AR15.Com Archives
 What to do if fuel pump dies in your car while driving?
yamato1910  [Member]
4/18/2011 6:34:05 PM EST
A few years ago, this happened to a friend of mine driving a 1991 Honda Accord on the highway, a bad experience. Are you pretty much screwed, or is there any way to jury-rig a way to get enough gasoline to your engine?
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chargerkid5  [Team Member]
4/18/2011 6:36:41 PM EST
Carb engine I can get it home. Fuel injected I go get the trailer.
Hornetmech  [Member]
4/18/2011 6:37:11 PM EST
Originally Posted By yamato1910:
A few years ago, this happened to a friend of mine driving a 1991 Honda Accord on the highway, a bad experience. Are you pretty much screwed, or is there any way to jury-rig a way to get enough gasoline to your engine?




No.

If the fuel pump dies on a fuel injected engine it will shut that engine down right away.

fxntime  [Team Member]
4/18/2011 6:39:01 PM EST
1. Pull off the frikkin road.

2. Call tow truck
Hoodooman  [Member]
4/18/2011 6:44:56 PM EST
Originally Posted By Hornetmech:
Originally Posted By yamato1910:
A few years ago, this happened to a friend of mine driving a 1991 Honda Accord on the highway, a bad experience. Are you pretty much screwed, or is there any way to jury-rig a way to get enough gasoline to your engine?




No.

If the fuel pump dies on a fuel injected engine it will shut that engine down right away.



This... A fuel injected car is going nowhere under it's own power with a bad pump...
Wingman26  [Team Member]
4/18/2011 6:45:46 PM EST

Originally Posted By fxntime:
1. Pull off the frikkin road.

2. Call tow truck

That's what you need to do.
EetGrouse410  [Member]
4/18/2011 7:00:49 PM EST
Happened to me. Enjoy the opportunity to slowly coast to a stop in a place where you aren't a TOTAL road hazard and start making phone calls. Chances are you will be waiting for a bit so get comfy too.
JB69  [Member]
4/18/2011 7:08:35 PM EST
Coast...

AnticitizenOne  [Team Member]
4/18/2011 7:11:30 PM EST
Sometimes hitting the tank with a hammer while a friend cycles the key can start the pump one more time.

I get dead fuel pump cars into the shop like this from time to time. works on 1 of 3 or so.
EFB16ACRX  [Life Member]
4/18/2011 7:15:33 PM EST
smack the tank with the hammer. One place I worked at wouldnt put a fuel pump in the truck that got used to pick stuff up to fix, so i gave him a dead blow hammer. It kept going for another 2 months.
Thunder900  [Team Member]
4/18/2011 7:19:18 PM EST
Originally Posted By yamato1910:
A few years ago, this happened to a friend of mine driving a 1991 Honda Accord on the highway, a bad experience. Are you pretty much screwed, or is there any way to jury-rig a way to get enough gasoline to your engine?


1. Pull Over
2. Call AAA
3. Get tow home
4. profit???
Keith_J  [Team Member]
4/18/2011 7:22:51 PM EST
Bah. When your diesel injection pump dies, not only does the engine die right then, the replacement is thousands of dollars. Or about $1200 if you know how to DIY.

Many vehicles have a hatch over the fuel tank to allow R&R without dropping the tank. Well, many imports.
LifeBoatDriver  [Team Member]
4/18/2011 7:25:31 PM EST
1. Call wife, tell her to bring specific tools, stop @ NAPA for a pump and come on out
2. Cut hole in floor under rear seat, change fuel pump, drive on....


<––––––did this :)
TrojanMan  [Team Member]
4/18/2011 7:26:58 PM EST
DC area SOP for all vehicular incidents, both emergency and otherwise:

STOP IMMEDIATELY. Just mash the brakes, wherever you are. Blocking two lanes, doesn't matter. See, if you move the vehicle, then the police can't fill out the report properly and you won't get the insurance money. Everybody knows that.
tperkins  [Member]
4/18/2011 7:28:05 PM EST
Earlier this year my fuel pump went out on a day in which the high temp was -4 F. Waiting 3+ hours for AAA was not at all fun.
ankratz  [Member]
4/18/2011 7:29:27 PM EST
Yeah, the hammer trick may work. Usually you'll notice your fuel pump going out before hand. I.E., you go to start one morning, and nothing. Buddy hit the tank while you crank––presto. That trip should be used to goto NAPA and get a new one :) Just make sure you use a mallet though, not a steel hammer for god sakes!

