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Old 08-14-2013, 09:42 AM   #1
mxracr04
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Default 2001 SL1 Fuel Pump or Regulator?

Hello, I am trying to figure out an issue with my car and could really use some assistance. So thank you in advance.

2001 Saturn SL1 5 spd - ~124,000 miles

History - 16 month ago OEM fuel pump died around 113,500 miles. Airtex pump #1 and fuel filter replaced.

3 weeks ago I was driving when the car lost power and then died. The car would not restart so I towed it home and determined the Airtex pump #1 went bad after 16 months an 10,000 miles. Replaced with Airtex fuel pump #2 about 2.5 weeks ago. I did NOT replace fuel filter. Car ran great for 2 weeks and around 200 miles.

Current issues. Car lost power, chugged/bogged and then died. Restarted and drove about 200 feet before it died again. Let car sit for about 5 min, it restarted, drove about 1/4 mile and started chugging again, but at this time I was in my driveway. Let the car sit over night and drove to work, 2 miles with no issues. Took a lunch and drove a mile and the chugging started and then the car died. Got a ride home and left the car. Went back and car would drive a block before same issue. Towed the car home.

Last night with a fuel pressure gauge I started the car and at idle its running fine and staying constantly at 50 or 60 psi, can't recall which one it was but it ws consistent and a good reading. Let it idle for about 20 min, at times revving the engine and could not get te car to act up or die.

I then took it for a test drive and after 3 blocks the chugging started and the pressure dropped to 20, then 10 and the car died. Let it wait a minute, it restarted and let me drive about 100 feet. Died and would not restart. Waiting another 4 minutes and it restarted and made it up my street into my driveway and died, about 400 feet.

I do not believe this issue has anything to do with the fuel filter as it was working with good fuel pressure and only has 10,000 miles on it.

My thought is that it is the fuel pump but before I spend a few hours dropping the fuel tank again and replacing the pump I want to make sure it isn't something else.

I am not to familiar with fuel pressure regulators so I am unsure if this could be the issue. Any help is greatly appreicated.

Thanks,
Eric

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Old 08-14-2013, 02:17 PM   #2
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Default Re: 2001 SL1 Fuel Pump or Regulator?

Can you pull any codes to see what they say? Right off hand, I'd replace the Crankshaft Position Sensor, I don't think they are too expensive, and it's a common replacement item when the "start and die" routine shows up.

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Old 08-14-2013, 02:41 PM   #3
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Default Re: 2001 SL1 Fuel Pump or Regulator?

mxracr04, what you didn't mention was when restarting each time after the engine died was whether the fuel pressure returned immediately or not. This is needed to make diagnosing accurate.

If pressure returns immediately at ignition ON time then you may have a possible crank sensor failing intermittently. Your descriptions seem to fit intermittent cps failure.

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Old 08-14-2013, 02:42 PM   #4
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Default Re: 2001 SL1 Fuel Pump or Regulator?

The drop in fuel pressure just before it dies does indicate either a failing pump, clogged filter or bad regulator. Which brand of filter/regulator did you install? Some of the store brands have very poor pressure regulators. Also, OldNuc thinks very little of Airtex fuel pumps, so if you decide to change it out, you might go with a different brand this time.

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Old 08-14-2013, 03:16 PM   #5
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Default Re: 2001 SL1 Fuel Pump or Regulator?

Quote:
Originally Posted by BV22 View Post
The drop in fuel pressure just before it dies does indicate either a failing pump, clogged filter or bad regulator. Which brand of filter/regulator did you install? Some of the store brands have very poor pressure regulators. Also, OldNuc thinks very little of Airtex fuel pumps, so if you decide to change it out, you might go with a different brand this time.

This is exactly what is going on if we are reading your story right.

After one time dropping the tank I would have told them to pound sand and give me my money back. Going on three times I would throw it threw there window with a brick attacked and a note saying your parts are crap.

Get your money back, tell them they have crap parts and go somewhere else.

I always wondered if a Walbro fits in there Again you need to make sure u buy it from some where legit, because they have been knocked off too.

I'm going to drop a hint on too some people. Actual failure/plugging of fuel filters is in reality a very rare occurence. I spun wrenches in dealerships for 10 years and maybe had an issue 2-3 times. One was bad gas and another was obviously a foreign material in said tank, so it leaves one as plugged with no real reason.

