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Fuel Systems ~ gm fuel pump problems

Discussion in 'Ask GM Customer Service' started by Mr. Sierra, May 25, 2011.

  1. Mr. Sierra

    Mr. Sierra Member

    I own a 99 GMC Sierra. It has had major fuel system problems for three years now. As I research ways on the internet to fix my problems, I find this is a major GM issue, not specifically related to my model and year.

    Why was there such a major defect for GM owners regarding something so fundamental and dangerous when it doesn't work right? What has GM done to stop this absoulte abysmal Quality Control issue on newer models? Why hasn't GM opened up Tech Service Bulletins on these issues to let the common man figure out what to do?

    If one searches the internet they will immediately see tons of Fuel Pump failures on GM products. I've already replaced Fuel Pump, Fuel Pressure Regulator and CrankShaft Position sensor and had to finally break down and take it into dealer to get it repaired. This indicates to me that the system is too complex with not enough OBD for the average owner to diagnose and fix.

    The expense and time involved in resolving this has made me have to admit I bought my very first lemon and it was a 99 GMC Sierra. It is so frustrating, I am considering moving over to Ford for a reliable Fuel System alone.
    Last edited: May 25, 2011
  2. silveradotrailblazer

    silveradotrailblazer Epic Member 5+ Years ROTM Winner 5000 Posts

    Are you the original owner and how many miles on the truck??
  3. Mr. Sierra

    Mr. Sierra Member

    Not original owner 125K on truck.
  4. silveradotrailblazer

    silveradotrailblazer Epic Member 5+ Years ROTM Winner 5000 Posts

    Well maybe the orignal owner never changed the fuel filter and/or ran crap gas. My '96 Burb's fuel pump went out at around 100,000 miles, but nothing last forever. It now has over 240,000 miles on it. My current trucks, '05 Silverado and Trailblazer have never had any fuel issues. I think alot has to do with the maintance and running good quality fuel ( not Walmart or other discount gas).
  5. stephan

    stephan Rockstar 4 Years 5000 Posts

    Sierra, I agree it would be nice if we had access to all GM Tech bulletins, but don't expect this from Ford or Dodge, nobody shares all information. As for your particular '99 it's like STB says, previous maintanence by the former owner(s) is key, & you're not privy to that info so you just don't know what was done or not done & some of your problems may not be attributable to GM themselves, but to the former owner(s). Your vehicle is 12 years old now & you have to expect some issues like this. It would be the same whether it was a Ford or Dodge.

    Before you "move over to Ford", Google Ford "Pinto" :)
  6. Mr. Sierra

    Mr. Sierra Member


    I don't think anybody would say that Fuel Pump problems on GM Trucks has been in the acceptable range of mean time between failures. Never the less, I changed the Fuel Pump, Fuel Pressure Reg., Filters, Crank Position Sensor, and for me anyway it still has issues. I know, it's a 99 and old. That's why I replaced the parts.

    On the other hand how many fuel pumps on prior vehicles have you replaced? I ran a Chevy Cavalier of all things well in 130K range and only replaced spark plugs. Prior to this truck I have never in my life of driving (since 1972) had to change a fuel pump or diagnose difficult fuel system issues. Shoot I remember one car I bought in 73 for $50.00, because it wouldn't start. We pulled the tank off and all the years of desert driving in New Mexico has allowed about 1/16" of dirt and sand in bottom of tank. That fuel pump continued to work fine after we cleaned tank.

    Everybody I've talked to knows about replacing Fuel Pumps on GM trucks, even strangers in Gas Stations that have a service bay... In fact I called a tow truck just last week, the guy jumped out of the truck and banged on the bottom of gas tank with 2lb hammer. Now why did he do that? Because he knows the dirty little GM Secret on Fuel Pumps that come with new wiring harnesses. What he didn't know was that it was a new pump I had replaced last year.

    As for the TSBs, I think GM should make them public if there are known major issues and they engineered a change such as in the wiring harness for the fuel pumps. That tells you they know something. Google only shows 4.2 million hits for this search.

    Moving to Ford would kill me, but they are the only U.S. auto company that didn't need bail out money. Why? Their quality is top notch right now and they have good management. They are not the same company that built Pintos.
    Last edited: May 25, 2011
  7. stephan

    stephan Rockstar 4 Years 5000 Posts

    What? I've never heard of any problems with GM fuel pumps :)

    I agree the fps' are a big problem. It's probably the most common problem posted on gmtc & by a wide margin too.
  8. DAREDEVIL

    DAREDEVIL Rockstar 4 Years 1000 Posts

    mine is a 1996...220+ K miles ..not first owner...and i replaced fuel pump and filter ..but its ok..no problem and easy fix IMO !
    GMC ROCKS !!!! screw ford or dodge !...lol
  9. pmf608

    pmf608 Epic Member 5+ Years 1000 Posts

    I agree that fuel pumps seem to be a pretty common issue for GM trucks, but every once in a while you get one that is particularly troublesome and one that is unusually good. Personally, I know my stepdad did not maintain my truck well before I got it, but it is extremely reliable. I have 312,000 km (almost 200,000 mi) on it, and it is still on its original engine, transmission, fuel pump, everything. I have changed the fuel filter, but the pump is still going - much longer than many if not most of the ones I have seen around here.

    I will add that I just checked my GM service information program, which is current up to 2005, and as of then the only fuel system bulletin that applies to a 1999 sierra is for a faulty fuel level sendor, so I don't think you are really missing out on much as far as the bulletins for that issue are concerned.

    That said, having read around here, fuel pumps are a common issue on these trucks but they are one of those things that if you buy one of these trucks, you should be prepared to deal with. I know if mine goes before I sell the truck, I will be prepared to drop the tank and swap it out. I don't advise taking your truck to the dealer for a fuel pump issue if you don't have to - I just did work study at my local GM dealer, and with $129/hr labor, a fuel pump costs about $1100 to change. On the other hand, you could get that lemon from any brand, and even if you swap to a ford or any company, it is still possible to have the same type of issues even if they are less likely.
  10. GM Customer Service

    GM Customer Service Rockstar 4 Years 500 Posts

    I apologize for the frustrations that you may have had. Did you ever have a case with Customer Assistance? Do you have a case number? I noticed in your other post that you discussed the notion of being in the market for a new vehicle. I would have to recommend that you test drive the vehicles and decide which you would like best. I look forward to hearing from you and looking into this situation. Thank you.

    Tricia, GM Customer Service.

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