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'02 Won't Crank/Has Gas but says empty


nikkormat42
02-22-2009, 01:20 AM
Hi, my wife told me she pulled out of the drive way and drove about 20 feet and the car died and wouldn't crank. I come home and see that the gas gauge reads as empty. The starter motor turns over strong but the engine never will crank. I assume it must be out of gas and fill it up with 5 gallons. I thought it strange that I had run out after only 240 miles but hoped it was only out of gas. After adding the 5 gallons it still won't start and the needle is still way below the 'E' as if I had added no fuel at all. It currently has about 130K miles and the transmission has been replaced if that's relevant. There are no service lights on and it does say 'Low Fuel'.

It has a been a great car up until that point. She recalls hearing a loud 'Pop' a couple of weeks ago that she thought sounded like the windshield cracking. It has driven fine until two days ago, even took a trip to the coast. The only other thing is the steering wheel is a great deal harder to turn than our '98 Tahoe.

Having read some of the other posts it appears that its the 'Fuel Sending Unit'. I wanted to see if anyone had any other ideas I could try. Any fuses or connections I should check? Are there any guides online to replacing the 'Fuel Sending Unit' and what online site should I buy parts from?

Thanks,
Jon

GMMerlin
02-22-2009, 06:03 AM
Hi, my wife told me she pulled out of the drive way and drove about 20 feet and the car died and wouldn't crank. I come home and see that the gas gauge reads as empty. The starter motor turns over strong but the engine never will crank. I assume it must be out of gas and fill it up with 5 gallons. I thought it strange that I had run out after only 240 miles but hoped it was only out of gas. After adding the 5 gallons it still won't start and the needle is still way below the 'E' as if I had added no fuel at all. It currently has about 130K miles and the transmission has been replaced if that's relevant. There are no service lights on and it does say 'Low Fuel'.

It has a been a great car up until that point. She recalls hearing a loud 'Pop' a couple of weeks ago that she thought sounded like the windshield cracking. It has driven fine until two days ago, even took a trip to the coast. The only other thing is the steering wheel is a great deal harder to turn than our '98 Tahoe.

Having read some of the other posts it appears that its the 'Fuel Sending Unit'. I wanted to see if anyone had any other ideas I could try. Any fuses or connections I should check? Are there any guides online to replacing the 'Fuel Sending Unit' and what online site should I buy parts from?

Thanks,
Jon

Jon we have to get some terminology correct here.
No Crank= Turn key, starter does not engage , engine does not spin over
Cranks but does not start= engine turns over by starter, but engine does not fire and run

Based on what you describe, check the schrader valve on the fuel line at the engine, with the key on, depress it. Fuel should spray out, if it just dribbles, then you have a fuel delivery problem (most likely the pump, but there are some other things to check first)

4 things will cause an engine to run, lose 1 of these and it will not
Air, Compression, Fuel and Spark

nikkormat42
02-22-2009, 03:24 PM
Thanks GMMerlin,

The schrader valve just dribbled as my wife cranked the engine. There was a teaspoon of dribble at first then nothing at all would come out. What else I can try before declaring the fuel pump dead? What should I expect to pay for fuel pump replacement? I know you have to drain the gas tank and drop it to access the fuel assembly.

Thanks,
Jon

GMMerlin
02-23-2009, 06:33 AM
Thanks GMMerlin,

The schrader valve just dribbled as my wife cranked the engine. There was a teaspoon of dribble at first then nothing at all would come out. What else I can try before declaring the fuel pump dead? What should I expect to pay for fuel pump replacement? I know you have to drain the gas tank and drop it to access the fuel assembly.

Thanks,
Jon

I would check the electrical portion of the system (fuse,relay, make sure you have 12v at the pump connector, make sure the connector is OK,check the ground for this also)
Price on the pump varies depending on where you get it and labor rates, I'd give it a range of $400-$900
Actually it can be done without draining the tank, but the safest way is to drain it.

j cAT
02-23-2009, 12:44 PM
Thanks GMMerlin,

The schrader valve just dribbled as my wife cranked the engine. There was a teaspoon of dribble at first then nothing at all would come out. What else I can try before declaring the fuel pump dead? What should I expect to pay for fuel pump replacement? I know you have to drain the gas tank and drop it to access the fuel assembly.

