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Old 12-07-2010, 01:03 PM   #61
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Re: Airtex Fuel Pumps - Buyer Beware

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Originally Posted by rjs1975 View Post
Thought I would add my own experience with an Airtex pump, though my vehicle is a Dodge Caravan, not a Chevy Blazer.

About a week ago I had to change out the fuel pump (original) after 120k miles; pump still worked fine, but had developed a small crack in the out-going port that had a nasty habit of spraying fuel towards the exhaust pipe. Anyway, I got a replacement Airtex pump from O'reilly, and put it in with a new fuel filter. The new pump had a bad check valve out of the box and wouldn't hold pressure when the car was shut off... of course having just replaced it I tore the rest of the engine apart to check the fuel rail and injectors before coming to that realization. Unfortunately I've just put another Airtex in the tank I got from the warranty... this one works so far; does run about 2 PSI higher than it should, but at least the check valve is working for the moment. I just wonder how long it will be before this one dies. I wonder if O'reilly will refund the cost of this piece of junk so I can buy an OEM (90 bucks more and not typically in stock)
If you look in the airtex box they always put a warranty claim sticker in every new airtex pump.

I would say they are thinking a head on them going bad and you having to replace them.
Also on a side note my Iespell checker says to spell Airtex as Cortex.

They may not refund unless it goes bad.


But if it does they do have Delphi oem type pumps for about 25$ more and may have to be ordered.

But bad news is Delphi does not make pump for some flex fuel dodge caravan.
What year and engine caravan and is it flex fuel?
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Old 12-13-2010, 09:04 PM   #62
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Re: Airtex Fuel Pumps - Buyer Beware

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Originally Posted by rjs1975 View Post
I just wonder how long it will be before this one dies. I wonder if O'reilly will refund the cost of this piece of junk so I can buy an OEM (90 bucks more and not typically in stock)
Well if the Airtex pumps for Dodge/Chrysler are the same as for GM, you can almost bet on less than a year of service. Your fuel gage will probably go bad first, then you will notice the engine getting harder and harder to start, slightly at first, then progressively worse. If your internal fuel pump bearings don't start howling like a banshee, or the internal hose don't split, a year is about average. OEM pumps average $25 - $50 more and O'Reilly's might just work something out with you.

To prolong the life of your existing piece of crap Airtex Pump, ALWAYS keep your fuel level above a quarter full, and change your fuel filter twice a year.

Here is another thought, there is no way for the counter guy at O'Reilly's to tell if the pump is bad or not. So if you feel froggy, you can yank the Airtex P.O.S. and return it and put on your best Pissed off face and pay the little extra and demand a new OEM, Swearing off the Airtex crap.

Here is the way I see it, Airtex brags that we're a bunch of idiots that yank their perfectly good pieces of crap fuel pumps, claiming that the returned pumps meet all standards when they re-test them at their factory (at least 50% of them anyway). Well, I'd be inclined to give their statistics a little boost, and return their garbage pump BEFORE it leaves you stranded. Don't wait until it is out of warranty. They don't care, they expect it, other wise they wouldn't put the return label in the box like MT2500 says.
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Old 10-21-2011, 11:44 AM   #63
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Re: Airtex Fuel Pumps - Buyer Beware

So we put a new Airtex fuel pump assembly in my son's Jeep. Ran great for a week. He went to start it and saw smoke coming from under the hood. The lead from the starter relay to the fuel pump was heating up. After an intense search for the short, we were led back to the fuel pump. When we removed it we found that the hot lead to the pump was shorting against the pump frame. A terrible design flaw. The insulation on the hot lead had heated to the point that it bubbled. We found that the connector rubbed against the pump frame until it made contact. Fortunately there was no spark or this could have turned bad real quick!

BTW....the Carter direct fit pump is far from a direct fit!!! Where has quality gone?
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Old 02-13-2012, 06:12 AM   #64
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Re: Airtex Fuel Pumps - Buyer Beware

Ok... Well here's my 2 cents on this topic - take this for what it's worth... I read so many bad things about Airtex, bought a Bosch instead.

Truck is a 1998 Chevy K1500 (4X4, 1/2 ton) with the 4.3L V-6. Ok, so the Bosch fuel pump module assy was something like $333 at Advance Auto Parts. OUCH! Bought it online, used a coupon code, and saved an additional $50 bucks from the price, bringing it to about the same price as what the Airtex pump's regular price was at Advance. (Still a rip-off if you ask me.)

