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Electric vs Mechanical Fuel Pumps


In typing my car make/model (2013 Mazda5 sport) into Amazon, Autozone, ect. a number of different fuel pumps appear for my car. Some are mechanical, which match the factory shape, size, connects and so on. However, a number of universal electrical pumps appear at the fraction of the mechanical pump prices. The electrical connections do not appear to be the same, but with some electrical work, they look like they could be adapted.

Here are some examples of the units I’m looking at:

  1. Mechanical :

  2. Electric:

My questions are:

Will the price reflect the reliability of the fuel pump? Is it worth even bothering with an electric pump? What is the major differences here and are there any downsides one should be aware of when going with an electric pump? Any other thoughts would be very help!

Usually a mechanical fuel pump is a thing of the past when carburators where found in cars years ago.Electric fuel pump is mostly for fuel injected engines like yours.

Yes both pumps listed are electric. But I would not trust the cheap one, plus it requires adapting parts to fit your application.

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@Purebred is right BOTH are electric fuel pumps. Why do you think the Delphi pump is mechanical?

Corolla Guy probably saw the word mechanical in front of one of the links and the OP is asking about both kinds.

My terminology is off here as you guys quickly realized. I am more wondering why their is such a price difference and why the cheaper versions don’t have a float arm… which is why I was incorrectly using the term mechanical.

It seems strange that a 2013 needs a fuel pump this soon. Any chance that you let your fuel level get really low and the pump is being cooled by the fuel. You do know that the fuel acts as a cooling agent.

It has 110k on it and the fuel hasn’t really ever been very low. It’s slow to start and definitely not the starter or battery. It reminds me of the fuel pump going bad in a car I had a few years back. It could be a line clog? The fuel filter apparently is built into the the pump, as the shop manual states, “Fuel filter restricted (built-into fuel pump unit),” so to change, the pump must be removed.

Is your compression within specs?

If it’s low, it can take longer to start

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Why not spend about 100.00 to 125.00 and find out what really needs to be done instead of just throwing parts at it.


Yeah, a fuel pressure test would diagnose this quickly. Forget about the universal pumps, if you do need one buy a factory spec model.


Thanks all. Seems like the overall consensus is to avoid the universal and go with factory. I’ll certainly check the fuel pressure before purchasing a pump, unfortunately none of the auto stores I visited today had a gauge in stock… Fortunately my Mazda is still running so I have a bit of time.

There is a screen the fuel pump. Oddly on models in Mexico there is scheduled maintenance for replacing the fuel filter which, I assume, is located between the fuel tank and the engine. Not mentioned for U.S. models.

Are we supposed to assume the fuel sold in Mexico isn’t high quality . . . ?


From what I see for the MZR 2.5 engine, the fuel pressure should be 55-65 psi with the pump running, and maintain at least 29 psi 5 minutes after the pump is turned off.