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batsona
Maryland

join:2004-04-17
Ellicott City, MD
Reviews:
·Verizon FiOS
·Vonage

Symptomps of a failing fuel pump...

I'm wondering if my fuel pump is getting ready to stop working. I know that when I turn the key to 'run', I hear the pump 'prime' for about 2 seconds, then shut off. about 2 times out of 10, when I start the car, it starts fine -- pops right off. (the rest is my hypothesis...) After about 1-2 seconds of running fine, sometimes it starts to spit / sputter until I have to turn it back off again, then re-start. --then it runs fine for my whole commute. It's like once it uses up the initial 'primed fuel', its starts to starve, then spit-sputter. re-starting the engine kicks things then everything is OK.

2002 Ford Focus ZX5 automatic, 2.0L (always use 93Octaine)



VegasMan
Are We There Yet?
Premium
join:2002-11-17
Schaumburg, IL

Does it require premium fuel? If not go back to 87 or you're just wasting money. You might have a bad plug or injector or maybe fuel filter might be getting clogged.
--
In need of a Vegas vacation.



CylonRed
Premium,MVM
join:2000-07-06
Bloom County

1 recommendation

reply to batsona

This looks to be fairly comprehensive:

»www.aa1car.com/library/fuel_pump···nose.htm

You really need to test the fuel pressure to know if the pump is failing but other things could make it seem like it has failed - like a clogged fuel filter.
--
Brian

"It drops into your stomach like a Abrams's tank.... driven by Rosanne Barr..." A. Bourdain



Juggernaut
Irreverent or irrelevant?
Premium
join:2006-09-05
Kelowna, BC
kudos:2

Agreed. Fuel filter should be the first thing to replace. Start cheap, then go expensive!
--
I'm not anti-social, I just don't like stupid people.



Cho Baka
Premium,MVM
join:2000-11-23
there
kudos:2

I would start with diagnosing it first. Fuel pressure is a good first step.
--
The talented hawk speaks French.



Juggernaut
Irreverent or irrelevant?
Premium
join:2006-09-05
Kelowna, BC
kudos:2

Normally, I would agree. A 2-3 second prime is normal.

Maybe the OP can state when he changed his filter last? As I've said, I prefer to start cheap for fixes.
--
I'm not anti-social, I just don't like stupid people.


batsona
Maryland

join:2004-04-17
Ellicott City, MD
Reviews:
·Verizon FiOS
·Vonage

OP here: Fuel filter changed: never. 113K miles! Now, this might be subjective, but the fuel pump seems to make a lower-pitched noise now, than it did months ago. When I had this happen in my old '92 mercury cougar, the guy at the garage said I was ready for a catastophic failure which would have stopped me cold in the middle of the freeway.. After repair, I could barely hear the pump run at all... Thanks for all the reccomendations!

Also: Just replaced all 4 plugs this summer, with Motorcraft OEM originals, from the Ford dealership. I've always stayed with OEM...



mattmag
Premium,ExMod 2000-03
join:2000-04-09
NW Illinois
kudos:3



First replace the filter. Second, stop letting it "prime" by waiting with the key in the run position. That's *not* what it is designed to do. What it does is run the fuel pump during the time that there is zero oil pressure with the key on, which normally prevents the pump from running. The "prime" as you call it is there to get the system flowing for the crank process, and it should be a smooth action with the key, past run to start.

And the best advice here is to not use premium fuel in any case, unless it is specified in your owner's manual. Premium fuel use in an engine not designed to use it causes poorer performance in many cases, and one of the biggest is cold-start performance.


batsona
Maryland

join:2004-04-17
Ellicott City, MD
Reviews:
·Verizon FiOS
·Vonage

Click for full size
Car leaving for dealership...
OP here: Welp, it happened. When I started the car this morning, it ran for a 1/2 second the stalled (I'm thinking the pump didn't come back on, after the prime. It stalled after 1/2 second or so. When I went to restart there was NO noise from the pump while priming. Engine cranks and cranks & no joy. Attached is a picture of it leaving for the local Ford Dealership.


