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Old 06-05-2018, 10:33 PM   #1
Jimmy123
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2002 SL
Default Fuel Pump Failure Rate/Average Lifespan?

My 02 Saturn SL currently has about 143k on it, still on the original fuel pump. My question is, what's the average lifespan of a fuel pump on the S-Series?

I'll add, I never drive on less than a 1/4 tank of fuel and haven't during the course of my owning the vehicle, as I know that the fuel in the tank helps keep the pump cool and prolongs its longevity.

I do realize though that fuel pumps can go at any time and are fairly unpredictable as far as that goes, just wondering what kind of lifespan you higher mileage guys have gotten from your fuel pumps. No problems happening with mine, either, just trying to be proactive.

Any input would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 06-06-2018, 06:46 AM   #2
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Default Re: Fuel Pump Failure Rate/Average Lifespan?

The ones in my cars (all Saturn S series listed) never had a failure. Most recent 99 SL2 car totaled at approx 230k miles, 01 SL2 car sold at 212k, 96 SL2 car sold at 180k. I knew complete history of every car either from new or very close to new. None had any issue
Come to think of it I have not had a FP issue on ANY car other than many years ago my 1993 Chrysler Town & Country had one fail at about 210k but at the time I replaced the pump I found the rear frame rails so rusted out I did not trust the car to safely protect my wife and children so I scrapped it. Sadly the body and exterior looked mint. Structurally the van was toast
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Old 06-06-2018, 06:48 AM   #3
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1999 SL2
1998 SC2
Default Re: Fuel Pump Failure Rate/Average Lifespan?

My '99 has 211K. My '98 has 164K. I've owned the '99 since new and it has the original pump. Not so sure of the history of the '98 but it seems to have had minimal maintenance. Most of it was bad.
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Old 06-06-2018, 08:04 AM   #4
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Default Re: Fuel Pump Failure Rate/Average Lifespan?

I think the only FP with a well known failure rate are the '97's; even then it's not truly the FP that fails, it's the check valve that keeps fuel in the lines when you turn the engine off.
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Old 06-06-2018, 08:13 AM   #5
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Default Re: Fuel Pump Failure Rate/Average Lifespan?

311 k miles on mine, and last time I checked the fuel pressure, it was still fine.
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Old 06-06-2018, 09:02 AM   #6
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Default Re: Fuel Pump Failure Rate/Average Lifespan?

Quote:
Originally Posted by underthehood View Post
Come to think of it I have not had a FP issue on ANY car
Same here. Zero fuel pump failures. Several cars over 200k miles, owned a couple of cars over a decade with no fuel pump failures
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Old 06-06-2018, 11:14 AM   #7
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1997 SW2
Default Re: Fuel Pump Failure Rate/Average Lifespan?

I replaced fuel pump , filter sock in 2K SW2 210k. Thinking low flow under demand.
Was a floating failure of plugged up catalyst. Pulled tank and was shocked at almost nothing for junk in bottom of tank either. Sock was a little dirty, not like as I expected. I was cheap and instead of complete pump, sensor assy bought pump only and replaced it using existing old parts too. Cheap fix....if the wrong portion of failure. Be careful of mid year CA cars I had wrong charcoal vent can and lines was a mid year model I guess.
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Old 06-06-2018, 05:30 PM   #8
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Default Re: Fuel Pump Failure Rate/Average Lifespan?

I had a 97 SL2 with over 210K when totalled. Never had fuel pump issues.
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Old 06-07-2018, 08:13 AM   #9
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1997 SW2
Default Re: Fuel Pump Failure Rate/Average Lifespan?

Quote:
Originally Posted by fetchitfido View Post
I think the only FP with a well known failure rate are the '97's; even then it's not truly the FP that fails, it's the check valve that keeps fuel in the lines when you turn the engine off.
Yes, my 97 SW2 has that annoying problem.
1) Two or three trys after sitting a few minutes shut off when running errands. (Waiting while the key is in the on position and pump running before activating the starter doesnt help either - it still requires a few trys with the starter motor)
2) Starts right up after sitting for hours like first thing in the morning or after work.

Ive gotten used to it.
Keeps the starter motor nice and loose.
Keeps me honest as Ill never attempt a bank robbery with my SW2.
...
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Old 06-07-2018, 08:33 AM   #10
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Default Re: Fuel Pump Failure Rate/Average Lifespan?

Quote:
Originally Posted by dummo View Post
2) Starts right up after sitting for hours like first thing in the morning or after work.
Keeps me honest as Ill never attempt a bank robbery with my SW2.
. . . or . . . you can always rob the bank first thing in the morning, when you know your SW2 will start right up

***
Since you have no problems with cold start, sounds like you have a very different fuel pump problem. The "normal" '97 fuel issue is the opposite - starts up fine when it has not been shut down for long (fuel pressure has not had time to leak back down) but hard to start on sitting over night.
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Old 06-07-2018, 10:17 AM   #11
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Default Re: Fuel Pump Failure Rate/Average Lifespan?