Got the Bosch pump, took the "failed" (but, not really - more on that later) Carter pump module out of the tank (which BTW, looked just like an Airtex). Bosch fuel pump module looks similar, yet the more you look at it, it's actually quite a bit different.

Anyhow, first problem... the Bosch has a totally different connector than the OEM plug, Airtex plug, and Carter plug!!! The OEM was (for better lack of description) a "flat 4" pin configuration weatherpack connector. The Bosch module uses a "stacked 2-by-2" 4-pin configuration!!! That's great, since there's NOT a pigtail harness in the box, and apparently these pumps DON'T come with them???? Well, I gotta look into it more, b/c I think I got screwed by the auto parts store and should have gotten the correct pigtail harness included with the pump.

Anyhow, I was able to remove the female end of the weatherpack connector from the new pump by just simply prying it out of the top of the module. They just "snap" into place in the top of the module, and are held in place by an o-ring seal. Wow, I was pleasantly surprised and that was easy! Next, I removed the "original" 2 small wires for the fuel tank level sending unit with a paper clip, re-bent the connector retaining tangs, and re-installed them to the original OEM/Airtex/Carter designed female connector that I just swapped over from the old pump to the new one.

The actual fuel pump's positive and ground weren't quite so easy. They required a quick cut and butt-splice of each wire, due to different sized connectors used in the Bosch's 2-by-2 weatherpack. The OEM connectors were smaller, and the Bosch's were larger. So, that was a fricken Pain In The Ass, but not the end of the world.

Out of habit, I was at first a little concerned about "sealing" the butt-splice connections, but then soon realized that it really doesn't matter, since gasoline LIQUID is not flammable, and only a few inches up from my splice job, there are original bare spade terminal connectors at the pump itself anyhow.

I'm betting the smaller connectors found in the OEM flat 4 weatherpack plug are the source of the overheating and melting problem that is associated with these fuel pump connectors!!! This would be due to the fact that the gauge of the wiring (connector) is too small, thus leading to too high of resistance, and then the pump connector starts to melt. Just a thought.

I'll probably be back in here doing this again anyhow one day (god, I hope not). If so, the next time I'll be getting the correct Bosch pigtail connector one way or another, cutting and splicing the female connector back into the original Bosch setup, and putting the 2-by-2 connector back in place. (Let's hope I don't have to though.)

Regardless, I put the OEM connector back together, as I didn't have much other choice - as remember, I received no "truck-side" weatherpack 2-by-2 pigtail to go with the new Bosch unit.

Apparently, my OEM male pigtail connector had been replaced once, as it was already spliced into the main harness up about 6 inches or so. As previously stated, it was still the OEM flat 4 that was failure prone. Great. (Sense my sarcasm?)

Anyhow, with all that said, I put the pump in, put everything back together, and voila - almost NO pump pressure! In fact, even less than the Carter pump was putting out, as I checked it prior to removal, and it was doing about 20 psi. My new Bosch was doing roughly 10 psi! WTF?!?!

Ok, so get this... after a day of letting this go and stewing about this, I finally was able to figure out the problem. There was something eating at me about this whole thing, and also about how the pump originally failed. It didn't just stop, the truck died a bunch of times, and re-started each time. About a dozen or so, to be more precise... all in one day, while plowing snow. It finally just quit as the truck was being backed into my driveway at the end of the day. (How "lucky" was that?!)

Anyhow, back to what REALLY caused my fuel pump to fail. A BAD GROUND! YEAH, A BAD GROUND!!!! I was suspecting that all along! So guess what, my Carter fuel pump was FINE all along - Damnit!

One thing I noticed was that the stupid annoying door chime/beeper/buzzer thingy kept going off in the cab whenever I jumpered the fuel pump relay to make the pump run. Now, I KNOW that this was not normal, but I couldn't explain why it was doing it, so I didn't worry about it. Again, more on that coming up...

