speed? This is one of the many symptoms of a failed fuel pump in a Nissan Sentra.

Nissan Sentra

Knowing the signs of a bad fuel pump in your vehicle can help you know when to go for repair to avoid severe damages.

So, in this post, I’ll highlight the common symptoms that indicate fuel pump problems in your Nissan Sentra and how to overcome the issues.

Symptoms of Fuel Pump Issues in a Nissan Sentra

The Car Won’t Maintain Speed Because of ‘Choking’

If your Nissan Sentra’s engine is choking or struggles to maintain speed, the first thing that may pop up in your mind is that you’ve run out of gas. So, you want to check the fuel gauge immediately.

If your fuel gauge shows you still have sufficient gas in your tank, despite the ‘choking’ issue, your fuel pump has gone bad.

Get your mechanic to check and replace the fuel pump with a new unit.

Decreased Engine Performance

A bad fuel pump cannot deliver sufficient fuel to the engine. Erratic fuel delivery due to a faulty fuel pump may cause you to experience decreased engine performance when driving your Nissan Sentra.

Your mechanic should check your Nissan Sentra’s fuel pump to determine why it is no longer functioning as it should.

The mechanic will let you know if the fuel pump can be repaired or will require a replacement.

Weird Sounds from the Rear of the Vehicle

A dying or failing fuel pump can give off weird sounds while driving. The noise originates from the fuel tank area, resulting in sputtering engines and backfires.

This could also trigger the check engine light, causing it to illuminate your dashboard. All these suggest that your Nissan Sentra fuel pump is bad.

So, get your Nissan Sentra to the nearest auto repair shop when you hear weird sounds from the fuel tank area. The mechanic will run the usual diagnostic checks to ascertain what is really wrong with the vehicle.

If the fuel pump is no longer functioning, you should replace it immediately.


A malfunctioning fuel pump can cause misfiring, which occurs when the engine is not getting sufficient fuel.

When this occurs, there won’t be an appropriate air-fuel ratio within the combustion chamber. This leads to inefficient combustion that causes your Nissan Sentra to misfire.

Get your mechanic to run a diagnostic check on your Nissan Sentra since other things can cause misfiring. If it’s confirmed that the fuel pump is the culprit, replace it.

Difficulty Starting the Vehicle

If your Nissan Sentra’s fuel pump is bad, you will find it difficult to start the vehicle. This is because the faulty fuel pump no longer supplies the needed gasoline to the engine.

At times, starting your vehicle may take far longer than usual, or make several attempts to get the engine sufficiently cranked.

Do not ignore this problem, or it will eventually be impossible to start your Nissan Sentra. Get your mechanic to check and replace the fuel pump if found defective.


When a fuel pump fails, it starts overheating. The inefficiency of this component can cause your Nissan Sentra’s engine to start overheating as well.

If your fuel pump is overheating, you may not notice this on time because your Nissan Sentra may still run for up to 30 minutes before halting suddenly.

If you allow the engine to cool, your vehicle will run normally again for a few minutes before coming to a halt as the problem repeats itself.

This is a sign that your fuel pump is bad. Get your mechanic to replace the malfunctioning fuel pump.

Low Fuel Pressure

If you suspect your fuel pump may be defective but want to be quite sure, test your fuel pressure using a pressure gauge.

Your mechanic can also help with the testing using their fuel pressure gauge. You will find the recommended fuel pressure for your Nissan Sentra in your owner’s manual.

If the fuel pressure is low, it may imply your fuel pump is already damaged or becoming slow. This makes it incapable of pushing sufficient fuel to your Nissan Sentra’s engine.

Engine Surges

Another way to know when your fuel pump is bad is if it sends too much fuel to your Nissan Sentra’s engine. Too much fuel in your engine can cause engine surging.

This means your Nissan Sentra will pick up and drop speed intermittently. This can make driving pretty dangerous, especially in areas with heavy traffic.

If you notice this development, get your Nissan Sentra to a certified auto repair shop for a diagnostic check. If your fuel pump is bad, replace it right away.

Can You Drive a Nissan Sentra with a Bad Fuel Pump?

It is a bad idea to drive your Nissan Sentra with a bad fuel pump. In most cases, the vehicle will fail to start. But even if the vehicle starts and runs, the engine will keep stalling, or you may experience a lack of sufficient power. This can be hazardous for you and other road users.

Therefore, if your Nissan Sentra’s fuel pump fails while you’re driving, find a safe spot to park. Then get a towing service provider to help move your vehicle to a dependable auto repair shop staffed by certified mechanics.

How Much Does It Cost to Replace a Nissan Sentra Fuel Pump?

According to RepairPal, the average cost of replacing a Nissan Sentra fuel pump ranges from $782 to $864, while components are priced from $677 to $732. The estimated labor cost ranges from $105 to $132.

These price ranges do not include fees and taxes, nor do they factor in your unique location or specific model year. Bear in mind that related repairs may also be required, such as replacing the fuel filter.

Has Nissan Ever Recalled Any Sentra Model Years for Fuel Pump Issues?

Nissan once issued a recall on 21 Nissan Sentra models (1991 to 2017 model years). The recall was due to the fuel pump undergoing premature failure.

An owner notification program was launched, and labels were pasted on the fuel pump access panel next to the engine compartment’s AC charge label.

Tips to Make Your Nissan Sentra’s Fuel Pump Last Longer

These tips will help prolong the lifespan of your Nissan Sentra fuel pump:

  • Never drive your Nissan Sentra consistently with a low fuel tank. There won’t be enough gas to lubricate the fuel pump efficiently. This puts unnecessary stress on the fuel pump, decreasing its fuel efficiency rating.
  • Do not drive with clogged fuel filters, as this will put extra strain on your Nissan Sentra’s fuel pump. This can shorten its lifespan and call for replacement.
  • Always fill up your fuel tank with uncontaminated gasoline, free of dirt, gas particles, and debris. You will usually find clean gas at newer filling stations.
  • Avoid accumulating debris and dirt around the fuel pump assembly or the gas tank opening. This helps minimize fuel filter blockage.
  • When you replace your Nissan Sentra’s fuel pump, don’t forget to replace the fuel filter. A fuel pump typically lasts 100,000 miles, but a fuel filter may be good only for 30,000 miles. But follow your mechanic’s recommendation.

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Wrapping Up

The Nissan Sentra is a reliable sedan, even without a flashy appearance. It costs less to own, drive, and maintain. Nevertheless, the Nissan Sentra has its share of fuel pump problems.

If you notice any symptoms of a failing fuel pump, get your mechanic to inspect the car to ascertain the problem.

If the fuel pump is bad, replace it and remember to always replace the fuel filter.