Regulators are an essential part of a functioning vehicle, as the regulator helps keep the best amount of fuel flowing through your injector system and maintains the fuel economy. Without a properly functioning regulator, you may start to see other problems in your car, such as difficulties starting the vehicle, black smoke, gas coming from the tailpipe, and excessive fuel consumption.
Thankfully, most fuel pressure regulators are very durable pieces of equipment, and you may not ever have to replace on during your car's lifetime. In plenty of other situations, simple repairs will take care of the issue, such as replacing a leaking vacuum line.
If you do end up needing to replace your fuel pressure regulator, you're going to want to get one that will work effectively and will last—you don't want to pick out a
subpar replacement when replacing one of the most critical pieces of your vehicle. If you happen to be on the market for a new regulator, we've compiled our guide to the best ones around.
How We Choose Our Top Picks
Honesty and accuracy are at the cornerstone of all our product recommendations, and we always conduct thorough reviews to ensure that you get the best products possible. We include both expert opinions and customer input, making sure that you get all the information you need to make an informed decision.
When building our recommended list, we've considered:
5 Best Fuel Pressure Regulators
Now that you know what we value, it's time to start comparing your options!
Aeromotive is one of the top gas pressure regulator manufacturers around, and their 13129 EFI model certainly lives up to that name. You can trust on this regulator to be durable and run effectively, giving your fuel system the stable pressure that it needs to run effectively. You can also adjust the pressure level if you like, from anywhere between 30 and 70 psi.
This design offers the best results for modern electronic fuel injection engines and, as the most top of the line model from Aeromotive, has a smaller footprint than previous units. You'll find that it's compatible with models transplanted into EFIs and smaller-sized engines. Installation is incredibly simple, giving you no hassle during replacement.
The only thing that could be considered a con is that it's more expensive than many other fuel pressure regulators. However, if you want to have a quality regulator and Aeromotive is in the budget, then you won't be disappointed by your investment.
Holley is another excellent and reliable brand, and the 12-800 regulators give you some choice depending on your vehicle. The 12-804 unit provides the appropriate levels of output for cars that need one to four PSI, and the 12-803 can handle PSI levels of 4.5 to nine in other vehicles. You can also manually adjust the pressure as needed.
The aluminum build and satin chrome finish make for a durable unit that can stand up against abrasive chemicals and corrosion. There's also a chrome finish mounting bracket included, letting you install the regulator wherever you need. For the price, this is undeniably one of the best values when it comes to purchasing an affordable fuel pressure regulator.
The base design is more suitable for single carburetor setups, so you may not want to purchase it if you have dual carburetors and you aren't willing to do some extra tinkering. If you are, however, the Holley 12-804 and 12-803 can serve your needs perfectly.
Part of what makes the GENSSI Type S fuel pressure regulator such an appealing option is that's universally compatible with carburetors and fuel-injected systems alike. Like the Holley models, this is another affordable option that still performs like something you'd expect to find at a much higher cost.
The installation is simple as well, making for quick replacement work. GENSSI's Type S can bring your vehicle to high levels of power, and it's a perfect choice for turbo setups looking for a flexible option that can operate at roughly 114 psi. Aside from its power capacity, this regulator also comes in a variety of color coatings, including an almost electric view, making it an eye-catching piece of machinery when you go to show off your engine.
Unlike other fuel pressure regulator gauges, though, the Type S reads in kg/cm2, which can take some getting used to if you manually adjust the output. Thankfully you can easily access a conversion table to quickly get the rates you need to run your vehicle at its peak.
For those hoping to find an aftermarket fuel pressure regulator, look no further than Bosch's 0280160575 model. This unit meets the specifications for OEM regulators, all while achieving the same reliability standards. Even better, you get that level of quality for half the cost it could take you to get your hands on an OEM regulator.
Bosch's fuel pressure regulator has a design suited for long-term and leak-free performance, meaning that you shouldn't have to worry about shopping for a replacement anytime soon. You also get precise and efficient fuel return, as well as stable fuel pressure, no matter what situation you experience. If your vehicle is a Volkswagen, Passat, or Audi, this unit will fit right in without any extra adjustments.