So I've got the Bosch pump in my tank, I have the fuel pump relay jumpered, and the pump is pumping about 10 psi. Shit. The stupid door chime beeper is sounding. WTF?!... Now what? Well, I noticed that the tail lights of the truck were on. Yep, JUST THE TAILLIGHTS, nothing else. Huh... WTF?! So, I went to the rear of the truck and disconnected the weatherpack connector to the tail lights. Guess what happened? The beeper stopped beeping, and the fuel pump stopped pumping! Ok, well that makes both NO sense, and yet, PERFECT sense! I just found my issue, and as previously stated, IT'S a BAD GROUND! The pump was getting it's ground by somehow backfeeding through my taillight circuit! Yeay!

I looked and looked and looked to try to figure out where the heck the ground wire went from the pump. Never did figure out to where it goes exactly, other than I do know it goes ultimately to a frame ground somewhere. The schematic in my somewhat "worthless" Haynes shop manual wasn't really much help.

Anyhow, the quick fix would have been to take the tank back down, cut the ground wire to the pump, splice a new wire to it, run it all the way up the frame rail to the negative on the battery, and be over it. BUT, I'm a friggen "anal perfectionist" and that wasn't going to suit me. I wanted to know what the hell was wrong with the frame ground, and more importantly, WHERE it was.

Needless to say, I kept searching... and I finally found it - well I'll be a son of a gun!

On the TOP of the RIGHT frame rail, up front, near the RIGHT FRONT wheel, just to the rear of the upper control arm (a-arm) of the front suspension there is a 5/16" self-tapping cap screw (bolt) that has 2 ground wires attached to it. They are the "bare" flat webbing mesh type ground wires, and are dinky trash. One goes from the frame to the sheet metal inner fender, and the other goes up behind the starter, under the RH exhaust manifold, and to the back of the engine somewhere (I think to a bolt on the back of the RH cylinder head).

My solution: Removed the 5/16" cap screw. (Uses a 1/2 socket or wrench.) Amazingly, it came right out, despite it looking like it was a rotted mess. I got a new bolt, cleaned up the frame rail rust with my die grinder and 2" surface grinding wheel (coarse 80 grit sand paper type) and installed a new ground wire. For $20 bucks, I bought a 5 foot long, 4 gauge ground wire with 3/8" eyelets on either end from my local Nu-Way Auto Parts store. Get the 5 footer, it's a smart choice.

Bolted it to the original grounding location on the RH frame rail with a new bolt, and coated it with grease to prevent any future rust and corrosion issues. Ran the new ground cable up the top of the frame rail, and zip-tied it to the existing wiring that is there for the starter cables and whatnot. Continued to run it up near the battery, and then looped it back to a 3/8" x 3/4" long brand new bolt that I installed to a perfect spot on a threaded hole on the lower backside of the alternator mounting bracket. MINT!

Turned the key on, and I got 62 psi out of my new Bosch fuel pump. Sweet.

Desired fuel pump pressure is supposed to be about 60-65 psi on these pumps.

Problem solved, truck starts and runs great.
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Old 02-13-2012, 02:42 PM   #65
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Re: Airtex Fuel Pumps - Buyer Beware

Amazing what a little determination & effort will do for a person that hunting a problem. Congratulations of finding & fixing the problem& not giving up.
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Old 02-13-2012, 03:52 PM   #66
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Re: Airtex Fuel Pumps - Buyer Beware

Wow, what a fiasco! Glad you found it. Just a couple of things to keep in mind when diagnosing low fuel pressure.... Always check voltage drop at the pump harness connector along with checking resistance of the ground wire, as part of your diagnosis before you condem the pump. High resistance in the pump circuits will kill a pump prematurely. The heavy duty body ground you installed was a great idea, that's what caused the issues with the door chime and taillights, and more than likely other things as well. The actual fuel pump ground goes to the vehicle frame fairly close to the tank, and ultimately goes through your new ground wire.

