Intermittent No Start 1999 Savanna 1500 van

This has been a great Van, only has 70,000 miles and has never let me down until a few months ago in February when it was getting down to -20 degrees F. Seemed like it was cranking fast so I thought it was timing. Turned out there was no fuel pressure so first put the relay in, that didn’t work so we dropped the tank and put a fuel pump in. This seemed like it cured the problem but I only drove it 200 miles until mid May when it did it again. The security light wasn’t staying on so we thought it must be the ignition switch. That didn’t fix it either, we just got the ignition switch back together (not the actual switch but the wiring harness) and it’s not starting again. It will start after some anguish and cursing at it. Seems like messing with the wires going to the fuel pump or hitting the cover over the fuel tank will cause it to start. I haven’t checked it yet but I can guarantee it doesn’t have any fuel pressure.

So, does this sound like it must be a bad fuel pump purchased from a nationwide Auto Parts Chain in Feb?

Thanks, I hated to ask a question here but this Van is cleaning out my wallet and all I have to show for it is the alarm isn’t working now and the lights don’t flash anymore when you lock/unlock the doors with the keyless entry. I have checked the fuses is all and they look good. Can’t figure out what happened to cause this now.

Sorry, Should have added it’s the 350 engine


“I haven’t checked it yet but I can guarantee it doesn’t have any fuel pressure.”

You have the CSFI “spider” fuel injection system underneath your plastic intake manifold

Anyways . . . you have to be systematic

Make sure the fuel pump is getting good power and ground

Measure deadhead fuel pump pressure . . . should be at least 90psi, I believe

With everything hooked up, you should have about 58psi at the fuel pressure test port. Much less, and the engine will not start

About the wires . . . when you replaced the fuel pump, did you install the updated pigtail?

If not, that is going to be a problem

As you’ve discovered, the replace this, replace that strategy doesn’t work so well these days. At least not as well as it worked in the 1980’s and before. You tend to run out of money before you run out of ideas of things to replace.

For an otherwise mechanically sound engine to start you have to have a good spark and the correct fuel pressure at the fuel rail. Both are fairly easy to check, spark being the easier of the two. Secure a repair manual for the car if you don’t have one to read the procedure how to do those checks. Suggest you start there, and post your results back to this thread.

Hello, Checked the fuel and it wasn’t getting any, when it comes on, it’s around 60psi at the test port like you said. This was after the fuel pump was replaced. Seems it’s not getting power to the fuel pump. No, no updated pigtail. uhoh. Is that why it runs after the wires get moved around?


“Seems it’s not getting power to the fuel pump.”

Is it or isn’t it getting power, when it’s not starting?

When it’s not starting, check power and ground at the pump

As far as the updated pigtail goes . . . GM knows they messed up, and AC Delco replacement pumps, and some aftermarket, as well, come with updated pigtails, which you have to splice in. What tends to happen is that the pigtail gets crispy, and you’ve got a lousy contact

This is what it should look like. It should have been part of the fuel pump kit, if it was a high quality part. The other possibility is you didn’t replace it, because you already had the updated pigtail. Which would mean it’s already been replaced