I can’t hear fuel pump noise when turning the key but the car starts and works normal

Hello. This is not a repair question but just a curious question.

My 2000 Corolla that I bought used last year has been amazing and never leaves me stranded. The weird thing is that I cannot for the life of me hear the fuel pump homing noise when turning the key to the on position. But when I turn the key to the on position in my 2010 Subaru, I hear a distinctive hum noise as I should.

Why can’t I hear it in my 2000 Corolla? Is this normal? The car starts as normal and works perfectly fine. Just curious on why this might be?


Some pumps make the noise loud enough to hear from inside, some don’t. None of mine do.


agree… but if you want to satisfy your curiosity. take the gas cap off, put your ear near it and have someone turn the key on.
Just remember… Curiosity killed the cat. :wink: :rofl:


Ahhhh yes that makes sense. The only issue is if the car doesn’t start one day knock on wood I wouldn’t be able to diagnose the pump as easily.

Technically I killed the cat (catylitic converter) lmaoooo. But I will keep that in mind if I ever need to diagnose.

I can only hear the fuel pump turn with key in “on” but not started on w/my own corolla if the fuel pressure has dropped more than normal for some reason, like it hasn’t been started in several weeks, or I’ve been working on fuel system and had to depressurize it. I expect you don’t hear it b/c it’s not supposed to turn on until cranking starts, by design. If you have an old broomstick (sans broom), sometimes if you (gently) place one end on the fuel tank surface and listen to the other end, the fuel pump sound is easier to hear.

Most Toyota’s run well. What did you own before? It did not run well?

Did the OBD I Toyotas have a fuel pump connection on the diagnostic connector? You could turn it on with a piece of wire connected from B+! The pin was no longer populated by the late 90s on the Camrys at laest. Maybe there was some special OBD II command to activate the fuel pump by then?

Just an anecdote: First car with electric fuel pump was an 84 T-Bird, have gone through many cars since then, the only vehicle I have had that I could hear the pump was a 91 Mustang, drove it over 130,000 miles, perhaps because it was a convertible.

My OBD I Corolla has a FP pin on the test connector. I’ve never used it for diagnostic purposes tho. Supposedly can be used to see if fuel pump is receiving electrical power. Don’t know if it is possible to jumper power to fuel pump w/that pin. Toyota’s fuel injection system of that era is pretty bullet-proof. About the only thing I’ve had to do is disable the fuel pump, which involves removing the fuel pump relay from the ECM circuit board.

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Sounds like your model may have the same setup as the next generation E130 Corolla from the 2000s. In that model if you don’t turn the key to crank the starter straight away after turning the ignition ON, the fuel pump relay turns off after a second or so. It starts again only when you crank it.

If you have a hot/warm start issue when the car intermittently won’t start that relay is a more common failure than the fuel pump but is often misdiagnosed as the pump.

From memory it’s the same relay as the horn so is easily swapped - but I could be confusing that with the relays from another of our cars.
Either way that is a good relay to have a spare of especially given the age and the number of times it gets cycled and the time it has spent energised and on.