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Old 02-05-2009, 09:32 AM   #1
saluki
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2001 L-Series 2.2L Sedan
Default 2001 L200 fuel pump

1st timer poster, 2 months ago no start. Towed in and new fuel pump relay installed . But he did notify me that low pressure on fuel pump was detected.
Sure enough towed in 4 weeks later for new fuel pump installed. Just this week my Saturn is dead in driveway. Cranks like crazy but no start. Items I noticed.... #1 no fuel pumping noise ( slight humming noise ) when you turn key 1/2 way, #2 checked pump mini fuse ( it is OK ) swapped new relay with an identical one next to it ( it is OK ) . Called mechanic who did pump replacement and says bring it in. He did say 2 things..... #1 slap on fuel tank while someone is turning key ( maybe stuck pump )? #2 maybe frozen fuel ?
Car is sitting in driveway and it has been 0 to 18 degrees all week. Any ideas?
I am tired of paying for towing !!!

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Old 02-05-2009, 05:54 PM   #2
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2003 L-Series 3.0L Sedan
Default Re: 2001 L200 fuel pump

How many miles on the car? Was the fuel filter ever replaced?

There may never have been a fuel pump failure to begin with. The question is whether the mechanic knew how to trouble shoot EFI problems related to starting. Every model has its peculiarities but every car needs the basics to run an engine; air, fuel, and ignition. Not posting more information leaves holes in this post for guessing, playing 'twenty questions'. Here's how Saturns work; turning the ignition key to the On/Run position should allow you to hear/feel the faint hum/hiss of the fuel pump running for 2-3 seconds (only) before it shuts off, for safety reasons, and this pressurizes the fuel lines for the next test. Locate the fuel rail's test valve, resembling the tire valve with a black cap to keep dirt out, remove the cap, cover the valve lightly with a rag and press the valve stem expecting a healthy spray of fuel. If you see a spray of fuel, you've verified that the fuel pump works, it pressurizes the fuel lines, and fuel pressure is available at the injectors. All by simply turning the key to the ON position. If you don't hear the faint hum/hiss of the fuel pump running for 2-3 seconds and don't have any fuel spray out the test valve, there's a fuel pump/fuel pressure regulator, wiring problem. Its going to be either one or the other. Fuel pumps are buried in the tank for their reliability to almost outlast most car's lifetime, beyond 150,000 miles and more. The few requirements would be the occasional replacement of the fuel filter.

As large a membership as there are here on Saturnfans, not even our Canadian neighbors north of us have complained of frozen gas lines, yet. I think they view temperatures as cold when they're below -10C, -20C and just begin to think of plugging in their engine block heaters for a sure start the next morning. No one's talking about frozen gas lines up north, just very cold engines having a very hard time turning over.

What you may have is an ignition related problem not every mechanic is aware of unless he/she has more between their ears than appears. Unless you have the spark plugs exposed and can pull them to check for spark, you may be describing a no-start condition where you can crank the engine easily but it never fires up (a no-spark condition) - this is the classic failure of the crank position sensor (CPS). Its located behind the starter and mounted with one bolt. Buy it from any store stocking it. You can check for prices online from places like rockauto.com. When the engine rotates the cps generates the electronic heartbeat that the PCM needs to run the fuel pump, ignition system, and pulse the injectors. No cps = no fuel pump, no ignition/spark, and no injector pulses. A dead engine. Crank all you want till either the battery dies or the starter burns out.

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Old 02-05-2009, 06:36 PM   #3
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2001 L-Series 2.2L Sedan
Default Re: 2001 L200 fuel pump

car has 77k and also no fuel filter was replaced.

question .... is there a way they can isolate and power up fuel pump to take the "bad" pump out of the equation ? The labor to drop the tank just to get at that pump is incredible. I'm just thinking out loud and by no means am I a mechanic , but I do have a sense of how things work if explained to me.

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Old 02-05-2009, 07:10 PM   #4
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2003 L-Series 3.0L Sedan
Default Re: 2001 L200 fuel pump

Wow!? You have to ask for THEM? I just gave away the store with the previous post. I'm under the impression now, with this question from you, that this mechanic isn't familiar with EFI systems or even has the basic information to do this....................

Yes, the fuel pump can be tested, just as I described in the previous post. Each and every time ANY driver sticks a key in the ignition switch and turns it to the ON position; the fuel pump will run for 2-3 seconds and then shuts off. If this "mechanic" has a fuel pressure gauge, he would have hooked it up to the fuel test valve I described and seen, by you, him, and anyone in view of the pressure gauge. The pressure gauge needle would have immediately shot up to around 45 psi, an indication of the fuel pump running for the time mentioned. Cycling the ignition key every 30 seconds will turn on the fuel pump for 2-3 seconds. The pressure should hold for at least 15 mnutes or more before bleeding off. This indicates a fuel pump that runs. ONLY when the engine rotates will the fuel pump begin to run again - the cps allows the pump to run as described before.

If the above simple steps do not indicate fuel pressure then a fuel pump, relay, wiring, or fuel filter will have to be examined very carefully. Even a loose ground can stop the fuel pump.

Now if you need to educate a mechanic on how to turn on a fuel pump; locate the fuse box and remove the fuel pump relay; some relays have the pin outs for which pins are for the relay solenoid and pump power, embossed under or around the relay. Relay socket pins 30 and 87 jumpered together will send 12v immediately to the fuel pump, powering it up but unless you or this mechanic doesn't know how to detect a pump running before these posts, how is anyone going to tell its running? Hopefully a fuel pressure gauge is in mind..........................or using the previous suggestion to simply press the fuel test valve.

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Old 02-07-2009, 06:29 PM   #5
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Default Re: 2001 L200 fuel pump

update: okay I had it towed in and yes he preformed all the items you stated to troubleshoot pump. He insists that I am the lucky one to have installed a faulty "new" pump. On Monday he will install a new replacement pump along with a new filter. ( part is still under warranty )

side note: my fuel guage has been out long before this all happened and I thought 1 thing that would automatically correct itself was this when I had the new fuel pump installed the 1st time. My mechanic said it is in the "cluster" behind my instrument panel. Any advice on this situation. My money tree has lost all its leaves . I have no more $$$$ to fix things that I can learn to live without.

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Old 02-07-2009, 08:43 PM   #6
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2003 L-Series 3.0L Sedan
Default Re: 2001 L200 fuel pump

All I can ask you for now is where are the fuel pumps that are supposedly 'dead'? It would be interesting to see these 'failed' ones, if they are as you have every right to have the faulty ones shown to you. Any reputable shop would have no hesitation in showing you damaged parts.
The fuel sender unit is part of the fuel pump assembly. I suspect you may be dealing with a less than honest shop...............................

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