Quote:
Originally Posted by dummo View Post
Keeps me honest as Ill never attempt a bank robbery with my SW2.

All good bank robbers know to keep the car running.
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Old 06-07-2018, 10:56 AM   #12
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1997 SL
Default Re: Fuel Pump Failure Rate/Average Lifespan?

Years ago I had my 97 SL's fuel pump check valve replaced because I didn't know that it would just go bad again. And it did. I just prime the system by holding the key in the "On" position for about three seconds, then turn the key the rest of the way to start. No problem and in fact, my original fuel pump is still good after what I think is about 300K miles. (Odometer broken for a few years) You see, when the engineers want to build a good, durable product, they can. Same goes for the air conditioning compressors in our Saturns and most cars. Designed and built well. It's only until a leak in the system screws those up too.
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Old 06-07-2018, 12:17 PM   #13
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Default Re: Fuel Pump Failure Rate/Average Lifespan?

Quote:
Originally Posted by alordofchaos View Post
Since you have no problems with cold start, sounds like you have a very different fuel pump problem. The "normal" '97 fuel issue is the opposite - starts up fine when it has not been shut down for long (fuel pressure has not had time to leak back down) but hard to start on sitting over night.
Really? Mines the same way. The way I understood the 97 fuel pump issue was that it's fine from cold, hard when warm. Mines fine from a cold start but once the car has been warmed up and I go to restart it, it won't turn over unless I wait until I hear the fuel pump relay. And even then sometimes it'll sputter to a start.
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Old 06-07-2018, 01:00 PM   #14
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Default Re: Fuel Pump Failure Rate/Average Lifespan?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zeebins View Post
Really? Mines the same way. The way I understood the 97 fuel pump issue was that it's fine from cold, hard when warm.
I could be way wrong here. I haven't tried to start my '97 in about . . .

holy crap, it's been about 6 years that this thing has been sitting, unstarted, in my driveway. Man, I have got to get stared on that project eventually

Last time I started it was after the oil pan replacement, to check for leaks.
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Old 06-07-2018, 01:23 PM   #15
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Default Re: Fuel Pump Failure Rate/Average Lifespan?

With the 97 it bleeds down in a matter of minutes and this will cause hard starting cold and flooded starts hot if you do not run 2 prime cycles. Key must be off for 25 seconds to initiate 2nd prime cycle. If that does not work and it is a hot restart issue then there are 2 other things that will get you 1)failed ECTS. or 2)low pressure injector leakage.
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Old 06-07-2018, 03:13 PM   #16
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Default Re: Fuel Pump Failure Rate/Average Lifespan?

Quote:
Originally Posted by OldNuc View Post
With the 97 it bleeds down in a matter of minutes and this will cause hard starting cold and flooded starts hot if you do not run 2 prime cycles. Key must be off for 25 seconds to initiate 2nd prime cycle. If that does not work and it is a hot restart issue then there are 2 other things that will get you 1)failed ECTS. or 2)low pressure injector leakage.
so as I believe I understand what you are saying...

1) turn the key to 'on' position and hold about for 10 seconds. (not activating started motor)

2) turn key to 'off' and wait 25 seconds

3) Start the car ordinarily.

Feel free to correct me with this.
Thanks OldNuc
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Old 06-07-2018, 07:18 PM   #17
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Default Re: Fuel Pump Failure Rate/Average Lifespan?

Pump run time is only 2 seconds so first key on, count to 4, back to off, wait 25 seconds, back to on, count to 3, and then crank engine. At this point if it does not crank right off try throttle to floor and hold it there while in the count to 3 step, and then crank engine. If it fires let off throttle rapidly. What that will demonstrate is that there was too much gas in the intake and by holding throttle to floor you cut off any more gas. If you crank it and it does not immediately fire back off the throttle quickly while cranking. The trick is to find out if the no start is too much or not enough gas.
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Old 06-07-2018, 10:19 PM   #18
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Default Re: Fuel Pump Failure Rate/Average Lifespan?

^^^^^Tried that method twice tonight and so far it is 100% working.

Now what to do with that 25 seconds? ... maybe keep a book in the car.

Thanks again, OldNuc.

We need to have a Satty Awards every year. Properly give respect to great Saturnfans like OldNuc. Maybe during the online Homecoming. Are they still doing that here?
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Old 06-08-2018, 08:10 AM   #19
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Default Re: Fuel Pump Failure Rate/Average Lifespan?

I've replaced mine once...

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Old 06-08-2018, 05:38 PM   #20
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Default Re: Fuel Pump Failure Rate/Average Lifespan?

Good to hear that simple routine fixed another 97 fuel pump issue.
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