As for the pump connectors:



Almost all fuel pumps, even the cheezy aftermarket ones, (no name, Carter, Bosch, Airtex etc) should come with the new style connector in the box. The connector pigtail should always be soldered to the vehicle harness using rosin core solder and heat shrink tubing to insulate it. Crimp style connectors should never be used anywhere on a vehicle... corrosion will work its way between the wire and the insulation causing more problems.
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Old 02-13-2012, 05:30 PM   #67
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Re: Airtex Fuel Pumps - Buyer Beware

I've had the heads up on Airtex pumps for quite some time now so luckily I haven't installed any but I have replaced a few. They were reportedly 6 months to a year old. My local supplier wont carry them either as this problem has been going on for some years now and he says Airtex is in denial over their pumps. I've had the same problem with Napa pumps. I'd like to know who makes them. Never had a problem with AC Delco's. And as was said the tank is always full when they fail!
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Old 02-13-2012, 06:33 PM   #68
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Re: Airtex Fuel Pumps - Buyer Beware

Turbo-Diesel, Great Job! A big thanks for sharing, and above all else for listening and not buying the Airtex junk.
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Old 02-17-2012, 03:53 AM   #69
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Re: Airtex Fuel Pumps - Buyer Beware

@ old_master:
Listen, I hear ya on the soldering... really, I do. And, on rare occassion, I break out my soldering iron and such. However, I don't have time for all that nonsense most of the time.

I own a very good set of Gardner-Bender crimp tools (not the cheap crap most people have that just crush the connector flat at the crimp - those things are garbage), and I have never had any problems with a properly crimped butt-splice connection that has been correctly sealed up. Problem is, most people never do PROPER crimp connections, nor do they seal them up either.
Yes, you definitely still have to heat shrink wrap them after crimping them if they are exposed to the elements. If inside, such as in the cab/interior of a vehicle, well, it's really not critical to shrink wrap 'em.

I no longer use the expensive connectors that come with the shrink wrap already on them. You just ruin the shrink wrap when you crimp them, so they are pointless and very pricey. I've found that it's best to buy the shrink tubing at length, and cut it to fit your own for each wire crimp job. The hardest part is getting yourself into the habit of always putting the tubing over the wire BEFORE you crimp a new connector in place. LOL


BTW guys... I found that the "2-by-2 stacked" 4-pin connector, apparently the OEM original for my truck's fuel pump, IS still available. That also explains why my new Bosch fuel pump module came with that OEM style female connector on it, and no additional pigtail in the box, like most other pumps have included. Apparently every other manufacturer has switched to the new style "flat-4" plug harness, except Bosch?!

It sure would have been nice if ANYBODY would have told me about these things, but parts store guys nowadays are all pretty much just know-nothing counter-monkeys. I don't entirely blame them though. I more place the blame on the parts industry as a whole for not hiring good people, TRAINING them for the long haul, and then retaining them (by paying them well enough) for years to come.
It's really a sad world we live in nowadays. Any random dumbass works in a parts store now, and if they can scan your item's bar code and sell it to you - they're hired (for minimum wage). Looking up certain parts can turn into a fiasco... if it isn't in that magical box (we call it a computer), most of them can't (or won't) help you find what you need - as they're just too damned dense. But, I digress... Sorry for getting off topic.

So, back on topic:

In case you ever need to buy the truck-side fuel pump weather pack connectors:

The "OLD STYLE" factory OEM, 2-by-2, 4-pin CONNECTOR is a ACDelco P/N: PT2054 (GM P/N: 88988598)
They are stupid expensive, plan on shelling out around $50 bucks for one.
Oh, and a bit of interesting info on this connector is that they are also used with some Oxygen Sensors. This is good to know for obtaining used ones if need be!

The "NEWER STYLE", flat-4, 4-pin CONNECTOR is a heckuva lot cheaper, at only $12.99 at Advance Auto Parts. Comes with crimp-on connectors. Granted, it's an Airtex branded part. I looked at one, and it seems to be of decent enough quality to do its job well. The P/N is: WH3009.

Either way, don't forget your heat shrink wrap tubing and your good quality electrical tape!

Oh, and just to repeat application info... The truck I'm dealing with is a 1998 Chevy K1500 (1/2 ton 4x4) with the 4.3L V-6 engine. Odds are, this fuel pump fits a plethora of other Chevy's - I'm sure of that.
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Old 02-17-2012, 01:38 PM   #70
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Re: Airtex Fuel Pumps - Buyer Beware

From what I understand, the original 2x2 connectors were causing numerous problems even back on the original OEM Fuel pumps, and the flat 4 pin connectors were reported to be the GM fix. I am sure someone could even find the GM Service bulletins. That is why most all of the aftermarket pumps have now gone to the flat connector.

