Toyota 4Runner Fuel Pump Problems [Symptoms & Fixes]

If your Toyota 4Runner is giving some issues and you’re suspecting that the fuel pump is the culprit, you want to keep reading.

Toyota 4Runner

In this post, I’ll explain some symptoms that show your Toyota 4Runner fuel pump is bad and how to go about the issue. Let’s dive in.

Symptoms of Toyota 4Runner Fuel Pump Problems

These are the signs you will experience when your Toyota 4Runner fuel pump has gone bad:

Overheating Engine

While factors such as low coolant levels and a faulty radiator are the known causes of engine overheating, a defective fuel pump can also be the culprit.

When a defective fuel pump heats up, the heat causes the engine to overheat as well. When this happens, the engine stalls out eventually.

If your engine is overheating and the coolant/radiator is in good shape, inspect the fuel pump.

Get your mechanic to check the fuel pump properly and replace it with a new one—if needed.

Sputtering Engine

When you hit top speeds on the highway, and your Toyota 4Runner’s engine sputters, your fuel pump may have gone bad.

A sputtering vehicle engine is an indication that it is not getting the required fuel. A failing or clogged fuel pump may cause fuel starvation within the system.

Though spark plug issues can also cause sputtering. So, check the spark plugs to be sure they are still in shape.

Then get your mechanic to inspect the fuel pump and replace it if it’s completely bad.

Check Engine Light Turns On

Fuel pumps can also fail slowly, making it somewhat challenging to discover the issue in its early stages. During this period, the volume and fuel pressure slowly degrade.

This development results in a lack of fuel, which may force the engine to function without enough fuel in contrast to the amount of air. This activates the check engine light, and it illuminates the dashboard.

It is not always easy to identify why the check engine light is on. But a professional mechanic can.

So, get your Toyota 4Runner to the mechanic for proper diagnosis.

The Vehicle Refuses to Start or Stalls Unexpectedly

When a fuel pump has failed completely, your Toyota 4Runner will refuse to start. Even if it does start, it will eventually stall unexpectedly and fail to restart.

If you experience any of these, your fuel pump may be faulty.

Get a professional mechanic to run diagnostic checks on your Toyota 4Runner to identify the problems. You may need to replace the fuel pump if it’s faulty.

Surging Engine

A fuel pump can send too much fuel to the engine. You will notice this development when your Toyota 4Runner’s engine starts surging, making driving somewhat dangerous.

When your vehicle surges, it means your Toyota 4Runner picks up speed and, just as suddenly, drops it in the next few seconds. This isn’t a good development.

Get your mechanic to check the fuel pump and make the necessary adjustment. A replacement may not be necessary unless the fuel pump is damaged beyond repair. Your mechanic will let you know so you can make the best decision.

Sudden Power Loss

If you’re driving up a hill and you lose power suddenly, it’s a sign that your fuel pump is no longer transferring enough fuel to the engine. This makes the engine incapable of handling the steep hill stress.

Get your Toyota 4Runner to a certified auto repair shop as soon as possible for a thorough check and possible replacement of the faulty fuel pump.

Can You Drive a Toyota 4Runner with A Bad Fuel Pump?

It is possible to drive a Toyota 4Runner with a bad fuel pump, but not for long. The defective fuel pump may cause the engine and catalytic converter to overheat.

If you keep driving the vehicle without getting the fuel pump checked, it may result in complete fuel pump failure.

A complete fuel pump failure can occur any time and without warning. You may end up stranded in the middle of the road. But it may not get to that because, in many cases, you can’t start a vehicle with a faulty fuel pump.

But if the defective fuel pump results in gasoline leakage or vapors, driving your vehicle in this condition is unsafe. Ensure your Toyota 4Runner is checked by a professional mechanic right away.

How Much Does It Cost to Replace a Toyota 4Runner Fuel Pump?

According to RepairPal, the estimated labor costs of replacing a Toyota 4Runner fuel pump range from $225 to $285, while components are priced from $597 to $676.

These price ranges do not include fees and taxes. Your unique location or specific model year has also not been factored in. However, related repairs may be required, resulting in a little more money out of your wallet.

Has Toyota Ever Recalled any 4Runner Model Years for Fuel Pump Issues?

Toyota recalled the 2014-2015 and 2018-2019 4Runner models due to defective fuel pumps manufactured by Denso, an automotive component manufacturing company partnering with the vehicle maker.

The Denso fuel pumps had low-density impellers that supplied the needed pressure to the fuel injection system. But they were improperly exposed to drying solvent when made. Impellers are just like propellers but function inside a pump instead of outside like a boat’s propeller.

These malfunctioning impellers can crack easily because they distort and swell during operation. This caused the impellers to contact the housing, get damaged, and degrade the fuel pump. This activates several light indicators, including the check engine light.

The outcome of all this is that the faulty impellers will prevent the engine from starting, or even if it starts, it will run roughly or stall at low speed. The engine may even stall at higher speeds, increasing the risk of a road accident.

Tips to Make Your Toyota 4Runner Fuel Pump Last Longer

If you have to replace the fuel pump, ensure the fuel filter is also replaced accordingly unless it was recently replaced.

Check the fuel tank fasteners and straps for corrosion; they should be replaced as required.

After installing a new fuel pump, ensure your gas tank is not less than a quarter full in order to maximize the life of the fuel pump. Moreover, the gas tank’s fuel helps cool and lubricate the fuel pump.

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Final Thoughts

The Toyota 4Runner is one of the dependable midsize sports utility vehicles today. However, like every electro-mechanical contraption, some components cannot last forever.

One of the most vital components that go out is the fuel pump. By now, you already know the signs of a failed Toyota 4Runner fuel pump.

If you notice any of these signs, get a qualified mechanic to inspect and fix your fuel pump. In most case, you may need an outright replacement.