Fuel pump keeps dying in 2005 Toyota Corolla

2005 Toyota Corolla with 220,000± miles. So I’m typing this as I lay stranded at work, my car has died twice in the past 2 years due to a fuel pump failure and this would be the 3rd time if it is the fuel pump again.

When the replacement went up it was still within the warranty period but I still have to pay for labor and tow so it’s frustrating. They said they replaced the fuel pump relay when the 1st replacement died. Not too sure if they replaced the fuel pump filter but I’d imagine so.

Check Engine light has been on for years but from the catalytic converter which to my understanding is unrelated to a fuel pump failure, my toyota has never broken down other then from the 2 other fuel pump failures and it’s a trooper.

What other potential issues could result in 3 dead fuel pumps in 2 years. Thank you for your time!

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There is a lot unsaid in this post so I will try and read between the lines to answer your question. Please correct me if I got anything wrong.

From this, I believe that you decided to save some money by buying a replacement pump online and having your mechanic install it since only the pump was warranted but not the labor.

So the Toyota pump died 2 years ago and you’ve had 2 of these replacement pumps you purchased installed by your mechanic.

These pumps failed because you bought cheap pumps. Pumps that were designed to last just long enough for the car’s owner to sell off the car. Or about a year or so. Same for the second replacement which I assume was another one of the cheap replacements.

Mechanics generally won’t use those pumps because they warranty their work as well as the pumps… and they don’t want you coming back in a year for a free pump. Quality costs more for a reason.

If you want this problem to go away, buy the $400 fuel pump instead of the $100 Ultra-Power pump.


a very sad and frustrated owner. LOL sorry

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You’re jumping to conclusions.


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Tester is correct, the current problem may have nothing to do w/the fuel pump. More testing required. If the pump has indeed failed again, next time buy the replacement pump from Toyota, or at least buy one branded “Toyota” or “Denso”. No fuel pump experience for my own Corolla, but I’ve had to replace starter motors several times over the years. The replacements I’ve had the most trouble with were the no-name versions. Two of them didn’t work at all, right out of the box. The ones branded “Toyota” or “Denso” (a major Toyota supplier), even though they were rebuilt units, no problems, once installed, they worked fine.

What causes fuel pumps to fail? Mileage. Sand or grit in the gasoline. And running the engine with a near empty gas tank. The gasoline in the tank helps keep the pump cool.


To answer your inquiry, when the original fuel pump died I took it to the mechanic and he bought the fuel pump from his supplier (I believe autozone) and he also installed it. 7 months later that fuel pump died and I took it back to the same mechanic, he said the part was warrantied but not the labor. He also replaced the Fuel pump relay. Once again he received the parts from Autozone. He charged me for that labor upwards of ~$200. Anyway, like clockwork it’s been about 7-9 months since then and today I tried to start my car and it did the exact same things that occurred the last 2 times my car died due to the fuelpump, when I turn the key the starter works, but chugs and dies. It sounds starved for fuel.

So yes in theory this third failure hasn’t been confirmed yet by a certified professional but I’m betting all in that it’s the fuel pump again, to clarify my inquiry isn’t about diagnosing if it is for sure the fuel pump, my inquiry is in the likely event that it is the fuel pump again, what could cause a fuel pump to die 3 times in 2 years even after a fuel pump relay has been replaced.

Before I take it in to the same mechanic I just wanted to understand what I’m dealing with here.

From what I understand right now from your post it’s possible that the mechanic has bought some cheap parts and maybe he’s being shady not covering labor in the warranty?

The list I have right now from yourself and other’s replies…

Sand/Grit in gasoline
Running engine with near empty gas tank
cheap parts
Fuel pump relay
fuel pump filter
electric wire connections

Now that I’ve clarified a bit, is there anything that I can add to this list?

Once again thank you for helping

Are you in the habit of driving the car until the fuel tank reads empty?



I have not had good luck with autozone parts in the past. I usually get parts online from rockauto or amazon and I try to get parts (especially electronic parts) from an oem supplier. Denso, Delphi, AC Delco, etc. I’m thinking it’s the autozone fuel pump that is the issue.


While I agree that cheap fuel pumps are to be avoided, it is possible that an underlying problem exists which would have ruined a brand-name unit. For example, there could be debris in the fuel tank, a partially obstructed fuel filter, the modular plug might have burnt or loose contacts, there could be a poor ground in the fuel pump circuit, etc.

Even buying cheap fuel pumps, such as Airtex, which is the low-cost brand at AutoZone and O’Reilly, I’d still expect to get more than a year out of them, unless there is something else going on,


A Delphi fuel pump on Rockauto for an 05 Camry (with a 4 cylinder, not sure what engine is in your car) is about $140. There’s an Airtex brand on there that is probably similar quality to what autozone stocks for about $31. The airtex pumps are notorious for lasting only a year or two.

There’s also a Bosch on there for a little over $400, but I’d feel comfortable using the Delphi (2nd most expensive pump I saw listed).


I agree that there could be underlying issues (that the mechanic should have seen and addressed), but an airtex fuel pump lasting only a year wouldn’t surprise me at all.

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Yes, I’d say I do that. When the fuel indicator turns on I go and get gas though and fill it up to full.

However, I will say I have owned this car since 2016, I’d drive 30 minute round trips for work up until 2020. From 02/2020-10/2020 I was driving an hour round trip every day for work + doing frequent ~5 hr round drives once a week, the habit of waiting til empty during this period was noticeably more regular because I like to fuel up either near my starting point or near my end point, so I was pushing my car on E during this period. The original fuel pump died 04/24/2020, the replacement died 11/21/2020(7 months), if it’s the fuel pump again then the replacement to the replacement lasted 9 months. From 10/2020-Current I have been driving just 30 minute round trips for work again a day, so this fuel pump that lasted 9 months was treated with care as it wasnt being punished with extensive long distance missions on empty, So back to the normal routine in which the first pump lasted for years doing the same thing I’ve done in which it lasted for 4 years since I bought the car without issues, very frustrating issue



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Very potentially could be a culprit, I’d bet that even if it’s not frequent then it can still be damaging, but I’m concerned that I drove for 4 years with probably worse habits with the original fuel pump that it had when I bought it then I do now but this one only lasted 9 months after the replacement to the first lasted 7 months.

Thank you everyone for your helpful replies. Judging by your replies it seems to me I should check with the mechanic to see what the brand fuel pump he’s using and also I could have a dirty fuel tank which when I run my car til the fuel light turns on then I may be sucking particulates into it. While I’m at it I will see about the electric connections as well to make sure they arent corroded


I run the tank down to 1/8 routinely and don’t have issues. I wouldn’t recommend letting the low fuel light come on, though.

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Sounds to me like you need a new mechanic that uses quality parts. One that stands behind his own work as well. He zeems to be relying on the same warranty you or I would get if we walked into AutoZone.


I also thimk ypo need a new mechanic after this. My mechanic who is one of the lowest priced in town uses Advanced or Carquest parts. His shop is an economically depressed area and price is of prime importance. I warrants parts per the part makers warranty and his labor for a year on any parts he sources. He does not install partsthat customers bring in. He is pleasent but firm about it.

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I see a two part solution here, given the responses.

One, quit running your fuel tank down so low that the fuel light comes on. This is harmful to any fuel pump, whether cheap or otherwise. Start filling up around 1/2 or 1/4 tank.

Two, go to another mechanic, possibly even the dealer, to get a better quality fuel pump installed.

Either way… you’re contributing to the problem by running the tank so low.

Good luck.


Toyota had a lot of problems with the fuel pump in the 2005 Corolla.
Read this:

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