In any case, as you stated, most people don't invest in the good crimping tools or the good crimps. If you have these and they work for you, that is fantastic, however for the rest of us, Old Master is right on the soldering/heatshrink technique.
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Old 02-17-2012, 02:48 PM   #71
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Re: Airtex Fuel Pumps - Buyer Beware

OldMaster is correct, but few their be that like to do things the correct way. Many times they will get by with it, & that is OK, that is if they’re doing it on their own cars, & not being paid to fix a customers car. Customers cars should always be done the right way, & if you can't or refuse to do it the right way you should not take the job.

I recall several incident much like this in my truck driving days. One of them I was headed to the West Coast. Before pulling out of the year my alternator went out. I pulled into the shop & they replaced it. I pulled out that morning & all was well, that is till early the next morning, my lights started to go dim & the alternator was not putting out. I stopped in a shop out west of Tucson. The mechanic quickly found the problem. One of the ends had broken off while our mechanic changed the alternator out, he quickly crimped on a new connection, yet he did not do it properly, & this connection had burned out the new alternator. It worked for a while.

It would not have taken him over 5 minutes longer to do it the right way & we would not have burned out a new alternator & had a big shop bill in Arizona.

It always pays to do the job properly. Sometimes when the job is done sloppy, unlike me that early morning, you may not make it to a shop, but your left broken down in the middle of no where. And I know of several people that have been there, with them saying, “If I had only took a few more minutes doing the job properly.”

Some never learn.
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Old 02-17-2012, 03:23 PM   #72
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Re: Airtex Fuel Pumps - Buyer Beware

The main problem is the circuit was designed to use 18ga wire to supply the pump with amperage and ground. By itself, that's not a problem, but the contact surface of the terminals is so small, they can't supply the necessary amperage and ground to the pump. As a result, they overheat and melt the plastic connector, ultimately causing the terminals to pull away from each other and lose contact. The flat 4 jobbies use 14ga wire and the 14ga terminals have a larger surface area, a much better choice. However, if the splice connection to the vehicle harness is poor, all you've done is move the problem area from the plastic connector back to the splice.
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Old 02-18-2012, 12:35 PM   #73
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Re: Airtex Fuel Pumps - Buyer Beware

any EXTERIOR wires that are cut/spliced need be soldered and then using heat shrink tubing to protect the joint from chemical attack. you live where they use road de-icing you learn this quickly.

using crimp style lugs are good on the vehicle interior still using heat shrink to cover the joint protects the wire from damage and short circuits. then theres liquid tape. good product to make absolutely sure its sealed from chemicals.

ALARM installers use the wrong wire fasteners . these corrode and cause the wires to fail from overheating due to poor conduction of the fasteners they use.

when any power circuit is spliced like starters or alternators with high current these need be spliced and soldered. the wires must be cleaned properly and tinned before soldering. then protected with shrink tubing and tape .
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Old 02-18-2012, 03:25 PM   #74
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Re: Airtex Fuel Pumps - Buyer Beware

You are dead on right. The better the connection the lower the resistance, while the poorer the conection, the higher the resistance and more chance of melting, fire, fuse blowing, component failure, and all around general mayhem.
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Old 04-03-2012, 05:02 PM   #75
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Re: Airtex Fuel Pumps - Buyer Beware

I have a '98 Suburan with the 6.5 diesel. The fuel pump went out on it a while back, so I went and bought a replacement--an AirTex. This particular filter mounts on the frame rail and is easy to access, fortunately. After installing it, I primed the system and took it for a test drive. The truck died less than a mile down the road. After re-priming the fuel system I started it and.....died less than a mile down the road. Sometimes it would actually make it a full mile if lucky. It would idle in the driveway for 30 minutes, but as soon as it was under a load it would starve within a mile. I took it back to OhReally?'s, got it replaced under warranty and installed the new one. The truck started and ran, but had a "miss" when under a load. The next day we drove to church, 35 miles away and it made it all the way there, then 5 or 6 miles to our friends' home for Sunday dinner. On the 5 or 6 mile trip back to church in the evening it died twice but started again after a few minutes. When leaving church to go home it started but died before even pulling out of the parking spot. Long story short, it died several more times on the way home before finally curling up its toes for good. I tried to prime the fuel system but it had minimal pressure coming from the purge valve. After doing so the truck did start but died after idling for maybe 10-20 seconds. Looks like I get to take this one back for another one AGAIN.
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