Really Bad Day 2002 Malibu

I need some advice. I am totally aware of auto mechanics taking advantage of a blonde, big busted, attractive woman who knows nothing about cars, but can take their computer apart and put it back together. I ain’t no dummy, Venus and UR-ANUS were misaligned for me today.

FIRST - I went to a class which was scheduled for tomorrow and had to drive in DFW’s rush hour traffic thinking I was late. Only to find out I was a day early.

SECOND - I had a flat tire on the way home from tomorrow’s class and ended up having to buy TWO new rear tires, after waiting over an hour. How long does it take to put two rear tires on a 2002 Malibu?

THIRD - After waiting an hour to get two tires installed (I am on my 5th valium of the day:) on my way home from tomorrow’s class, and buying two new tires, my car just stopped in the middle of the road. KA-BUNG-O-NADA! I tried to restart it and it was trying so hard to turn over, but just couldn’t quite make it! Sort of like those obese people you see on the Discovery channel who have to be hauled out of the house by the fire department after tearing down the bedroom wall. After being towed to a Chevrolet car fixer. I was told the fuel pump was bad. AND, the fuel pump is located inside the fuel tank. YIPPEE SKIPPEE! They are charging me $895.00 to fix it!!!

After looking around on the enter-net, the price seems a bit high. Besides the fact, I just declared bankruptcy, lost my job, and living with my 81 year old mother. Does it get any better than this?

I had filled up my car before heading off to tomorrow’s class, but accidentally hit the SUPREME gas button instead of the REGULAR button - FIRST TIME that car has ever eaten SUPREME since I have had it.


1. Is $895.00 an excessive amount to pay to replace a fuel pump on a 2002 Malibu with 120k miles? Especially after just paying $300 for two new tires?

2. Would the SUPREME gas have anything to do with the fuel pump dying?

I LOVE YOUR SHOW! You guys make car care sound like fun. Do you need a CREATIVE, FUNNY, INTELLIGENT, SEXY assistant?

  1. $895.00 does seem kinda high, but the pump assembly is also priced kinda high. I found prices from $160 to $350 for the part aftermarket. If the dealer did the work, I’ll bet the part was closer to $450 to $600 OEM. Add labor and shop supplies. With a full tank of gas, this is a BEAR of a job. Gas weighs 7 pounds per gallon in a 5 lbs tank, you have about 120 lbs of tank to drop, filled to the brim with highly flammable liquid.

  2. Supreme had nothing to do with it. For your car, it was a waste of about 30 cent a gallon. Supreme cannot hurt this car.

Definately a bad day. Premium gas has zero impact on the fuel pump. Getting 2 new tires had zero impact on the fuel pump. The pump is an electric motor, and when it fails, it just quits. Sometimes it is not the fuel pump itself but trouble in the relays and wiring that get electricity to the fuel pump. Assuming the diagnosis is correct the price for the job is on the high side, but it sounds like you live in a “city” area where repair prices can be higher. Make a few phone calls to local garages to get local quotes.

On the down side you are going to have to be ready for more of these types of “bad days” with your car. After 8 years and 120K miles you are looking at a couple of repairs bills like these every year. Hopefully you’ll get some time to regroup before the next car problem rears its ugly head.

Look on the bright side. 1) you weren’t late to class. 2) You merely had a flat tire while driving home and not an accident. 3) your Malibu is up and running. You couldn’t get a good replacement car for the $1200 you spent for a fuel pump and tires.

As to putting premium gas in your Malibu, I’ll tell you this incident. I once had a purebred Pekingese. I had been feeding her the store brand dog food. At one point, I bought a more expensive food. From then on, the Pekikngese wouldn’t eat the store brand. On the other hand, when I didn’t have a lot of money, I adopted a mixed breed from the pound. I fed him the house brand dog food. At one point in time, I was out of dog food, so I went to an all night convenience store and had to buy a more expensive food. The dog ate the food, but acted as if he didn’t really care for it. He was glad to get back to his store brand cheap food. I have it on good authority that your Chevrolet Malibu is like my rescue dog. It will be glad to be back on regular gas.

Thanks for your replies. I am planning on driving this car until it costs as much as buying a newer car! So, $1200 a year is cheaper than a new car.