Also, you might check relays, too. I had an old '86 BMW E30 that I thought the pump was going out on. Turns out it was the relay, not the pump. I just pulled it out, cleaned the contacts, and jiggled it a little and it got me home.

Best thing to get the most out of your fuel pump is to keep your tank at least half full at all times. It's good for a SHTF scenario, but also ensures your fuel pump is kept submerged in fuel, and thus cool, and wet.
Hornetmech  [Member]
4/18/2011 7:31:38 PM EST
Originally Posted By TrojanMan:
DC area SOP for all vehicular incidents, both emergency and otherwise:

STOP IMMEDIATELY. Just mash the brakes, wherever you are. Blocking two lanes, doesn't matter. See, if you move the vehicle, then the police can't fill out the report properly and you won't get the insurance money. Everybody knows that.



Even better if you can do this on the DC beltway during rush hour traffic.

Ridge_Runner_5  [Team Member]
4/18/2011 7:35:51 PM EST

Originally Posted By tperkins:
Earlier this year my fuel pump went out on a day in which the high temp was -4 F. Waiting 3+ hours for AAA was not at all fun.

I called in frozen that day
OKSoda  [Team Member]
4/18/2011 7:43:59 PM EST
Originally Posted By AnticitizenOne:
Sometimes hitting the tank with a hammer while a friend cycles the key can start the pump one more time.

I get dead fuel pump cars into the shop like this from time to time. works on 1 of 3 or so.


This but I would get it fixed ASAP.

Did it for a neighbor on his Suburban, he kept driving it for another 6 months till he sold it. Couldn't believe it lasted that long.
bobbitybobbity  [Team Member]
4/18/2011 7:45:38 PM EST
Pull over. That's number one.
diaz_aa  [Team Member]
4/18/2011 7:46:06 PM EST
Hit the tank with a hammer, sometimes it will work for long enough. Ive heard that a fuel pump will "never give you a warning when it is on its last leg". This is not true.....Sometimes they will..
bigstick61  [Team Member]
4/18/2011 7:47:37 PM EST
Had this happen to me at the drive-thru at In-n-Out while I was on my lunch break from working the polling booth on election day. Fuel pump burned out. The car was still a recent acquisition and the gas meter didn't work (and still doesn't) so I had no reliable way of knowing when I would run out of fuel. Car shuddered and then shut off. The In-n-Out workers pushed me through the drive-thru, I got my meal, and then they pushed me into a slot. Got a ride back and a tow truck got my car later. My fuel pump didn't die the next time I ran out of fuel.
Slaxxor  [Member]
4/18/2011 7:51:10 PM EST
Originally Posted By diaz_aa:
Hit the tank with a hammer


Gotta love percussive maintenance.



Lockstep  [Member]
4/19/2011 5:54:30 AM EST
Cut fuel line, and splice in an aftermarket fuel pump in line. The can usually suck through the dead assy. Put a cheap prefilter ahead of the pump!!!! Fused two conductor Hot wire from Batt through fire wall to switch hanging under steering column, back to new fuel pump. Advantages, quick, cheap, existing fuel sender still works, can put off proper fix for a long time. Did this on my Dodge 2004 diesel last winter when it was 10-12 out and I did Not want to lay under it in the snow. Still running it.
Glockadoodadoo  [Team Member]
4/19/2011 5:58:00 AM EST
Did it make any noticeable humming sound before going out ?

Meaning a little louder than normal.
JINXR  [Team Member]
4/19/2011 6:03:35 AM EST
So what do you do on a carb'd engine? Keep filling up the bowl with fuel?
coldair  [Team Member]
4/19/2011 6:04:23 AM EST
I drove my PSD home with zero fuel pressure but that is because the injectors were siphoning fuel in from the almost full tank
LoBrau  [Team Member]
4/19/2011 6:04:58 AM EST
1: Empty washer fluid reservoir.
2: Fill said reservoir with gasoline.
3: Reroute washer line to replace fuel line.
4: Apply washer fluid button as necessary to get your piece of shit home.
5: I have no idea if this will work with a fuel injected system, but I'd love to watch somebody try it.
MillerSHO  [Member]
4/19/2011 6:06:34 AM EST
Originally Posted By yamato1910:
A few years ago, this happened to a friend of mine driving a 1991 Honda Accord on the highway, a bad experience. Are you pretty much screwed, or is there any way to jury-rig a way to get enough gasoline to your engine?


