Fuel pump test plug

Tiny
ANGELA GREEN
  • MEMBER
  • 1989 CHEVROLET CELEBRITY
  • 2.8L
  • V6
  • 4WD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 105,000 MILES
A few days ago, our car started to act up. It started shaking, especially when going uphill. Then, it started to stall when slowing to a stop. Eventually, it quit running, and the engine refused to crank. Now, it will not start. When we try to start it, we cannot hear the fuel pump hum.

How do you use the fuel pump test plug?
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Sunday, August 27th, 2017 AT 9:17 AM

5 Replies

Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
If the engine won't crank, you have other issues. You need the starter to work before you need the fuel pump. Your description of the symptoms suggests the battery is run down due to a failed charging system. First measure the battery voltage. It should be close to 12.6 volts. If it is closer to 12.2 volts, it is okay, but dead, and needs to be charged at a slow rate for an hour or two. See what happens after that.

If the engine starts after charging the battery, measure the battery voltage again while the engine is running. It must be between 13.75 and 14.75 volts. If it is low, we'll need to discuss the next step.
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Tuesday, August 29th, 2017 AT 11:10 PM
Tiny
ANGELA GREEN
  • MEMBER
Thanks for your reply. The issue is the starter works, and the battery tests between 12.2 and 12.6 volts
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Wednesday, August 30th, 2017 AT 1:35 PM
Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
12.2 volts means the battery is dead.
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Thursday, August 31st, 2017 AT 6:04 PM
Tiny
ANGELA GREEN
  • MEMBER
What I meant to say is that the battery tests within range both running and cold. Sorry for the confusion
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Saturday, September 2nd, 2017 AT 3:41 AM
Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
If you found between 13.75 and 14.75 volts with the engine running, that only means it is okay to do the rest of the tests. That requires a professional load tester to measure "full-load output current", and "ripple voltage". A common problem is one failed internal diode of the six. That will limit output current to exactly one third of the generator's maximum rated current. 30 amps from the common 90-amp generator is not enough to meet the demands of the entire electrical system under all conditions. The battery will have to make up the difference until it slowly runs down over days or weeks. With a bad diode, battery voltage will still be within 13.75 and 14.75 volts, and it may even a little too high.

GM fuel pumps do typically fail while the engine is running, however, when that causes the engine to stall, it will still crank just fine. You observed you couldn't hear the hum of the fuel pump when you turn on the ignition switch. That's a dandy clue, and it agrees with the rough running engine, but when you include the failure of the starter to crank the engine, that is not fuel pump-related. That points all the clues to the generator. Charge the battery at a slow rate for an hour or two, then see if the starter works.

Most recently you said the starter does crank the engine. Is that after charging the battery? If you still don't hear the fuel pump run for one second when you turn on the ignition switch, that becomes the best suspect.
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Saturday, September 2nd, 2017 AT 4:16 AM

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