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My truck died - help!

Old 04-06-2008, 12:59 PM
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Default My truck died - help!

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.
Old 04-06-2008, 01:19 PM
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Default Re: My truck died - help!

Sounds like it "could" be fuel pump related, Jim. Good luck.
Old 04-06-2008, 01:24 PM
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Default Re: My truck died - help!

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.
Old 04-06-2008, 02:29 PM
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Default Re: My truck died - help!

another thing you might check is the fuel filter on the fuel line... if the filter is clogged it can ruin the fuel pump....
Old 04-06-2008, 02:46 PM
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Default RE: My truck died - help!

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...
Old 04-06-2008, 02:49 PM
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Default RE: My truck died - help!

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
Old 04-06-2008, 03:21 PM
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Default Re: My truck died - help!

10-4. Is this a do it yourself kind of thing or should I take it to a dealer, or an independent mechanic?
Old 04-06-2008, 03:37 PM
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Default Re: My truck died - help!

LIKE A ROCK!!!
Old 04-06-2008, 04:10 PM
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Default Re: My truck died - help!

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.
Old 04-06-2008, 04:27 PM
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Default RE: My truck died - help!

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.
Old 04-06-2008, 08:14 PM
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Default Re: My truck died - help!

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
Old 04-07-2008, 11:25 AM
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Default Re: My truck died - help!

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.
Old 04-07-2008, 11:49 AM
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Default Re: My truck died - help!

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.
Old 04-07-2008, 12:09 PM
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Default RE: My truck died - help!

If your current pump isn't working, try using your other hand.
Old 04-07-2008, 01:15 PM
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Default Re: My truck died - help!

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.
Old 04-07-2008, 01:21 PM
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Default Re: My truck died - help!

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
Old 04-07-2008, 01:29 PM
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Default Re: My truck died - help!

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??
Old 04-07-2008, 01:57 PM
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Default RE: My truck died - help!

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
Old 04-07-2008, 01:58 PM
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Default Re: My truck died - help!

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
Old 04-07-2008, 10:09 PM
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Default Re: My truck died - help!

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.

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