Thanks,
Jon

if you operate the vehicle below 1/4 tank this will damage the fuel pump...the sender is part of the pump...with a fuel gauge measure the pressure it should be around 60psi....the pump is in the fuel tank, give the bottom of the tank a good shock this may get the pump working again for a little bit...

if the voltage to the pump is correct then you will need a new pump if the pressure is lower than 55psi...

ONLY INSTALL A DELPHI PUMP......unless you want to do this again....
keep fuel tank above 1/4 at all times...

nikkormat42
02-23-2009, 04:08 PM
if you operate the vehicle below 1/4 tank this will damage the fuel pump...the sender is part of the pump...with a fuel gauge measure the pressure it should be around 60psi....the pump is in the fuel tank, give the bottom of the tank a good shock this may get the pump working again for a little bit...

if the voltage to the pump is correct then you will need a new pump if the pressure is lower than 55psi...

ONLY INSTALL A DELPHI PUMP......unless you want to do this again....
keep fuel tank above 1/4 at all times...

Thanks, I tried womp'n on the tank with a wooden mallet while my wife tried cranking the engine. No success. I also listened for the 'whir' of the motor to come on when you first turn the key. I heard it on our '98 but not the '02. We just bought this Tahoe about a month ago from a family member still haven't sold off the old one.

Turns out that the gas pump was replaced in 2006 and the mechanic said it was a Delphi. Shouldn't it last longer that few years? How long are the Delphi's warranted for? Right now its back at the mechanic who replaced the fuel pump being checked out for an electrical short. I can't say whether or not it was run with less than a 1/4 tank. They also want to charge $500 for the fuel sending unit which I thought was a bit excessive.

Thanks,
Jon

nikkormat42
02-23-2009, 06:01 PM
The fuel pump tested worked fine. The shop says the ECM fuse keeps blowing and that its an electrical short they can't track down. They are continuing to look for it though.

j cAT
02-24-2009, 10:57 AM
The fuel pump tested worked fine. The shop says the ECM fuse keeps blowing and that its an electrical short they can't track down. They are continuing to look for it though.

exactly what ECM fuse ?

GMMerlin
02-24-2009, 03:41 PM
The fuel pump tested worked fine. The shop says the ECM fuse keeps blowing and that its an electrical short they can't track down. They are continuing to look for it though.

Definately need to know which ECM fuse is blowing.
Usually in my experiance it's the ECM B fuse, in which case the wiring at the pump inside the tank is melted and shorted togather.

In most cases with these vehicles the sender comes with a pump, it's called a modular assembly.

nikkormat42
02-24-2009, 09:26 PM
Definately need to know which ECM fuse is blowing.
Usually in my experiance it's the ECM B fuse, in which case the wiring at the pump inside the tank is melted and shorted togather.

In most cases with these vehicles the sender comes with a pump, it's called a modular assembly.

I'll have to ask them tomorrow. I tried to find out when I picked it up today but they weren't too forth coming with the details since it was closing time. The mechanics had left and it was just the guy that takes the money. The bill just says 'Repaired short in fuse panel'. I was so grateful that the bill was only $80 I didn't want make him stay any longer! On the 10 mile drive home it performed perfectly. Thanks for all your help. I hope this helps someone else.

Should I be concerned about melted shielding on the wires in the gas tank? Sounds dangerous...

Jon

usedranger
02-24-2009, 09:49 PM
Just go back when they are not real busy and ask them what they did. If the wires in the tank were bad it would blow the fuse again in a short time...and to fix that they would have had to get to the pump to repair the wiring. Or replace the pump. Unlikely they did that for $80. Bring a morning coffee to the mechanics at the shop, and have them explain the repair. Good luck.

j cAT
02-25-2009, 10:46 AM
Just go back when they are not real busy and ask them what they did. If the wires in the tank were bad it would blow the fuse again in a short time...and to fix that they would have had to get to the pump to repair the wiring. Or replace the pump. Unlikely they did that for $80. Bring a morning coffee to the mechanics at the shop, and have them explain the repair. Good luck.

for 80 dollars they just installed a larger amp fuse...