Speaking of dogs. My buddy, Buster-the-circus-dog, happened to be with me, as he likes to ride in the car and mess up the windows. He also has a mean growl should any strangers get close. In my next life, I want to be my dog. He sleeps about 20 hours a day. Has all his meals prepared for him, 25/7/365. He gets to visit the doctor once a year for a checkup or for any other medical needs. For this, he pays nothing. He lives in a nice neighborhood, in a house bigger than he needs, and doesn’t have to do any upkeep. If he makes a mess, he doesn’t even have to clean it up. All of his costs are picked up by me, living day to day. I want to be my dog!

I at first detected a description of a car that was not cranking at the right speed but the diagnosis turned into a bum fuel pump. Price is high (in fact it is top dollar). The fuel pumps GM used in those years were realy bad,no doubt about it,the problem could be your fuel pump. If you OK this job be firm and tell who ever does the job you will not pay for any mis- diagnosis.

If it helps at all, I want to be your dog also :slight_smile:

Forget the $895. It’s history.
Supreme gas has absolutely nothing to do with the fuel pump dying. And the car will run fine on supreme.

Tom & Ray don’t visit here. But there’s always some of us here to try to help.

Yes, it can get far, far worse.
You’re an attractive woman who has the skills and smarts to be able to take a computer apart and put it back together. Nobody can take that from you.
You have a place to live, with your mom.
You have your mom.
Your car is fixed now.
You don’t mention children, so I assume you have nobody else depending on you (apologies if I’m wrong).

Imagine this if you will:
Your company (of which you’re a part) goes chapetr 7.
Your ex takes your two kids, cleans out the bank accounts, and splits, leaving you with a huge mortgage on a custom house, deep in debt, zero money in the bank accounts, zero income, and having lost your family.
You lose your house.
You lose everything you’ve acquired for twenty years but an old (albiet beloved) pickup.
Your ex sues you…and you now have to send a check every month for $700…out of your take home pay…that you cannot deduct from your taxes…while trying to pay off some of your huge debt.

And things could have been far, far, far worse even. I just watched a one hour special on the wounded guys coming home from Iraq and Afghanistan with two limbs missing, severe brain damage, etc. Some of these guys have been in rehab wards for years. When I have a bad day I remember the war wounded. There is no day I’ve ever had, no day I’ll ever have, no matter how bad, that even comes CLOSE to theirs.

You have a great deal going for you. Your glass is much more than half full. Appreciate it.

A pessimist says the glass is half empty.
An optimist says the glass is half full.
I say the glass is the wrong size. The glass is your perceptions. Adjust the size of the glass to fit the amount of water you have.

Have a beautiful holiday and love life. You’ll get past these minor setbacks. You have a lot going for you.

Sincere best.

Well said, MB.

Periodically, I think that we all have to count our blessings.
It is especially helpful to do so when you think that everything looks bleak.
Usually, after some careful enumeration of the positive things in our lives, we realize that we are not that badly-off.


You are so right. Things could be worse. My Mom is referred to SAINT MOM! She is my hero. No children for which I am aware of - there were some GRAY semesters during college:) Just kidding. Every time I see a soldier, I stop and give them a BIG HUG and thank them for their sacrifices. It takes a concerted effort to always think of the glass half full and I usually end up on that side of the argument after I have had time to VENT!

UPDATE - I did get my car back today and it is running like a CHAMP, with a lifetime guarantee on my new fuel pump. The guy was nice enough to give me a ‘brother-in-law’ discount, which helped my pocket book tremendously. Just in time to get home safe and warm out of the ice and snow outside.

I thank the BIG GUY upstairs for all I have.

My Dad used to say ‘AND IT CAME TO PAST…AREN’T YOU GLAD IT DIDN’T COME TO STAY’. He was a great man! When the BIG GUY was handing out parents, I was at the front of the line. For that, I am truly blessed and thankful.

Thanks, again, for reminding me of how GREAT my life is going to be!

“I want to be my dog!”

Not just any dog, but your dog. Many dogs have a lousy life, but yours (and mine) live the life of Riley. Eternal 3-year-olds with parents to cater to their needs.

As to the other issues, suggests that a dealer might charge $700 to replace the fuel pump in Dallas. They type of gas you use won’t have anything to do with this. Your car has 120,000 miles on it. If this is the first fuel pump replacement, it is not surprising. And I’m sure you know that how much you paid for the tires has nothing to do with the cost of other repairs.

BTW: Your O/P was really funny to read

That was a really great follow-up. I’m really glad you posted back.
Loved your dad’s saying.

And I want to especially thank you for showing your appreciation to our service men and women. It means more to them, and to many of us aging 'Nam vets, then you can possibly imagine.

You’ll do great. You have a great attitude.