Are there any signs of a fuel pump going out? - GM Forum - Buick, Cadillac, Chev, Olds, GMC & Pontiac chat


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Old 12-06-2008, 07:30 PM   #1
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Default Are there any signs of a fuel pump going out?

I always thought when fuel pumps go bad they just quit with no warning. My car actually acts like it has an electrical problem though. I'll be driving down the road and it just misses really bad and sometimes just plain dies for a second but usually comes back on after violently shaking the car for a second. After that it may act up slightly and miss a little. Or it might come out of it and seem fine. When it happens I hear a ding ding ding and the "service engine soon" light comes on. But, I can go for days without it happening.

Last week I started it and you can hear the fuel pump running and it started acting up and I could hear the fuel pump cutting out and it died at idle. I restarted it and it happened again a couple more times. Then I started it and it ran fine for the rest of the day.

I'm clueless about fuel pumps and electrical. Any advice is greatly appreciated.
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Old 12-06-2008, 07:52 PM   #2
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I would look at replacing the filter first. Then add some seafoam to the gas tank to clean out the fuel system and injectors. If none of these fix the problem we can start looking at the fuel pump. If you can, check the fuel pressure.
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Old 12-11-2008, 02:15 AM   #3
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I did a seach and can't find a tutorial for changing the fuel filter. All that comes up are people with fuel pump problems. How do i release the fuel pressure out of the lines so I can replace the filter and where is the filter located?
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Old 12-11-2008, 07:28 AM   #4
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Fuel pump warning signs are usually an overly loud pump. (keep in mind many gm pumps run noisy normally) Fuel pressure drop off, and possibly cutting out.

Another thing to keep in mind is your car looks like it'* early-mid 90'*. The 92-94'* had some issues with fuel tank baffles breaking loose over time. The symptoms would be stalling when heading down a hill with 1/4 of a tank, stalling on corners or anywhere that fuel sloshing could occur.

First check is fuel pressure if you have a gauge. Fuel filter is good to do if you don't know the last time it was changed.

IIRC your filter would be located near the subframe of the engine just behind the passenger front tire.
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Old 12-11-2008, 03:55 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BillBoost37 View Post
Fuel pump warning signs are usually an overly loud pump. (keep in mind many gm pumps run noisy normally) Fuel pressure drop off, and possibly cutting out.

Another thing to keep in mind is your car looks like it'* early-mid 90'*. The 92-94'* had some issues with fuel tank baffles breaking loose over time. The symptoms would be stalling when heading down a hill with 1/4 of a tank, stalling on corners or anywhere that fuel sloshing could occur.

First check is fuel pressure if you have a gauge. Fuel filter is good to do if you don't know the last time it was changed.

IIRC your filter would be located near the subframe of the engine just behind the passenger front tire.
Thanks for that good info. My car is a 1994. It doesn't seem to have a problem cutting out going down hill or around corners or fuel sloshing. It happenes only once in a while. It seems to happen and act up for a few days off and on then i might go a week with no problems. The fuel pump has an audible hum to it but it has for as long as I can remember.

I have no special tools to check fuel pressure. How do i do it? Take it to a shop? Is it costly? Money is a factor. I have been laid off for several months and NE Indiana continues to lose jobs and we are scraping by on my wifes income. That'* why I'm here desperately asking questions.


If I had to say what it'* acting like, I'll be driving down the road and the engine will either just start missing badly or sometime just stop for a second and run, (when this happens I hear the ding ding ding and the "service engine soon light" comes on). at highway speeds but usually i can get it to come out of it but it still misses and i can feel a power loss. then after a little bit it will seem to come out of it and be fine. Most of the time when it happens I can pull off and shut the car off, let it sit a little and starter her back up and finish my trip no problems. It isn't overheating. My fluids are full. I originally thought maybe it'* an electrical problem.

Then one day I was ideling in the driveway and i could hear the ding ding ding and service engine light and it started cuttint uot but this time I could hear the fuel pump cutting out and it died. I starterted it and same thing 3 times. After that it started and was fine. Maybe the fuel pump was cutting out because the engine was trying to shut down? Or what? I'm really lost here guys. Need help badly.
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Old 12-11-2008, 10:03 PM   #6
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If it is my fuel pump is there a tutorialf or replcing it'? Do I have to drp the gas tank?

Plus, i still don't know how to depressizethe fuellines to replace the filter.
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Old 12-18-2008, 10:09 PM   #7
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I would look at replacing the filter first. Then add some seafoam to the gas tank to clean out the fuel system and injectors. If none of these fix the problem we can start looking at the fuel pump. If you can, check the fuel pressure.
OK, I don't want to jinx it but I replaced the fuel filter, (it was much easier then i realized it would be) and it hasn't acted up since. It'* been about a week now. The car has 188,000 miles on it and as hard as it was to get the old rusty filter loose it may be safe to say it has never been replaced.

The first thing I have noticed is a very noticeable difference in horsepower. Also, the fuel pump seems to be much quieter just like most GM pumps sound. It just seems like the fuel pump isn't working near as hard. I don't know if the filter is the cause of what my original problem was for sure or not but the filter had to be clogged up because i can't believe how much more spunky the car is now that the new fuel filter is on. Before when i would go up a pretty good incline I would really have to give it some gas or really lose some miles per hour uphill. Now it just seems to cruise right up hill with little effort. Just taking off from a stop light it is 10 times more peppy. I never realized that my filter was robbing so much power.

With all that being said, might it be safe to say the filter could have been causing my original problem?
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Old 12-18-2008, 10:27 PM   #8
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Glad to here it. The easy fixes are the best.
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Old 12-18-2008, 11:01 PM   #9
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I did have the fuel pump go out on my 97 SE. My car would run fine and without warning die at a stop light or sign. It never cut out or anything. It would be running fine and then when I went to take off it would just die. Glad to hear that its fixed. The simple fixes are always the best.

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Old 12-19-2008, 10:31 AM   #10
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With all that being said, might it be safe to say the filter could have been causing my original problem?
My pump on a 98 with 155000 mi started leaking along the metal pipe due to corrosion. The new Delco pump made a difference in how smoothly the engine ran especially at low speed and idle. I assume the old pump had deteriorated in the pressure it could put out and that affected the spray pattern from the injectors.

Another thing you should check is the battery cables especially the positive cable if you have the setup where there are multiple cables clamped against the post by one bolt. Corrosion can build between them. Pull the plastic back to check the ends of the cables as well.

Someone also mentioned poor contact due to a lead washer between the double posts having squashed in size not making good contact. I haven't confirmed that by looking at my own. Be sure to turn the AC to off with the key ON to make sure the HVAC actuators don't get damaged on restart. People seem to have problems after disconnecting their battery.

To answer one question you had about cost, for a Delco pump and labor it'* around $700. Cheap pumps and all the piping called the "sender" which holds the pump and the fuel level sender seem to give problems after a year. You have to drop the tank which is tight with some brake lines and exhaust pipe.
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