Dockside Chat - My truck died - help!

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View Full Version : My truck died - help!


yachtjim
04-06-2008, 11:59 AM
I was driving home today and all of a sudden my trick started spitting and sputtering and finally died. Took about 30 seconds. It is a 2003 GMC Sierra 1500 with the 5.3L. The event was exactly like what happened one time when it ran a little too low on gas. I filled it up prior to the event but I guess it was so low that some air got in the line or something so it never actually ran out. That was about 6 months ago. It will be off to the mechanic tomorrow but I was checking with the braintrust here to see if somebody might have some suggestions I look into myself. Fuel filter maybe?

No idiot lights have come on. I did notice a fairly loud humming like a pump sound when it did officially stop running. When I try to turn it over now it turns over but won't fire.


Just1more
04-06-2008, 12:19 PM
Sounds like it "could" be fuel pump related, Jim. Good luck.

Shag
04-06-2008, 12:24 PM
Electric fuel pump. Our 03 wouldn't start a few months ago and I was way out of town. Called the mechanic at home and he told me to get under the truck and bang on the fuel tank. It worked. It apparently broke the fuel pump free. Made it home and immediately put a new pump in it. Be sitting down when you get the price of the pump.


chalkguy
04-06-2008, 01:29 PM
another thing you might check is the fuel filter on the fuel line... if the filter is clogged it can ruin the fuel pump....

Yooper1
04-06-2008, 01:46 PM
Likely the fuel pump. We run a fleet of chevy's in a large mining operation. Fuel pump failure is one of the most common sources of downtime--dealer says that the vibration from our sometimes marginal roads shortens the life.

I'm not sure if the new models require it, but our older chev's required the box to be lifted off to get access to the fuel pump. We have an internal maintenance shop; one of the things done prior to commissioning a new chev truck is to cut a hinged door in the box to provide fuel pump access. Kind of crazy, I know.. But sometimes the longevity of the pump is 6 months or so...

tommyr904
04-06-2008, 01:49 PM
fuel pump,we have 12 of these 99 to 03 and the fuel pump's are junk in these.chevy say's they don't have a problem with them but everytime i have been in there service center they have a pallet size box full of them

yachtjim
04-06-2008, 02:21 PM
10-4. Is this a do it yourself kind of thing or should I take it to a dealer, or an independent mechanic?

ReelWork
04-06-2008, 02:37 PM
LIKE A ROCK!!! :roll

KJS
04-06-2008, 03:10 PM
yachtjim - 4/6/2008 5:21 PM

10-4. Is this a do it yourself kind of thing or should I take it to a dealer, or an independent mechanic?

I agree with Tommy. I have had major fuel pump issues. You can do it yourself (I have on the 3rd one) but keep in mind you have to take the fuel tank off to do it. I strongly strongly recommend buying the new fuel pump from the dealership. The aftermarket ones I have used are complete crap. They start whining almost immediately. Also, if it is the fuel pump go ahead and change the fuel filter at the same time. One other thing. Check the fuel pump relay switches. Mine are in the glove box.

Wolakrab
04-06-2008, 03:27 PM
Yooper1 - 4/6/2008 4:46 PM

Likely the fuel pump. We run a fleet of chevy's in a large mining operation. Fuel pump failure is one of the most common sources of downtime--dealer says that the vibration from our sometimes marginal roads shortens the life.



Yeah....bad roads.....sure.
The only fuel pump I have ever replaced in any car I have owned was on a 1999 Tahoe. Most of those cars had anywhere from 15K-135K before I got rid of them, and some had been ridden hard.
Costs about $750.00 to replace the pump on the Tahoe...they had to drop the tank out to do it.

t5killer
04-06-2008, 07:14 PM
I just had a new fuel pump put in the wife's '04 Tahoe this week. One day the fuel pump starts humming loudly, the next morning the Tahoe won't start. Dealer changed the pump......cost was about $900

SeaJay
04-07-2008, 10:25 AM
I guess long gone is the day when with the help of several friends managed to replace the fuel pump on my 71 Nova when it was around ten years old. I think the part cost about $30 bucks.

fishingfun
04-07-2008, 10:49 AM
I wonder who sits around and thinks of the idea of putting things like the fuel pump in the gas tank? What happened to the day when you removed a few bolts dropped down the pan and replaced the pump in an hour or so for $40.00. I guess my second sentence answered that question.

Tireless
04-07-2008, 11:09 AM
If your current pump isn't working, try using your other hand. ;cool;

chrisjb
04-07-2008, 12:15 PM
Consider having anyone who does the work check the brake lines as well if they are routed in that area like my SuperDuty is....actually thought this was good planing on Ford's part to keep them away from the road grime until it went and had a dealer replace it. $90 part, 2 days and $1900 in labor to replace it. I was going to attack the dealer until a good friend of mine very familiar with these trucks (he's involved in fleet servicing of these and more for a semi-governmental agency) said it was not out of line.

The real kicker came though when the dealership mailed me a letter a month later saying they would refund the full cost of the job as payment towards the purchase of a new truck.

LI Sound Grunt
04-07-2008, 12:21 PM
fishingfun - 4/7/2008 1:49 PM

I wonder who sits around and thinks of the idea of putting things like the fuel pump in the gas tank? What happened to the day when you removed a few bolts dropped down the pan and replaced the pump in an hour or so for $40.00. I guess my second sentence answered that question.

The same people that "packaged" all the options, put the ignition switch in the steering column, hid the windshield wipers under the hood so they will freeze there in a snowstorm, made the integral brake dics/wheel hub, hid the battery in the wheelwell, and well, you see where I am going. Care to add any.....

