Fuel Pump (alternative, American, cover, show, '98) - Music Banter Music Banter

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Old 12-22-2008, 03:07 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Fuel Pump

Quick question, since a few people here seem to be automobile-saavy.

My fuel pump shit out on me on saturday, I won't have the money to fix it until after the new year. A friend informed me that I can take the gas cap off and it will drive because the air forces the pump to work....

I tried to look it up online and found a few mentions of this method but nothing huge.

Does it work? Will I be able to drive like that for a week and a half without causing major damage? If snow gets in my fuel tank, will that do more damage?
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Old 12-22-2008, 07:25 PM   #2 (permalink)
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It doesn't really work like that. If you added an air compressor to the fuel tank providing positive pressure, then it might work, but just taking the cap off won't do jack. If the car is new enough, taking the cap off will induce faults into the evap emissions system. What kind of car is it and how do you know that the pump took a shit? I might be able to help you find a fix if I get just a little more info. Water won't hurt a gas fuel system as much as it would diesel, but the car will still run like absolute crap if you get to much water in it.
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Old 12-22-2008, 09:33 PM   #3 (permalink)
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'98 GMC Jimmy. And my daddy works for GM and told me it was the fuel pump...but he's also been wrong before.

Basically went on my lunch break saturday and it started up fine. Got to lunch, was there about half an hour, went to start my car and it will try its hardest but it just cant "fire."
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Old 12-23-2008, 02:59 AM   #4 (permalink)
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A quick list of things to check now that I know what we are dealing with.

If you haven't yet, check the fuse. There should be a panel in the cab and one under the hood. The fuel pump fuse and relay should be in the one under the hood.

If you have already checked the fuse, check it again. If you have a spare, change it just to be sure. Fuses are a dime, fuel pumps are $300ish

Open the door, and listen when you turn the key to the run position. Don't try to start it, just turn it to where it would be when driving and listen. You should hear a low humming sound for about 5 seconds. If you hear nothing skip the next few things and check the fuses again. (been bit by to many fuses)

Is it below freezing where you are? If so, you may have ice blocking the pickup. I know that it was running about a half hour before you tried to restart it, but it is a possibility. If you heard the humming sound, buy a bottle of heet (click for website) to remove the ice and water from the tank. It might be a good idea to add a bottle of heet even if you didn't hear the pump. If ice is an issue, it could be stopping the pump from moving.

Change the fuel filter. It costs about $15 and should be located about midway between the rear axle and transmission on the inside of the frame. Takes about 5 minutes to change.

If you couldn't hear the fuel pump you could try troubleshooting it or replacing it. If you want some troubleshooting tips, let me know. If you want to replace it, a lower cost alternative to the factory fuel pump is to add an inline fuel pump. They are about 1/3 the cost and take about 1/10 the time and effort to install. Most will provide higher fuel pressure and end up more reliable.


Good luck, I'll offer whatever help I can from Portland. I'm a mechanic and spend quite a bit of time giving technical support over the phone. I don't know how mechanically inclined you are, but I can help you troubleshoot it out if you want. I've had about 20 people swear that their fuel pump went out, but only 4 or 5 needed to be replaced. Don't count out the possibility that it might not even be fuel related. You need 3 things for fire. Fuel, Air and Ignition Source. Check all 3.
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Old 12-27-2008, 07:14 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Well, took it into the shop, because there really wasnt anyhting I could do. The fuel pump burnt out as well as my battery at the same time. Wonderful, right? So new battery, new fuel filter, new battery, and a **** ton of labor later, my car is running again. $750 ****ing dollars. Merry Christmas to me and now I'm completely broke. lol.
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Old 12-27-2008, 11:09 AM   #6 (permalink)
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glad I got rid of my Blazer, they are notorious for fuel pumps and it is located in the fuel tank so it is a ton of labour to fix. I've had my Toyota for a year and it hasn't cost me dime one, I have a hard time finding any sympathy for the American automobile industry anymore
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Old 12-27-2008, 12:40 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Yeah, I've had it for three years and I've already had to replace the alternator, transmission(oh boy!), fuel pump, and right now I need a new thermostat and front left axel. I also have two little accidents, one on the front bumper/grill and one on the back bumper. Neither are covered by insurance because I have PLPD which pretty much just means I have proof of insurance than doesnt do shit!

I think I've put more money into repairs and gas and oil changes now than what I actually paid for the car.
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Old 12-31-2008, 04:36 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Sorry to hear that. Its ridiculous what some shops charge for labor. My guess is that over half your bill was labor and any mechanic worth a shit could have done the entire job in less than 2 hours. I'm glad I can fix my own stuff. I just lost an ABS sensor to my tire chains and spent about $20 and a half hour fixing it.
Just a tip of advise to anyone taking their car in to be fixed by a shop. Ask to see the parts and have them show you how and why it failed. Parts don't just break, they break for a reason. If your mechanic doesn't fix the reason, you will be back.
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