GMMerlin
02-25-2009, 11:24 AM
for 80 dollars they just installed a larger amp fuse...

That is the scary part :banghead:

Whenever you have your vehicle worked on, the copy of the repair order you receive should have a detailed explination of what was done. If not, then someone should be able to tell you what as done in detail.
You shouldn't have to bribe the SA or the tech to get the answers you need (although a cup of coffee is a bonus). It is your vehicle and you have the right to know.
If a larger fuse was installed, this is not a proper or safe repair.
Personally I'm never too busy to explain a repair to a customer or show them what I have done to their vehicle, this is called customer service.

nikkormat42
02-26-2009, 04:38 PM
Definately need to know which ECM fuse is blowing.
Usually in my experiance it's the ECM B fuse, in which case the wiring at the pump inside the tank is melted and shorted togather.

In most cases with these vehicles the sender comes with a pump, it's called a modular assembly.

GMMerlin, you were dead on.

I finally got thru to the mechanic who worked on it and he said that he simply replaced the 'ECM B' 20 AMP fuse with a 30 AMP fuse! I couldn't believe it. My wife just called me from the grocery and said it wouldn't start after two attempts to crank it. The third time it cranked so I guess the 30 AMP fuse held. Should I just go ahead and replace the Delphi Fuel pump assembly?

Jon

GMMerlin
02-27-2009, 06:37 AM
GMMerlin, you were dead on.

I finally got thru to the mechanic who worked on it and he said that he simply replaced the 'ECM B' 20 AMP fuse with a 30 AMP fuse! I couldn't believe it. My wife just called me from the grocery and said it wouldn't start after two attempts to crank it. The third time it cranked so I guess the 30 AMP fuse held. Should I just go ahead and replace the Delphi Fuel pump assembly?

Jon

First, I would demand my money back and advise the shop that worked on your vehicle that the "repair" they made defeated the circuit protection by installing a bigger fuse and that is a safety hazard.
Secondly, it wouldn't be a bad idea at this point to go after the pump assembly. Also check the connector at the top of the tank, if it appears to be burnt, I'd replace it also.

j cAT
02-27-2009, 09:03 AM
didn't I tell ya ! I love these forums.....

usedranger
02-27-2009, 10:07 AM
Absolutely agree with GM Merlin and Jcat. Was not suggesting it was necessary to bribe the folks at the shop...it isn't. But the reality is it sometimes makes things a little easier. Honest mechanics such as GMMerlin are certainly a find, and when you find one like that make sure you let them know you appreciate their talent. In this case a whole barrel of coffee would not have helped. I would demand the money back, and that they do the correct repair for parts only cost. I would also be in contact with the local Better Business Bureau and on the look out for a new shop to take my car into for repairs. Those guys are dangerous crooks. Hope you have better luck next time.

nikkormat42
05-18-2009, 03:43 PM
Just wanted to post the resolution. We got a very capable technician to replace the fuel sending unit with a genuine Delphi part and it has run great ever since. He also restored the fuse to the original amperage. Thanks to all for the help. Hope someone else can benefit from my experience.

----------------
2002 Tahoe
GM PART # 88966962
CATEGORY: Fuel Tank Meter Sender/Connector
PACK QTY: 1
CORE CHARGE: $0.00
GM LIST: $424.87
OUR PRICE: $220.93

http://www.gmpartsdirect.com/

j cAT
05-18-2009, 04:07 PM
Just wanted to post the resolution. We got a very capable technician to replace the fuel sending unit with a genuine Delphi part and it has run great ever since. He also restored the fuse to the original amperage. Thanks to all for the help. Hope someone else can benefit from my experience.

----------------
2002 Tahoe
GM PART # 88966962
CATEGORY: Fuel Tank Meter Sender/Connector
PACK QTY: 1
CORE CHARGE: $0.00
GM LIST: $424.87
OUR PRICE: $220.93

http://www.gmpartsdirect.com/

thanks for that feedback good luck...

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