01 Cavalier intermittent start problem

My daughters 2001 Cavalier fails to start on an intermittent basis. It will start up immediately for anywhere from 1 to 14 days and then refuse to start the next (even if still warm). Cranks just fine
but doesn't seem to get any gas. Pumping the hell out of it for a few minutes usually gets it going.
Replacing the cap and the filter didn't help. Local shop says the fuel pressure is really low and suggests replacing the fuel pump. My previous experience with bad fuel pumps suggest that the car should have problems when running also -- not just starting.
Before I spend $370 to replace the fuel pump, I thought I'd ask for second opinions from these newgroups.
Thanks! Dale
Note: Email address is fake -- please reply to the newsgroup.
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DRM wrote:

Electric pumps sometimes don't start up if they are near the end of their lives. You will need to attach a pressure gauge to the schrader when it is in no start mode. Pumping the gas does nothing since there is no accel pump. Without more diagnostic info on your part, all we can say is that it could be the pump or it could be something else.
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I have gotten home by removing my shoe and thumping the tank with it. You could thump the tank with a rubber mallet or such to see if you can get the pump to go... A bad fuel pump sounds reasonable...
--
Alan Gallacher
Born to Tinker!
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If the fuel pump is weak replace it. Fix the obvious first and the problems will usually disappear.

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