DeltaElite
We Dont Dial 911

join:2002-03-29
Tucker, GA
kudos:1
Reviews:
·AT&T Southeast
reply to batsona

My truck did the same thing.....CEL said lean condition bank 1 and 2....pulled the Bed off, pulled the hoses off the pump and turned on the key....No noise no nothing.....12vdc getting there on feed.....300 bucks for new pump and filter.

Good news is its not the Injectors!!!
--
Protect your right to keep and arm bears!


batsona
Maryland

join:2004-04-17
Ellicott City, MD
Reviews:
·Verizon FiOS
·Vonage
reply to batsona

OP here: $1,100 for installation of fuel pump & filter!!!!!!!!!!?????????????????? I'm going to be signing the title over to the mechanic who [tried] to fix it, and I'm the proud owner of a 2007 Grand Cherokee 3.7 V6 with 55K miles. Monthly payment is $300 on the nose for 72 months, but will pay it off much sooner than that. The mechanic will eat the tow cost, and diag cost (~$300), and I walk away free.

I asked 3 mechanics at the dealership about why an electric motor attached to a pump is $500. They said all fuel pumps are about that expensive. Gosh, I guess someone needs to think about health insurance for cars.... Picture coming soon, as soon as I can be home during daylight....



mattmag
Premium,ExMod 2000-03
join:2000-04-09
NW Illinois
kudos:3

1 recommendation

said by batsona:

I asked 3 mechanics at the dealership about why an electric motor attached to a pump that has to run for hours on end without so much as burping, producing fuel pressure in below-freezing cold winters as well as brutally hot summers, last for 100,000 miles of operation and over ten years of time, all the while being submersed in gasoline, and not to mention that fact it had to do it all through a filter that had never been touched is $500. They said all fuel pumps are about that expensive. Gosh, I guess someone needs to think about health insurance for cars....

There, I fixed that for you...



Doctor Olds
I Need A Remedy For What's Ailing Me.
Premium,VIP
join:2001-04-19
1970 442 W30
kudos:18

said by mattmag:

said by batsona:

I asked 3 mechanics at the dealership about why an electric motor attached to a pump that has to run for hours on end without so much as burping, producing fuel pressure in below-freezing cold winters as well as brutally hot summers, last for 100,000 miles of operation and over ten years of time, all the while being submersed in gasoline, and not to mention that fact it had to do it all through a filter that had never been touched is $500. They said all fuel pumps are about that expensive. Gosh, I guess someone needs to think about health insurance for cars....

There, I fixed that for you...


Indeed!!!
--
What’s the point of owning a supercar if you can’t scare yourself stupid from time to time?

itguy05

join:2005-06-17
Carlisle, PA
reply to batsona

said by batsona:

OP here: $1,100 for installation of fuel pump & filter!!!!!!!!!!?????????????????? I'm going to be signing the title over to the mechanic who [tried] to fix it, and I'm the proud owner of a 2007 Grand Cherokee 3.7 V6 with 55K miles. Monthly payment is $300 on the nose for 72 months, but will pay it off much sooner than that. The mechanic will eat the tow cost, and diag cost (~$300), and I walk away free.

So let me get this straight. Rather than spending $1100 and having a working car you:

1. Gave your car away which, even in fair condition is worth around $3000 as a trade.

2. Signed up for a 5 year old car that is from one of the least reliable brands. Look at JD Power, Jeep is one of the bottom brands for dependability.

3. On this 5 year old car, you ar financing it for another 6 years, so in the end you will be paying on a 11 year old car. For that privelage you will pay $21,600...

Makes absolutely no sense.....I wouldn't want to be paying $300 for the next 6 years on a car that is 5 years old today! You could have probably walked out with a new car for 72 months @ $300/mo rather than something used....

batsona
Maryland

join:2004-04-17
Ellicott City, MD
Reviews:
·Verizon FiOS
·Vonage
reply to batsona

Click for full size
2007 Jeep Grand Cherokee
Wow.. not good.. O well... for what its worth, here's a picture...