The only real downside of the Bosch 0280160575 is that it doesn't have an adjustable pressure setting. However, not everyone needs (or even wants) to tinker around with the pressure settings, so you shouldn't have too much trouble, even with that in mind.
Mr. Gasket is another well-known name in the world of aftermarket parts, and the 9710 fuel pressure regulator is no exception to that rule. The unit provides adjustable pressure between one and six psi, and it can fit fuel line diameters of 5/16 inch and 3/8 inch.
As an aftermarket product, the price is also incredibly affordable for a great value. When you pick up a Mr. Gasket 9710, you'll find that it comes with all the hoses, clamps, and other fittings you could need when hooking up and testing your fuel pressure regulator.
Some of these specific applications are rare to find otherwise, which can easily drag up the cost of your regulator replacement project. All components are a durable brass material, which stays leak-free. Since the 9710 is an aftermarket product, however, it isn't quite as durable as some of the other products on our list.
Even so, it's reliable for the time that you do use it, and it can make a perfect choice when trying to stick to a budget before potentially purchasing a higher-quality replacement.
Things To Consider When Purchasing A Fuel Pressure Regulator
Any of these fuel pressure regulators can serve you well, but there's likely to be one best fit for your vehicle. If you don't have a complete idea of what you need to be looking for, consider these factors.
At the minimum, your fuel pressure regulator is going to have one inlet fitting. However, many other regulators come with multiple inlets that allow the regulator to work with other functions of your car. If your vehicle has sensors or gauges related to the fuel output or it has two fuel rails, you may want to consider picking up a regulator with multiple inlet fittings.
OEM vs. Aftermarket
The familiar debate when purchasing car parts is whether to buy an OEM (original equipment manufacturer) or aftermarket parts. When it comes to fuel pressure regulators, either can serve you well, so long as you do your research correctly. For people who want to get the most out of their vehicles, an OEM part will generally provide a much higher quality part.
Fixed Rate Vs. Adjustable
Fuel pressure regulators come in both fixed rate and adjustable models. An adaptable build will allow you to tweak the pressure level manually. Many people with customized vehicles will do this to have the car meet their exact needs, but it's not necessary for people who have regular transport needs. If you're a part of the former category, though, adjustable is what you'll want.
The Build Of Your Engine
Another thing you need to consider when picking out a fuel pressure regulator is the setup of your engine. Some vehicles have the regulator as a separate part, making it simple to replace on its own without any additional hassle. In others, though, the regulator is inside the fuel sending unit, making swapping out just the regulator a little more complicated.
If your regulator is inside the fuel sending unit, then you'll need to replace the entire system, rather than just the regulator. Confirm which part you need before you start shopping to save yourself time and hassle.
Vacuum connections are what help maintain the pressure levels between the fuel rail and the inlet manifold. Some refuel pressure regulators will include these connections, while others won't. Depending on the state of your current system, you may be able to reuse the tubing, or you may also need to pick up these parts. You can also replace them with other compatible parts.
Internal And External Fuel Pressure Regulators
Another distinction between types of fuel pressure regulators is that they come in internal and external models. When installing an internal regulator, you'll find the part about the same as an OEM model, and you'll need to port it directly to the fuel line for it to be effective.
External units have the advantage of the fact that you don't need to port it directly to the fuel line. As a result, you can install the unit about anywhere near the engine, so long as you have the available space. If you're not sure which is an option for you, a mechanic can help you look over your vehicle and make the right choice, as well as give you tips on installation.
The quality of your fuel pressure regulator can dramatically impact the performance of your car, and failing to replace one that's failing can lead to even costlier issues down the line. Fortunately, there are plenty of options for a quality regulator on the market, and they're all durable and cost-effective as well.
Depending on your car and what you want to get out of it, you may have specific needs for your fuel pressure regulator. When the time comes to replace it, at least, you can rely on our top picks listed here to meet your needs—and potentially even exceed your expectations.