Hey overall they don't make them like they used, to and I for one am glad they don't. 99% of the new stuff really is better... :) safety, performance, fuel economy, comfort, ride, etc. all better - repairability NOT - the damn things last so long (for 30grand they should) they want you to bring it in something.... dealer gotta eat

4/0
04-07-2008, 12:29 PM
I don't know if this would work, but could you mount a pump along the frame rail behind the fuel filter and not have to keep dropping the tank??

peptide
04-07-2008, 12:57 PM
Wolakrab - 4/6/2008 6:27 PM

Yooper1 - 4/6/2008 4:46 PM

Likely the fuel pump. We run a fleet of chevy's in a large mining operation. Fuel pump failure is one of the most common sources of downtime--dealer says that the vibration from our sometimes marginal roads shortens the life.



Yeah....bad roads.....sure.
The only fuel pump I have ever replaced in any car I have owned was on a 1999 Tahoe. Most of those cars had anywhere from 15K-135K before I got rid of them, and some had been ridden hard.
Costs about $750.00 to replace the pump on the Tahoe...they had to drop the tank out to do it.


As crazy as it may sound, some electric fuel pumps have shown themselves to be sensitive to armature "bouncing". The armature shaft bearings (or bushings) can be displaced along the armature's central axis, and this can result in a failure of the electrical contacts (often brushes) to the armature. I have had at least two pumps on personal vehicles that failed going over high-g bumps, and have read a metric crapload of data on this issue.

And with respect to a comment that someone else made, the fuel pump is actually one of the safest places to locate the pump and helps with packaging.

Mike

peptide
04-07-2008, 12:58 PM
4/0 - 4/7/2008 3:29 PM

I don't know if this would work, but could you mount a pump along the frame rail behind the fuel filter and not have to keep dropping the tank??

A malfunctioning pump would likely cause a feed restriction that would prevent this from working well under load, if at all.

Mike

Jay A
04-07-2008, 09:09 PM
It's a GMC! That's it...no need to go further. However,if you can keep a secret,I had a Chevy truck once,same symptoms and it turned out to be the timing chain.

2kZ71
04-12-2008, 10:40 PM
My 2000 Z71 Tahoe has 142k miles. I just changed the factory fuel pump at 138k.

yachtjim
04-13-2008, 03:37 PM
Thanks for all the advice. I went to a shop last monday morning, told them "I heard on the internet my fuel pump is bad :grin: " and asked them to get my truck and fix it, and to use a genuine GM pump and the whole deal should cost around $900. Monday afternoon they called, said truck is done, cost was $900. Good enough for me. I had them do some other stuff to the truck too. So it was repaired within 24 hours of failure. Not bad. The parts train auto mechanics use must be pretty damn efficient to get parts so easily.

seaclops
04-14-2008, 08:47 AM
Yooper1 - 4/6/2008 1:46 PM

Likely the fuel pump. We run a fleet of chevy's in a large mining operation. Fuel pump failure is one of the most common sources of downtime--dealer says that the vibration from our sometimes marginal roads shortens the life.

I'm not sure if the new models require it, but our older chev's required the box to be lifted off to get access to the fuel pump. We have an internal maintenance shop; one of the things done prior to commissioning a new chev truck is to cut a hinged door in the box to provide fuel pump access. Kind of crazy, I know.. But sometimes the longevity of the pump is 6 months or so...

Thats a good idea to cut a access door to get at the fuel pump. Why couldn't FORD GM OR DODGE think of that DUUUHHHH. All the ( hate to say it) Foreign cars have been doing that for years,an access door in the trunk or under back seat. Pulling and
draining fuel tanks to change their Faulty fuel pumps SUCKED !!! Doesn't say alot about the BIG 3.. Hey but they saved about $1.00 a car or truck!!! And they wonder why their SALES are down... $900.00 for a fuel pump due to their poor design???WTF

04-14-2008, 10:54 PM
I USED to be an automotive mechanic. I replaced many in-tank fuel pumps. After 100,000 miles, ANY electric fuel pump is on borrowed time. Some alot sooner, certain GM autos would go out before 60,000 miles.
Here are a few tips to help prevent premature failure, or, to help keep the older ones running a bit longer. Besides changing the fuel filter at regular intervals, so the pump dosen't have to strain to force the fuel through a dirty element, don't let the fuel level in your tank drop too far below one half, some can go as low as a quarter tank, but, I don't know which ones.....I fill my tank when it drops to about half on my 2007 Ford Expedition EL. The reason behind this, is, that the fuel helps to keep the electric pump cool, which extends the pumps life. When the fuel level in the tank drops below the pump, the pump heats up internally, which, of course, shortens its life.
On long road trips, this can be especially important, since the pump is running longer without a rest, thus, running hotter. Alot of people drive until the tank is near empty, then, when they stop to fill up, the cooler fuel hits the hot pump, and can actually finish it off if it's already weak.
As far as those prices, $750.00 and $900.00 to drop a tank and change the pump...well, that seems WAY too expensive to me. Not all, but many trucks, cars, etc., with a proper equiped shop, dropping the tank and R&R the pump assembly is a 1 to 2 hour job...(without unforseen complications)unless things have changed that much since I last worked on autos. Of course, I don't know how much these folks are hitting you up for the pumps....
On average, for most trucks and cars, I could do that job in under 2 hours (back in the day)
Just my .02 cents....happy motoring...kids.



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