: Fuel pump dead, 800 miles from home



jey
05-31-10, 12:53 PM
Took the 93 Fleetwood Brougham on a regular road trip and 800 miles into it the fuel pump died on the Interstate. Fortunately I was driving right through Temple, TX so it only had to get towed 1 exit down to Garland Shelton Cadillac.

They've already looked at it today and determined the fuel pump/sending unit needs replacing so they're proposing that along with the filter, strainer, and o-ring. I'm the type of person that always tries to do the job right and this looks like the thorough service procedure that I would do if I did it myself (but obviously 800 miles away someone else is going to have to do it) - considering the whole sending unit is like a $340 part the total estimate of $1170.50 sounds reasonable, though thoughts are appreciated. (From what I understand this is a PITA, whole tank has to be dropped, etc.)

I'm pretty much at my place of destination so it's not an emergency but when I move along the car's gotta get me back home reliably, plus this is our car that we take on road trips, so I want to make sure it's done right.

csbuckn
05-31-10, 02:43 PM
Temple? I'm from killeen, you going there? I think the price is a bit much, maybe they will price match if you bring in a quote.

HUF
05-31-10, 03:12 PM
Took the 93 Fleetwood Brougham on a regular road trip and 800 miles into it the fuel pump died on the Interstate. Fortunately I was driving right through Temple, TX so it only had to get towed 1 exit down to Garland Shelton Cadillac.

They've already looked at it today and determined the fuel pump/sending unit needs replacing so they're proposing that along with the filter, strainer, and o-ring. I'm the type of person that always tries to do the job right and this looks like the thorough service procedure that I would do if I did it myself (but obviously 800 miles away someone else is going to have to do it) - considering the whole sending unit is like a $340 part the total estimate of $1170.50 sounds reasonable, though thoughts are appreciated. (From what I understand this is a PITA, whole tank has to be dropped, etc.)

I'm pretty much at my place of destination so it's not an emergency but when I move along the car's gotta get me back home reliably, plus this is our car that we take on road trips, so I want to make sure it's done right.
Well, it is not $340 for them. Even so, $830 for fuel pump replacement? It is a PITA to do in your driveway, but not in the shop with a lift. Get a second, third quote.

Benzilla
05-31-10, 03:18 PM
Geeze, is a '93 Fleetwood a lot harder to work on than a '79 Deville? I replaced my fuel pump in my driveway, without as much as ramps. All I paid was about $45 for the pump & about two hours of work. And I'm not a mechanic by any stretch of the imagination. Granded, I didn't touch the sending unit. But still, how much are they charging you for the fuel pump/installation alone?

edit: oh, is the fuel pump in the tank on these? That would explain it then...

jey
05-31-10, 03:50 PM
I'm in Austin - I might just call around and get a quote, I have plenty of time so that is good advice - thanks!

jayoldschool
05-31-10, 06:16 PM
The part is under $100, and I paid 200 labour when mine went on my Roadmaster in the middle of winter. I would have done it myself but I was half way to work. So, I walked to the parts store, and had the tow truck pick me up there.

Get it out of the dealership. Either do it yourself in the parts store parking lot (easy), or take it to a small garage. Bring the part in with you, since a warranty won't matter.

To do it yourself, all you need is a ratchet set, some pliers, screwdrivers and a sturdy box like a milk crate to drop the tank onto. You don't even need to drain it.

jey
05-31-10, 07:20 PM
Update: I called Don Ringler Chevrolet a few miles down and they quoted ~$300-600 depending on whether they end up having to do just the pump or the whole sending unit. That's HALF what Garland Shelton wants. Called Garland Shelton back to ask for the full break down. Angie tells me that for them to order the parts from GM it's costing them $780. I didn't write down the line by line but one of them was $30 for a FUEL FILTER. Completely unreal, I can get all that for $340 at Autozone.

At this point it looks like my best option is to get it towed down to Don Ringler and have them do it. Garland Shelton of course is slapping a $95 diagnostic fee, probably for turning the key and trying to start it and saying the fuel pump is bad, which I already knew. All I got to say is, seems like towing it there is total FAIL. Angie could provide no explanation as to why the Don Ringler's parts are half the price of the ones at Garland Shelton, even though she claims "all GM dealers are bound to these prices".

I don't mind paying to do it right (replacing the filter and strainer at the same time as the pump, etc.) but $780 for the parts is outrageous. I'm starting to think they're ripping me off but then I went to gmpartsdirect.com and sure enough the GM sender assembly plus pump is $650 MSRP. Geez, is the OEM unit really that much better?

I'm looking at an "Airtex" fuel pump and sending unit kit at Autozone/Advance Auto for $340 - includes the strainer and O-ring. Anyone have any experience with this one?

jayoldschool
05-31-10, 08:00 PM
There is no reason to replace the sender unless it is leaking/rusted out/broken. Was your gas gauge working? Was gas leaking? If the answers are yes to the first and no to the second, no need to replace the sender. Just throw a pump and harness (comes with the pump) in it and drive home.

scurling
06-02-10, 12:42 AM
Jey:
Of course they are going to recommend replacing the sending unit. That increases the parts price three fold. If you have an accurate fuel gauge, that's just wasted money IMO. I know being on the road is often a tough spot, putting you at the mercy of the mechanic, but that is a lot of money. I'm sure they are quoting a rated job price at the dealer, but if you have to get it done there, really try to negotiate them down a few hundred.

I changed my pump in my '94 Fltwd in about three hours, including about five gal of gas draining, and I'm very slow and methodical in my work. Two bolts to drop the tank, disconnect the 3 fuel lines, (in, out, and canister vent I think), then open the tank access which is the top of the sending unit assembly, install the pump, and reassemble.

Good luck, hope all works out.

Hey, just read all the entries with your update. Don't have experience with the Airtex, but I've seen one and that's probably what I'll by when I do my '94 again. The replacement pump I installed about three years ago is showing signs of a leaky check valve.

jey
06-02-10, 11:10 AM
Thanks everyone. My gas gauge is extremely accurate - best one I've ever had in any vehicle. I called Garland Shelton and they acknowledged the sending unit replacement is more a preventative item, but for $500 I said I'll pass unless they show me that it all of a sudden sprung a leak or something. They were happy to proceed this way so I think we're good.

jayoldschool
06-02-10, 02:33 PM
Nice. Aren't you glad you posted? :D

jey
06-04-10, 09:17 PM
You bet, I love this forum. Angie was trying to scare me saying "hopefully your sending unit will last" but we're cool, I took a road trip with it today.

hueterm
06-08-10, 10:54 PM
Apparently for my Concours the pump and sending unit was a combined unit -- even at my corner garage it was about $600 -- my dealer wanted $800.

scurling
06-09-10, 03:06 PM
There are a lot of good secondhand units on the market, but the problem we have (Fleetwood owners) is the '94 models especially had a sending unit problem, so you never know if the a salvage unit has the same problem as the one you are replacing. That's why I'll go with the Airtex unit if I ever need another pump replacement.

outsider
06-09-10, 04:36 PM
Scurling, I think someone here posted a link in one of my topics on how to repair the sending unit problem. looked pretty easy. Let me see if I can find you the link.

EDIT:

http://www.impalassforum.com/vBulletin/showthread.php?p=2217087#post2217087

There's the link, posted by jayoldschool.