As far as filter/regulator assemblies they do fail more quite obviously. They also have more going on inside of them and a diaphragm, etc. Usually internal leaks of the diaphragm. Just like a FPR mounted to the fuel rail. Most tend to fail and read higher than average fuel pressure from when I have seen issues. (this even happened on my own car and it was a WIX)

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Old 08-14-2013, 03:37 PM   #6
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Default Re: 2001 SL1 Fuel Pump or Regulator?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Banjoman View Post
Can you pull any codes to see what they say? Right off hand, I'd replace the Crankshaft Position Sensor, I don't think they are too expensive, and it's a common replacement item when the "start and die" routine shows up.

Thanks for your response. I will try and pull codes tonight.

My only thought on the sensor is it did the start, run, then die when my airtex #1 pump went out. When replaced with airtex #2 pump, it ran for 2 weeks without any issues, It then repeated the start, run, die. Would that eliminate the sensor being bad or what do you think?

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Old 08-14-2013, 03:40 PM   #7
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Default Re: 2001 SL1 Fuel Pump or Regulator?

Quote:
Originally Posted by fdryer View Post
mxracr04, what you didn't mention was when restarting each time after the engine died was whether the fuel pressure returned immediately or not. This is needed to make diagnosing accurate.

If pressure returns immediately at ignition ON time then you may have a possible crank sensor failing intermittently. Your descriptions seem to fit intermittent cps failure.


The times that it would not restart, there was little (10) to no pressure.

The times it restarted and drove it went back to 50 or 60 then dropped down to 20, 10, die. At one time it started at 20 and would just re-die.

I do not recall what took place at ignition off, car off though. This was only when I was trying to restart it.

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Old 08-14-2013, 03:43 PM   #8
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Default Re: 2001 SL1 Fuel Pump or Regulator?

Quote:
Originally Posted by BV22 View Post
The drop in fuel pressure just before it dies does indicate either a failing pump, clogged filter or bad regulator. Which brand of filter/regulator did you install? Some of the store brands have very poor pressure regulators. Also, OldNuc thinks very little of Airtex fuel pumps, so if you decide to change it out, you might go with a different brand this time.
I will not be putting in a 3rd airtex, I can tell you that right now.

I cannot recall the specific brand fuel filter. I bought it from O'reilly's along with the pump. I do not believe its the fuel filter in this situation either.

I have never replaced the regulator.

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Old 08-14-2013, 03:55 PM   #9
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Default Re: 2001 SL1 Fuel Pump or Regulator?

Quote:
Originally Posted by mxracr04 View Post
I will not be putting in a 3rd airtex, I can tell you that right now.

I cannot recall the specific brand fuel filter. I bought it from O'reilly's along with the pump. I do not believe its the fuel filter in this situation either.

I have never replaced the regulator.
01 is a fuel filter/regulator assembly. Located on the rear drvr side pretty much next to the tank.

Non OEM have an issue with failing, WIX tend to be decent, I did have a WIX on my car that failed however had 60psi at idle for fuel pressure.

When u turn the key on, can u hear the fuel pump run?

Give us a little more to work with. Does fuel pressure drop and car stumble and die? Points towards fueling.

Does it straight up cut out like a switch? Points toward ignition side.

U mention bogging and stumbling so I am inclined to look towards fuel pump from what you are saying.

01 should be 46-51 at idle I believe if everything is working properly.

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Old 08-14-2013, 04:10 PM   #10
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Default Re: 2001 SL1 Fuel Pump or Regulator?

Quote:
Originally Posted by mxracr04 View Post
The times that it would not restart, there was little (10) to no pressure.....The times it restarted and drove it went back to 50 or 60 then dropped down to 20, 10, die. At one time it started at 20 and would just re-die.....I do not recall what took place at ignition off, car off though. This was only when I was trying to restart it.
The pump not pressurizing or outputting lower pressure may not be a pump issue but something else - pump ground. Simply replacing a fuel pump doesn't necessarily mean the original pump failed especially since you're having the same problem again. One member had his pump replaced once and almost replaced it again only to discover that pump ground was loose........................

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Old 08-14-2013, 05:01 PM   #11
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Default Re: 2001 SL1 Fuel Pump or Regulator?