Also, I didn't say I didn't get my money's worth out of the fuel pump; I was trying to figure out why it's so expensive....

--They were trying to give me $200 for the trade in. --They said it didn't run (which it doesn't)


CylonRed
Premium,MVM
join:2000-07-06
Bloom County

Because most are difficult to get to. Most of the time you need to remove/drop the fuel tank to get to the access to replace it. Not all fuel pumps are that expensive though. Dealership parts do generally have a bit more markup than 'normal' though a LOT of that depends on the dealership.
--
Brian

"It drops into your stomach like a Abrams's tank.... driven by Rosanne Barr..." A. Bourdain



shdesigns
Powered By Infinite Improbabilty Drive
Premium
join:2000-12-01
Stone Mountain, GA
reply to batsona

An aftermarket pump is about $70. The full pump assembly is about $100 more.

Dealer prices are insane. If you had checked other shops, I bet you could have had it done for $300-400.


Bob4
Account deleted

join:2012-07-22
New Jersey
Reviews:
·Optimum Online
reply to mattmag

said by mattmag:

said by batsona:

I asked 3 mechanics at the dealership about why an electric motor attached to a pump that has to run for hours on end without so much as burping, producing fuel pressure in below-freezing cold winters as well as brutally hot summers, last for 100,000 miles of operation and over ten years of time, all the while being submersed in gasoline, and not to mention that fact it had to do it all through a filter that had never been touched is $500. They said all fuel pumps are about that expensive. Gosh, I guess someone needs to think about health insurance for cars....

There, I fixed that for you...


That doesn't seem unreasonable to me. My Civic fuel pump lasted 10 years and 200,000 miles*, and its fuel filter isn't even replaceable.

* That's when I got rid of the car. As far as I know, the pump is still going strong.


Doctor Olds
I Need A Remedy For What's Ailing Me.
Premium,VIP
join:2001-04-19
1970 442 W30
kudos:18

said by Bob4:

My Civic fuel pump lasted 10 years and 200,000 miles*, and its fuel filter isn't even replaceable.

What Year and Model Civic does not have a replaceable fuel filter???
--
What’s the point of owning a supercar if you can’t scare yourself stupid from time to time?

Bob4
Account deleted

join:2012-07-22
New Jersey
Reviews:
·Optimum Online

said by Doctor Olds:

said by Bob4:

My Civic fuel pump lasted 10 years and 200,000 miles*, and its fuel filter isn't even replaceable.

What Year and Model Civic does not have a replaceable fuel filter???

It is replaceable (everything is replaceable ), but that's not part of the normal maintenance, and Honda says the fuel filter should last the life of the car. The filter is located in the gas tank.
»www.civicforums.com/forums/109-7···ent.html


CylonRed
Premium,MVM
join:2000-07-06
Bloom County

I never changed the fuel filter when I had my Civic HB (the '89). I got it with 46K miles - 99.999999% sure it was not changed before then. I got rid of it with 214K miles on the clock...
--
Brian

"It drops into your stomach like a Abrams's tank.... driven by Rosanne Barr..." A. Bourdain



Doctor Olds
I Need A Remedy For What's Ailing Me.
Premium,VIP
join:2001-04-19
1970 442 W30
kudos:18

said by CylonRed:

I never changed the fuel filter when I had my Civic HB (the '89). I got it with 46K miles - 99.999999% sure it was not changed before then. I got rid of it with 214K miles on the clock...

All that means is you lived in an area where gas contamination is low or is different in type, but not all areas of the US have that or the contaminants your area has stay in the tank (are too heavy or too big) and are not picked up by the pump to get into the fuel filter.

It just shows how people can ignore a vehicle's maintenance and that vehicle will sometimes not suffer from the neglect. However that is not the norm.
--
What’s the point of owning a supercar if you can’t scare yourself stupid from time to time?

