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Preemptive fule pump replacement?

My 1994 Camry has almost 196,000 miles on it. I’ve replaced the fuel filter regularly but never the fuel pump. Should I think about replacing the pump as preventive maintenance? I’m headed out for a long trip in August and would hate to have to deal with it on the road should it fail.

I would get the fuel pump pressure tested and see what the results are. If it’s still pumping at the upper end of the range I would leave it be. If it’s in the lower part of the range then I would probably change it out. I don’t want to alarm you at all but a 17 year old vehicle has a lot of parts that could potentially fail. Second guessing all of the parts would leave you in the poor house unless you have really deep pockets. How long is your trip? If your Camry has been well maintained then I don’t see any reason why you have to worry. Just make sure your tires are in good shape and your brakes are working great. Enjoy your trip.

I think preemtively replacing the fuel pump is just as likely to have the opposite of the desired effect, particularly if you’re replacing the OE Toyota pump with an aftermarket one.

My brother owned a 1963 Studebaker when Studebaker went out of business in 1966. He thought about parts that would be absolutely essential to keep the Studebaker running. He bought a spare fuel pump. However, the pump on the car never did fail and when he traded the car in 1968, all the auto parts store would give him for the 2 year old pump was the core price. In those days we had mechanical fuel pumps which I think were more prone to fail than today’s electric pumps.

There is a term called “maintenance-induced falure”. Yes, it is actually more likely that you new fuel pump may fail due to improper installation, than a good older unit faling in the next 2000 miles or so. That’s why you NEVER have your car tuned up and immediately go on a long trip. You should drive it for a few weeks to make sure all is OK.

As recommended, I would have the pump tested and only replace it if it rates low. Your best friends on a long car trip are a cell phone, a AAA membership and some credit cards.

And bring a list of Toyota dealers where you will go as they are scarce in some rural areas. Alternately you can buy and bring along a spare pump; even if it is a cheap aftermarket part. The price may be small relative to the peace of mind that it will bring. I have brought a few small spare parts for an “Orphan” car that we were driving on a long vacation in the early 1980s and actually did need the voltage regulator. The car was far from new, had over 100k miles at the time but was all that we had.

A GPS is great to have too, can find a repair place so you can scout out a few via phone before the tow truck driver or someone else picks one for you.

I’m a believer in heading off some potential problems before they start and the fuel pump is about a good an example as can be found.
At that mileage the pump does have serious wear on it even if the car runs fine. At some point that pump will start to hiccup or just flat quit.

The mathmatical formula used under Murphy’s Law says it will quit exactly halfway between where you live and where you hope to arrive.