Why are GM fuel pumps so short lived?

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What is it about electric fuel pumps that makes them fail after only 100 000 KM or so. Does the motor wear out somehow or is it some other thing that goes bad?
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Frank White wrote:

Good question. Most of the people I know who have GM trucks with the fuel pump mounted at the tank end up with VERY loud fuel pumps once the vehicle gets a few years on it, then eventually the pump fails.
Seems to be a very common weakness, and the replacement labor cost is fairly high due to the need to drop the fuel tank.
John
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Some fuel pumps use the gas as a coolant/lubrincant, maybe running the gas tank too low might cause them to wear out sooner?
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Detroit's effort to make it cheaper in both senses of the word?
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Because people don't change their fuel filters at the 30k interval like they should. Add running the tank down to fumes to the mix and voila.........
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John
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Uh, the one in my 2000 Yukon XL failed at 20,000 miles. Cost $400 to repair. Shop that replaced it said they see lots of broken ones. GM has no business putting such trash in a $40,000 truck.

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Message from Repairman written on 2/3/2006 7:26 AM:

I can see the fuel filter causing strain on the pump, but low fuel levels causing failure? I run for days on fumes. Been doing so for decades. Haven't had fuel pump fail yet (knock on wood)!
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Fuel cools and lubes the pump internally. Pump running dry on the curves and turns, even for a split second, will shorten it's life. Running out of gas is the worst for the pump.

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Message from Repairman written on 2/4/2006 8:24 AM:

Guess I've been lucky for a very long time.
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What engineer would spec a component with such fragile operating characteristics ?
Who would approve it ?
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Message from <RJ> written on 2/4/2006 2:05 PM:

Especially since the low fuel situation would not be that uncommon. Most everyone I know runs a day or two past when the fuel light comes on. Sometimes I run 40-60 miles past.
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That's why the low fuel light is a amber light and the gas gauge E zone is red. Your supposed to keep ALL the vehicles fluids above the minimum, just like oil and coolant.

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Message from Repairman written on 2/4/2006 4:18 PM:

Well then the manuals of my vehicles have a serious omission.
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Repairman wrote:

Why then is this never stated in the owner's manuals or during the pre-delivery customer instruction period ?????
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John Horner wrote:

The GM fuel pump is lubed and cooled by fuel in tank. Running it low a lot will greatly shorten its life. As far as not stating it in manual, it could hurt sales to say so and then there is the dealer revenue for repairing it too so they are not going to tell you. I have a 89 burb that I have had since new and still has original pump as I never run it low.
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low.
Likewise I have a '94 Silverado that I don't let get below 1/4 tank. In fact - that's a standing principle in my household. Fill 'em up when they hit 1/4 tank. When you live in winter climates, you quickly learn about such things as ice in the fuel lines. All tanks have water in them as a result of condensation and it has just been a long standing practice among savvy people not to let the tank get below 1/4. In the summer time it can be a simple water problem - no ice to contend with. Some water is fine for combustion, but not the kind of water content you can be pulling up from the bottom of the tank. Then, there's the sediment issues. All tanks have sediment. Again - let a tank get low and you agitate the sediment much more than if you keep it up a bit. Yes - this does apply even though the pump feeds from the bottom.
I did replace the fuel pump in my Silverado, but only because I had to replace the gas tank at a little over 110,000 miles. NY corrosion. Figured as long as I had it down, I'd go all the way. My factory pump showed no signs of weakening (they never do), and I noticed no difference in performance with the new one, so I'm sure my factory pump was outputting just fine. I just didn't want to have to get underneath the truck again.
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Does there have to be a warning or a disclaimer for everything? Common sense dictates keeping gas in a gas tank just like keeping oil in a crankcase. Then again there is no minimum intelligence test for car ownership hence the use of idiot lights for every frickin fluid in a vehicle nowadays including the gas tank and the gas cap.

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I agree. I know know because my feul pump died in the middle of the highway with my family stranded for 5 hours. This is crap. Stop making excuses for GM!

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No different than running the engine low on oil or coolant. Service life will be shortened when operating requirements are not met.

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"If you run out of gas.... we will destroy engine components" ????? ha...hahahahahaha....
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