Change girlfriend or fuel pump


My girlfriend has a 1997 Chevy Surburban 5.7 1500 series. I personally have dropped the gas tank and replaced the fuel pump 5 times in the past four years. Ive tried 3 different vendorsbut its still a problem. What is the answer???


So, are you 100% certain all 5 pumps are bad?
You DID replace the filter I hope.

JMHO, but 5 pumps do not go bad in 4 years unless the filter is clogged.
If the filter was replaced then there has to be a misdiagnosis of some sort; pump relay in and out, wire connection, ECM fault, ignition module fault, etc.


The sock and external filter were replaced each time. 2 oreily pumps (electrical failure) 2 autozone ( low pressure failure) 1 Bosch lifetime warranty ( low pressure failure). The tank is clean. ???


You need yerself sum learnin’. Youl git that learnin’ at: And, that ain’t no lie!


Unless you’ve taken over the title of unluckiest guy in the world, I’m a bit puzzled at this point, considering filters were changed and the pressure drop situation.

Excessive pressure caused by a stuck fuel press. regulator or a restriction in the fuel line could possibly knock the pumps out over time, but I would think there would be an engine performance problem is this is the case.

I’ll toss a theory out there anyway. Maybe the low pressure is caused by an electrical connection; anywhere from the pump connector clean on up through the pump relay.
A bad electrical connection could be affecting the current flow to the pump. Low current flow would mean the pump is turning at much slower revolutions that it would normally turn. This would mean lower pressure.

The use of a VOM or test light would not be accurate as the circuit could be good enough to trigger either one of those tools, but not good enough to provide high current to the pump itself.

I suppose one way of verifying this would be (assuming the truck is non-running at the moment) to run a hot jumper wire from the battery to the pump connector or wire lead. If the truck then runs fine, then you know the problem is a weak point in the electrical circuit.

Just a theory anyway. I have not run into this kind of problem on a pump circuit, but I have run into it on several other systems.
Hope it helps.


Thanks for the advise,hillbilly.I think I have had rotten luck with after market pumps. The original pump lasted 6 years and 100,000 miles.Next pump will be a Carter. You’re a sweet heart.


I’m kinda amazed that the cartalk wizards haven’t jumped on the answer. If your girlfriend is driving around in a 10 year old Suburban it just may be time to do some re-thinking on life. So, unless you live in a real small town with slim pickins, I’d dump that lady for one that drives a new Toyota. Just one man’s opinion.


Pumps failing this frequently point to a root cause that lies somewhere else other than the pump.
Without the vehicle in hand, I have no idea where the source of the problem lies.

One bad pump following another due to just plain old bad luck I could see. Five bad pumps in a row, no matter who makes them, no way.

An analogy. I stopped to help a guy whose Nissan had flat quit him and was stone dead. He stated that in the prior 6 months the starter had been replaced twice, the alternator twice, ignition switch once, the battery THREE times along with the cables, and the car would still flat out quit him at times; such as right then.

It took me a whopping 5 minutes to find the source of his problems. A paltry and badly corroded wire end on a fusible link. Since I always have a tool box and a box of supplies with me I repaired the car for him then and there in just a couple of minutes. Starts right up and he gave me a follow up call some weeks later saying no more problems. (No, I did not charge him a dime for this.)


You’re a good man OK (I assume you are male). Not many like you left. Thanks on behalf of all of us.


Chronologically I’m an older man but do suffer arrested development. I still think I’m 19. :slight_smile:
Not looking for credit by mentioning the analogy; just pointing out that the majority of times what may be thought of as a major problem often turns out to be something simple.

It’s a very easy mindset to get into, and it happens to even very experienced techs.
One’s mind starts working too hard, too quickly, and the easy stuff gets overlooked.

We had a guy here a few years back who had a used Ford Ranger pickup that quit him 3 times in the first 3 weeks of ownership. This was in a town 85 miles away. First trip into the shop there cost him a 100 for something, next trip was 300, and the final trip was 800 bucks. In the last one, they replaced all of the rocker arms and valve springs for crying out loud; all for a truck that would just spontaneously quit at times.

He heard about me and had the truck towed 85 miles to me after it quit the 4th time. I asked him to bring all of the old parts and sure enough, nothing wrong with any of them.
The problem? It took me less than 5 minutes to find that the fuel pump connection in the fuse block was burnt and corroded, so the pump fuse was going in and out. A 5 minute fix and sent him on his way with no charge. I did urge him to tell that shop where he lived to refund his money.

These are the kind of things that just irritate the xxxx out of me. Too many techs it seem will not spend a few minutes thinking things out and it causes all kinds of grief. Of course, the other guys made money and I didn’t, but I could not see charging the old man for something so piddly.


I’m guessing whats burning out your pumps is an overload. I’d think about a short two abraided wires rubbing together, something along these lines.


The responders have made some good observations, and suggestions. There is a web site which will have even more information AND pictures. It seems, according to Carter company, that there was (is) a problem, “In certain 1993-1999 GM passenger [including trucks] vehicles, the weak plastic lower bearing in the OE (Original Equipment) fuel pump design frequently leads to premature [fuel pump] failure.” ++++++ You can go to: Click on menu items: TEC Bulletins; and, Training &Services For Technicians; and, For Consumers &DIYers. +++ You might be able to fix the truck AND make the girlfriend happy.


Just a thought. Are you replacing the in tank wiring harness when you change the fuel pump. I would recommend that you do that on the next one. These wires tend to fail and reduce the amount of current supplied to the pump.


Changing the wiring harness to the pump sounds like a good idea. Look at the ground wire if there is one and clean the rust off where it attaches to the body or frame and reattach.