The pressure is 60- referencing above where I was unsure if it was 50 or 60

When I start the car it revs up to about 3k RPMs and them slowly back to idle.

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Old 08-14-2013, 05:05 PM   #12
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Default Re: 2001 SL1 Fuel Pump or Regulator?

Quote:
Originally Posted by mxracr04 View Post
Thanks for your response. I will try and pull codes tonight.

My only thought on the sensor is it did the start, run, then die when my airtex #1 pump went out. When replaced with airtex #2 pump, it ran for 2 weeks without any issues, It then repeated the start, run, die. Would that eliminate the sensor being bad or what do you think?
I think the best move would be to pull the codes if there are any, it can point you in the right direction. The CPS is a $10-$15 part, not too hard to change, kind of preventative maintenance with a fairly good chance it could solve the issue.

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Old 08-14-2013, 05:23 PM   #13
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Default Re: 2001 SL1 Fuel Pump or Regulator?

Quote:
Originally Posted by mxracr04 View Post
The pressure is 60- referencing above where I was unsure if it was 50 or 60

When I start the car it revs up to about 3k RPMs and them slowly back to idle.
Believe 60 psi is too high for engine at idle. Above poster is correct. The fuel pressure regulator is built into the filter on later S series models like yours. The units sold by the major parts chains have been known to have regulators that are either inaccurate or don't last long. I'd start with a WIX, NAPA or OEM filter/regulator assembly first before dropping the tank again.

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Old 08-14-2013, 05:38 PM   #14
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Default Re: 2001 SL1 Fuel Pump or Regulator?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Banjoman View Post
I think the best move would be to pull the codes if there are any, it can point you in the right direction. The CPS is a $10-$15 part, not too hard to change, kind of preventative maintenance with a fairly good chance it could solve the issue.
I am going to wait for a friend to get off that has a OBDII reader. O'reillys doesn't loan theres anymore.

Any idea what time is involved in replacing the CPS? And where is best place to get one?

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Old 08-14-2013, 05:43 PM   #15
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Default Re: 2001 SL1 Fuel Pump or Regulator?

Quote:
Originally Posted by BV22 View Post
Believe 60 psi is too high for engine at idle. Above poster is correct. The fuel pressure regulator is built into the filter on later S series models like yours. The units sold by the major parts chains have been known to have regulators that are either inaccurate or don't last long. I'd start with a WIX, NAPA or OEM filter/regulator assembly first before dropping the tank again.

Here is the fuel filter I purchased. Feb of 2012 and has about 10,000 miles on it.
http://www.autozone.com/autozone/par...ntifier=917568

Enlarge Image
Part Number: FF897DL


Here is what they have when I search fuel pressure regulator.

http://www.autozone.com/autozone/par...3368_123716_0_

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Old 08-14-2013, 05:57 PM   #16
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Default Re: 2001 SL1 Fuel Pump or Regulator?

How does over pressurizing kill an engine? Talk about distractions....................

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Old 08-14-2013, 06:02 PM   #17
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Default Re: 2001 SL1 Fuel Pump or Regulator?

If high enough it floods out, usually happens at idle only though.

Use a WIX 33731 or a NAPA 3731 filter/regulator

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Old 08-14-2013, 06:36 PM   #18
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Default Re: 2001 SL1 Fuel Pump or Regulator?

Pressure is falling when the engine dies........ if you followed this post from the beginning..................

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Old 08-14-2013, 09:25 PM   #19
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Default Re: 2001 SL1 Fuel Pump or Regulator?

Quote:
Originally Posted by mxracr04 View Post
I am going to wait for a friend to get off that has a OBDII reader. O'reillys doesn't loan theres anymore.

Any idea what time is involved in replacing the CPS? And where is best place to get one?
I like Rock Auto, and it sounds like you could get a Wix fuel filter there also. Here's a video on replacing the CPS; http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PVTFFOwqNZM

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Old 08-14-2013, 09:33 PM   #20
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Default Re: 2001 SL1 Fuel Pump or Regulator?

mxracr04, when the engine dies, glance at the tach - a dead crank sensor (from engine heat) will kill the tach immediately. Then you'll have to try a spark test immediately; no spark when cranking can indicate a faulty crank sensor (with no tach indicating cranking rpm). If you have spark at these random engine shut downs then its not a crank sensor fault.

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