If it was a 90-93 more then likely it was the main relay and not the fuel pump.
About a $40 part and easily replaced (right by your shins under the dash).

jvm  [Team Member]
4/19/2011 6:07:18 AM EST
Wife's 2002 Tahoe started then stopped several times on freeway. She was more than upset.


Got to big city, dealer said it was fuel pump $1150 later it was fixed.


After this thread I am wondering if it was really the pump or something else????? Tahoe had 98K on it.
nightstalker  [Team Member]
4/19/2011 6:09:25 AM EST
Carry a spare.
Bubbles  [Team Member]
4/19/2011 6:13:56 AM EST
Originally Posted By fxntime:
0. Curse

1. Pull off the frikkin road.

1.5 Curse

2. Call tow truck

3. Curse

Fixed.
Foxxz  [Team Member]
4/19/2011 6:13:59 AM EST

Originally Posted By TrojanMan:
DC area SOP for all vehicular incidents, both emergency and otherwise:

STOP IMMEDIATELY. Just mash the brakes, wherever you are. Blocking two lanes, doesn't matter. See, if you move the vehicle, then the police can't fill out the report properly and you won't get the insurance money. Everybody knows that.

This is correct. People expect fucking CSI to come out and reconstruct the accident.

I swear this one woman was ziplock bagging CAT SHIT because she expected the police to do DNA tests to figure out which neighborhood cat was pooping in her flowerbed.

-Foxxz
metalsaber  [Life Member]
4/19/2011 6:26:55 AM EST

Originally Posted By Keith_J:
Bah. When your diesel injection pump dies, not only does the engine die right then, the replacement is thousands of dollars. Or about $1200 if you know how to DIY.

Many vehicles have a hatch over the fuel tank to allow R&R without dropping the tank. Well, many imports.

Yes and it makes it a blessing. Had to check mine last weekend.
jmacey07  [Team Member]
4/19/2011 6:37:41 AM EST
Originally Posted By fxntime:
1. Pull off the frikkin road.

2. Call tow truck

3. ????

4. Profit


FIFY


berto187  [Member]
4/19/2011 6:45:05 AM EST

Originally Posted By TrojanMan:
DC area SOP for all vehicular incidents, both emergency and otherwise:

STOP IMMEDIATELY. Just mash the brakes, wherever you are. Blocking two lanes, doesn't matter. See, if you move the vehicle, then the police can't fill out the report properly and you won't get the insurance money. Everybody knows that.


beequewl  [Member]
4/19/2011 6:47:13 AM EST
Hitting the tank doesn't always work. Especially with vehicles where the fuel pump is not in the tank...
berto187  [Member]
4/19/2011 6:47:51 AM EST

Originally Posted By Ridge_Runner_5:

Originally Posted By tperkins:
Earlier this year my fuel pump went out on a day in which the high temp was -4 F. Waiting 3+ hours for AAA was not at all fun.

I called in frozen that day
I was driving a tow truck that day.

VBC  [Team Member]
4/19/2011 6:49:09 AM EST
I usually find that you find out the fuel pump is dead when the engine doesn't start again the next time. Never had one die while driving.
3rdpig  [Team Member]
4/19/2011 6:55:46 AM EST

Originally Posted By LifeBoatDriver:
1. Call wife, tell her to bring specific tools, stop @ NAPA for a pump and come on out
2. Cut hole in floor under rear seat, change fuel pump, drive on....


<––––––did this :)


Last time I did this I had to cut out seat mounts and a floor stiffener. Plus, because of the length of the steel feed lines coming off the sending unit I had to cut a good sized hole to weasel them out through. Fixing all that was a PITA. Next time I'll have the car towed home and pull the tank out.
Bat-Masterson  [Team Member]
4/19/2011 6:58:52 AM EST
Originally Posted By LifeBoatDriver:
1. Call wife, tell her to bring specific tools, stop @ NAPA for a pump and come on out
2. Cut hole in floor under rear seat, change fuel pump, drive on....


