01 Silverado Fuel Pump

#1

I replaced the fuel pump in my 01 silverado 2-3 years ago. (Silverado, V8, 5.3, 1500, Z71). Apparently, I committed a cardinal sin by replacing the fuel pump with an aftermarket rather than a factory Chevy pump. I am now living in purgatory. The pump works fine, but for whatever reason the “return valve” has failed. This has been described to me as either a valve or bearing that prevents the fuel that is in the line from flowing back into the tank once the engine shuts down. The result is that it takes several cranks before the truck turns over. My mechanic told me “off the record” that if I put the key in the “start” position several times before I crank to “prime” the tank (apparently the pump kicks on for 5 seconds at a time in the start position) this will “bypass” the problem. Of course there is no way of fixing this problem without dropping the tank which is costly, so my question is this: is this “priming” method of starting my truck causing any damage to the pump, engine, or any other part of the truck? I’m afraid one day I’ll be forced to replace it - and that motivation will come from a failed pump, following Murphy’s Law, in the middle of nowhere armpit of the South. Thanks for your advice!

#2

I’ve been doing this with my '88 Toyota Supra for 3 years. Fuel pump still works fine. I’m planning on doing this until the pump fails. Like I said, been 3 years so far.

#3

The pump is doing the same amount of work to refill the line, whether you are cranking or not. Save the rest of your engine, and “prime” the line as directed.

#4

It won’t hurt anything other than cause a little additional wear on the ignition switch, pump relay, etc.

I wouldn’t blame it all on an aftermarket pump. AM pumps are used all of the time but now and then one fails; and in some cases a piece of grit may wedge in place or mark up the check ball which then causes fuel pressure not to be maintained.
That of course is not the fault of the pump at all.

(Always a recommendation of mine; change the fuel filter at regular intervals and the pump will have a longer life.)

#5

Thanks for the advice, I appreciate your feedback!