Fuel Pump Relay hot - dies every 10 minutes? - GM Forum - Buick, Cadillac, Chev, Olds, GMC & Pontiac chat


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Old 05-16-2009, 11:15 AM   #1
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Default Fuel Pump Relay hot - dies every 10 minutes?

This is actually my moms car and I'm trying to help her save some money and fix the issue so any help is greatly appriciated by both of us.

It is a 1996 model with 3.8 non turbo.

The car will die after about 10 minutes of driving and will only crank but not start after it dies. If you wait about 5 minutes it will restart and you can drive another 10 minutes or so before it dies again. I did a scan and it said misfire on cylinder 3 and a couple of codes for the charcoal canister - nothing big there.

I replaced all the spark plugs and wires as well as the fuel filter and still had issues. I tested the fuel pressure and it was a constant 42 psi until it died. I then checked the fuel pump relay under the passenger kick panel and it was hot to the touch and showed some slight burning on one of the prongs. For a quick FREE fix, I switched the relay with the one for the trunk release since they were the same # and it worked. The vehicle drove great for 4 days and allowed her to drive back to her home an hour away.

She called this morning and the problem is back. I have not driven the hour to her yet to try and figure it our yet, but hoping someone can give me some insight or say "I had the same problem and it was the ...."

My guess is it is still the relay? Maybe fuel pump is bad and making the relay work more? I also did some searching and people having simiilar issues on other makes and said something about a cam angle sensor? I am an amatuer mechanic and have learned everything I know on my own or help from places like this on the internet so bare with me.

Thanks for any and all help.
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Old 05-16-2009, 12:03 PM   #2
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Do you know if this car has a VATs installed. This kind of sounds like she'* using the wrong key. Try using a different key and see if that helps.
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Old 05-16-2009, 02:42 PM   #3
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Sorry you lost me. What is a VATs? Guessing you mean the key with the little metal and plastic chip thing? If so then yes it has that and I wondered about that too after googling some stuff. But like I said the relay gets pretty hot, but not sure if that is normal. Plus it will restart after you wait a few minutes, and will die in 10 minutes or so. You can just about set a clock to it. It would make the trip from my house to Orielly Automotive and die right as you pulled into their parking lot and then do the same on the way home, dieing about 25 yards from my house. Very consistant on the distance/time thing.
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Old 05-16-2009, 03:08 PM   #4
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Odd that it would be so exact. It could be a bad relay causing a lot of resistance and then over heating. Or possibly a short in the wires. I would start with swapping the relay with a new one.
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Old 05-16-2009, 05:31 PM   #5
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Headed her way and will do that first. I switched the old one for one from the trunk release before and it worked - for 4 days.
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Old 05-17-2009, 10:04 PM   #6
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I replaced the relay with a brand new one. Seems good so far, no warmth after driving the car either. Hopefully it is fixed, time will tell.
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