<––––––did this :)


Works great unless the pump is in the gas tank.
stretch415  [Team Member]
4/19/2011 6:58:56 AM EST
dead in the water.
3rdpig  [Team Member]
4/19/2011 6:59:01 AM EST

Originally Posted By LoBrau:
1: Empty washer fluid reservoir.
2: Fill said reservoir with gasoline.
3: Reroute washer line to replace fuel line.
4: Apply washer fluid button as necessary to get your piece of shit home.
5: I have no idea if this will work with a fuel injected system, but I'd love to watch somebody try it.

Would work with a carb as long as the pump ran and the lines and tank didn't melt. Might work on a TBI to limp home, but no way in hell it's going to generate the pressure needed for a multi port FI system, they usually require a minimum of 40psi.
fxntime  [Team Member]
4/19/2011 11:48:01 AM EST
Originally Posted By jvm:
Wife's 2002 Tahoe started then stopped several times on freeway. She was more than upset.


Got to big city, dealer said it was fuel pump $1150 later it was fixed.


After this thread I am wondering if it was really the pump or something else????? Tahoe had 98K on it.


100K? Yep, thats the life expectancy of a GM fuel pump within a few K each way. Almost like clockwork.
substandard  [Team Member]
4/19/2011 11:51:56 AM EST

Originally Posted By yamato1910:
A few years ago, this happened to a friend of mine driving a 1991 Honda Accord on the highway, a bad experience. Are you pretty much screwed, or is there any way to jury-rig a way to get enough gasoline to your engine?


It might be possible to dig a canal from your gas tank to the injectors...if you could over come the elevation issues.
LongueCarabine  [Member]
4/19/2011 11:56:22 AM EST
Originally Posted By yamato1910:
A few years ago, this happened to a friend of mine driving a 1991 Honda Accord on the highway, a bad experience. Are you pretty much screwed, or is there any way to jury-rig a way to get enough gasoline to your engine?


Start pushin'.

LC
Rick-OShay  [Team Member]
4/19/2011 12:01:24 PM EST
Originally Posted By JINXR:
So what do you do on a carb'd engine? Keep filling up the bowl with fuel?


Gravity feed from boat tank strapped to the roof - or fuel can with fitting glued in. Or you can re-route the lines from the windshield squirter to the card fuel inlet and keep hitting the "mist" button - somewhat dangerous, that....

tmleadr03  [Team Member]
4/19/2011 12:03:42 PM EST

Originally Posted By fxntime:
Originally Posted By jvm:
Wife's 2002 Tahoe started then stopped several times on freeway. She was more than upset.


Got to big city, dealer said it was fuel pump $1150 later it was fixed.


After this thread I am wondering if it was really the pump or something else????? Tahoe had 98K on it.


100K? Yep, thats the life expectancy of a GM fuel pump within a few K each way. Almost like clockwork.

And GM fuel pumps are some of the most expensive on the market.
www-glock19-com  [Team Member]
4/19/2011 12:06:53 PM EST

Originally Posted By Rick-OShay:
Originally Posted By JINXR:
So what do you do on a carb'd engine? Keep filling up the bowl with fuel?


Gravity feed from boat tank strapped to the roof - or fuel can with fitting glued in. Or you can re-route the lines from the windshield squirter to the card fuel inlet and keep hitting the "mist" button - somewhat dangerous, that....


did it once with just a hose and a funnel
that was a fun drive out of the boonies
Vicinity  [Team Member]
4/19/2011 12:07:12 PM EST
If it's a carb'd car, you can fill a bottle of water with gas and drive home.

(Empty out the water first)
georgestrings  [Member]
4/19/2011 12:08:18 PM EST
Originally Posted By ankratz:
Yeah, the hammer trick may work. Usually you'll notice your fuel pump going out before hand. I.E., you go to start one morning, and nothing. Buddy hit the tank while you crank––presto. That trip should be used to goto NAPA and get a new one :) Just make sure you use a mallet though, not a steel hammer for god sakes!

Also, you might check relays, too. I had an old '86 BMW E30 that I thought the pump was going out on. Turns out it was the relay, not the pump. I just pulled it out, cleaned the contacts, and jiggled it a little and it got me home.

Best thing to get the most out of your fuel pump is to keep your tank at least half full at all times. It's good for a SHTF scenario, but also ensures your fuel pump is kept submerged in fuel, and thus cool, and wet.



Solid advice right there...


- georgestrings

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