Vehicles use several sensors to monitor the performance of the engine. Both gasoline and diesel engines have electronic control units that collect information from the sensors to adjust air/fuel ratios and other variables that affect driving behaviors. One of these sensors is the fuel pressure sensor.
The fuel pressure sensor is installed near the midpoint of the fuel rail. It controls the intensity of fuel injection and the intervals for the injector nozzles to open or close depending on the driving conditions. Driving around with a bad fuel pressure sensor is uneconomical. The fuel injection volumes become irregular, and the vehicle consumes more fuel than usual.
What are the cons of using a bad pressure sensor? Let us look at the different signs of a failing fuel pressure sensor and the cost of repair and replacement.
The appearance of a check engine light on the dashboard
The fuel pressure sensor is an electronic device that continuously sends data to the control unit. Once it breaks down, it cannot send enough data required to control fuel injection. That will cause the check engine light to come on.
The driver should scan the vehicle using a suitable tool to find the exact cause of the error signal. The diagnostic scan will return P0190, P0191, P0192, P0193, and P0194 DTC codes.
The faulty fuel pressure sensor will cause the delivery of low volumes of fuel to the combustion chamber. The fuel pressure does not correspond to the acceleration rates. The driver can depress the accelerator pedal to its maximum and achieve dismal forward or reverse acceleration. Signal inaccuracies mean the fuel system cannot supply sufficient fuel quantities.
Difficulty starting the motor
A faulty fuel pressure sensor causes a myriad of problems. One common effect is difficulty starting the engine. The fuel system is incapable of injecting enough fuel whenever required. It implies that the driver cranks the engine severally for it to start and pick up the pace. Starting problems increase with time. The vehicle starts after a few cranking attempts. Later, it requires more attempts. The engine starts but stops after a few revs. In the end, the vehicle cannot start at all.
Driving with a bad fuel sensor is risky. The fuel supply system becomes inefficient. The ECU reads incorrect information from the sensor. The vehicle experiences a few instances when the combustion chamber is deprived of fuel. When this happens, the combustion cycle is incomplete. It causes the engine to stall. Engine stalling is gradual and worsens when fuel sensor damage is extensive.
Poor fuel economy
Poor fuel economy could indicate an underlying fuel pressure sensor defect. Technically, the delivery of fuel to the combustion chamber is irregular. The injector may supply excess fuel. The excess fuel remains unburnt and is expelled through the exhaust system. The driver covers fewer miles with a full fuel tank.
Cost of replacing bad fuel pressure sensors
Drivers spend varying amounts of money to replace damaged fuel sensors. The average cost is between $200 and $340. Parts cost between $60 and $100, while the rest of the money goes to labor charges.
A bad fuel pressure sensor exhibits several signs. A keen driver notices poor engine performances, low fuel mileage and irregular acceleration once the sensor begins failing. Waiting for too long before replacing the damaged sensor causes the engine to stall, increasing safety risks on the road. The replacement costs for bad fuel pressure sensors range between $200 and $340.