Bob4
Account deleted

join:2012-07-22
New Jersey
Reviews:
·Optimum Online

said by Doctor Olds:

It just shows how people can ignore a vehicle's maintenance and that vehicle will sometimes not suffer from the neglect. However that is not the norm.

I'll say it again: With my Civic, replacing the fuel filter was not part of normal maintenance. It was not on the maintenance schedule. The fuel filter was designed to last the lifetime of the vehicle.


mattmag
Premium,ExMod 2000-03
join:2000-04-09
NW Illinois
kudos:3

1 recommendation

reply to Doctor Olds

said by Doctor Olds:

It just shows how people can ignore a vehicle's maintenance and that vehicle will sometimes not suffer from the neglect. However that is not the norm.

Actually, it is becoming quite the norm. Many vehicles now have "non-serviceable" fuel filters that are an integral part of the fuel pump module. They do not require replacement, and during my tenure with those particular versions I never encountered a case where they caused any problems.

That's not to say I was in favor of the change, but it does seem to be a more common scenario these days.


fartness
computersoc dot com
Premium
join:2003-03-25
Look Outside

I remember on an older vehicle of mine, changing the fuel filter made a night and day difference. With a lot of these new cars that are "life" filters, will that cause a problem if they needed to be changed on older cars?



mattmag
Premium,ExMod 2000-03
join:2000-04-09
NW Illinois
kudos:3

said by fartness:

I remember on an older vehicle of mine, changing the fuel filter made a night and day difference. With a lot of these new cars that are "life" filters, will that cause a problem if they needed to be changed on older cars?

Well that was part of my reservation, but the new "system filters" as some are now called are made strictly to protect the pumps from what I would call "debris" rather than the fine particulates that the older filters, like the paper ones would catch.

Engineers claim that the pumps today are robust enough to pass such particulates and they will flow through the injection system. Of course this ultimately leads to a need to keep the injectors clean, but fuel additives are such that this is becoming less and less of an issue than the days when I started, and so far they seem to be right... As hard as that is for me to admit.


psafux
Premium,VIP
join:2005-11-10
kudos:2
reply to batsona

Dumping an otherwise good vehicle over an $1100 fix is crazy.


rody_44
Premium
join:2004-02-20
Quakertown, PA
reply to batsona

Most toyota cars dont have replacable fuel filters either. They are part of the pump.
Have been that way since the late 90s


rody_44
Premium
join:2004-02-20
Quakertown, PA
Reviews:
·Comcast

3 edits
reply to batsona

To the op i wouldnt be going back to the dealer charging 1100to replace the pump. Even considering 500 for pump *which seems kind of high* 600 for labor is awful high. In reallity you are looking at most a 2 hour job, Your pump is 65.00 at auto zone. Shame you dont know anyone that could install it. You can pretty well see why people are giving up on dealers. Crooks with a license. Find a small respectable shop and stick with them.


batsona
Maryland

join:2004-04-17
Ellicott City, MD
Reviews:
·Verizon FiOS
·Vonage
reply to batsona

OP here: I was going to get a new/used vehicle at Christmas anyway.. Given the close proximity of this failure, to the point at which I was going to get rid of the Ford, made it an easy decision that I wanted to spend the repair money toward a different vehicle, versus the one I had.

My 1993 Cougar died the same way... about 300 amonth in repairs for 3 months in a row, and we decided to get the Focus.. which lasted 113k miles and 10 years.

I guess I go to the dealer, because (maybe incorrectly)? I think that given the complexity level of the repair of modern cars being 10X greater now, than it ever was, only the dealer has the people with the proper training to do the job. It's no longer an engine with a carb on top, and a distributor and spark plugs... its lots more these days.

In my dispair, I'm thinking that everyone's out to pull the wool over your eyes & charge the highest $$ for the lowest amnt of work.

Lastly, I knew the fuel pump was going, because it was making lower and lower growling noises during the prime. This was the wrong failure at the wrong time. ---I could no longer go to work at all, w/o the car running, and my wife needs our Dodge Caravan for child-transportation duty... I was stuck.