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$2000 Later, Still Low Fuel Pressure


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DamselInDistress
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Nov 17, 2013, 8:09 PM

Post #1 of 39 (1848 views)
  post locked   $2000 Later, Still Low Fuel Pressure  

I have a 1995 Buick Riviera 3.8 Supercharged that I LOVE. Just drove from Arizona back to Missouri no problem. Then I arrive.

Lost pulley on Interstate and belt chewed to hell, then tranny slips out of nowhere and I am towed the next day and paying 1600 for that!

Starts stuttering like it needs fuel after the tranny, and then it stalls. Low fuel pressure indicates it's pump. UGH

Had this car for 5 years and she has been awesome!

I literally just moved here two weeks ago with money saved up to give me time to find a job....then this car depletes it all at once. I know this is horrible, but after the transmission expense I HAD to find a "cheap mechanic" to throw the pump in for me. I called a "mobile mechanic" who would do it for a hundred bucks, since all my other money was GONE....I went on a prayer. Fail! :(

Since the new pump (and filter) I immediately was smelling fuel. Not the spilled kind of fuel, the kind where you just know it's not right, the odor gets stronger in the car the more you drive. Was still sputtering on occasion, and then started to stall again. (sigh)

I am just really desperate for help, not lectures please. I am texting "mechanic" who of course isn't interested in responding now, but it happened with him and I am certain the problem is on "the pressure side." As my very helpful brother (the mechanic) in Arizona said.

He said I am not visibly seeing fuel because it is leaking onto the fuel tank and burning up before it hits the ground. With the cars symptoms it makes sense, but what I need is to somehow narrow down where to even look for the source of the problem. A way to test the lines....and where would I find them?

I have a lot of common sense, and for a chick I am totally not afraid to get in and get dirty. I just need some direction narrowed down a bit more so I can begin to know how to go about finding the solution. I simply can not pull money from a dry source....and this source is pretty damn dry! Thanks!

Problem in short, fuel pressure is still low causing it to sputter and ultimately stall out, but it can drive for miles without doing that. It is losing fuel as well, thinking it was something that could have been damaged and is the cause for both problems???

Pam


Discretesignals
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Nov 17, 2013, 9:37 PM

Post #2 of 39 (1836 views)
  post locked   Re: $2000 Later, Still Low Fuel Pressure  


Quote
Since the new pump (and filter) I immediately was smelling fuel. Not the spilled kind of fuel, the kind where you just know it's not right, the odor gets stronger in the car the more you drive.


Not sure what you mean by this. Are you smelling fuel vapors...like you would get if you smell raw gas? If there is a fuel leak, normally you will see it. If you smell fuel vapors, but don't see any fuel dipping out, you could have something above the level of the fuel in the tank allowing fuel vapors to escape, such as bad pump seal, rusted filler pipe, broken vapor line in evaporative emissions system, etc. If you didn't have that smell before the fuel pump replacement, it is good bet the mechanic forgot something or messed something up.

The fuel smell definitely needs to be resolved because that is something that can turn your car into a fireball.





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(This post was edited by Discretesignals on Nov 17, 2013, 9:39 PM)


Hammer Time
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Nov 18, 2013, 3:38 AM

Post #3 of 39 (1830 views)
  post locked   Re: $2000 Later, Still Low Fuel Pressure  

Sounds like your idea to save money actually cost you more money because now you are going to have to pay someone not only to find out what he messed up to cause the like but find out what the actual problem was in the first place because apparently the pump didn't correct anything.



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DamselInDistress
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Nov 18, 2013, 8:12 AM

Post #4 of 39 (1821 views)
  post locked   Re: $2000 Later, Still Low Fuel Pressure  

Yeah...I get that. My idea to "save money cost money". Super helpful! When you have none left, and none coming in...you just gotta take a chance sometimes.

It was and is still the pump, when I get the pump in correctly....the problem will be fixed. This much I know. :)


DamselInDistress
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Nov 18, 2013, 8:22 AM

Post #5 of 39 (1816 views)
  post locked   Re: $2000 Later, Still Low Fuel Pressure  

The fuel smell began only after he put the pump in, and I couldn't agree more that it is a major hazard. I did drive it short distances after the work was done, mostly trying to determine if the gas smell was from a spill, or if it was leaking. What I learned is this...

I let the car air out yesterday, and I also tried a few things myself. My battery and relays are under the back seat. I cleaned the car thoroughly and all gas smell was gone from it. There is no odor in the trunk where he obviously did the work, none from the engine, and not once have I been able to catch any fuel coming from underneath.

When I pulled the seat, the odor was there...which is why it is so strong inside the car. So I put a new relay in (hopeful), and reset the computer by unhooking the battery for awhile.

I took it around the corner, and here comes the fuel smell. The more I drive, the more it becomes stronger.

If it is a seal that didn't "seal", could this also cause the reason for the occasional stall as well. I mean would it be losing some pressure there with the fuel?

Thanks much!


Hammer Time
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Nov 18, 2013, 9:03 AM

Post #6 of 39 (1806 views)
  post locked   Re: $2000 Later, Still Low Fuel Pressure  


Quote
It was and is still the pump, when I get the pump in correctly....the problem will be fixed. This much I know. :)


Oh really? What data did you use to come to that conclusion?



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We offer help in answering questions, clarifying things or giving advice but we are not a substitute for an on-site inspection by a professional.



DamselInDistress
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Nov 18, 2013, 9:45 AM

Post #7 of 39 (1801 views)
  post locked   Re: $2000 Later, Still Low Fuel Pressure  


In Reply To

Quote
It was and is still the pump, when I get the pump in correctly....the problem will be fixed. This much I know. :)


Oh really? What data did you use to come to that conclusion?


Look, I didn't come here looking for confrontations...just a solution after two weeks of HELL. So far you have offered up nothing of value. I get it! Not everyone has to help nor would I expect it. But continuing to rub salt in the wound is pretty low for someone who is an expert/moderator.

Prior to changing anything I did use a pressure gauge to physically see my psi was only at about 37 when idling, and only drops with acceleration. I know my psi should be around 55. There's my sign.

I changed the filter hoping for once that it may be something "easy" (God forbid)...filter was clear, psi didn't increase...problem didn't go away. For the record, pump that came out was original, yea...170,000 miles, safe to say it may be ready.

New pump offers "better" running, less stalling and sputtering, most likely not sealed correctly. Hence burning fuel and occasional stalling, but runs damn great for a few miles before the low pressure really kicks in. (and that pesky fuel leak)

I have the utmost respect for "great mechanics" they are truly hard to come by. (obviously) My pocket simply doesn't allow for it. If I had someone who I could "trust" to just go in and "fix what needs to be fixed", I would consider it. What I don't need is some fancy equipment combined with some fancy fee's to tell me that my fuel pump isn't sealed correctly or there's a leak in this line or that one.

Fuel pressure, good old fashioned fuel pressure makes the car go. If it doesn't have that, it's fuel related. Simple. The pump was replaced which resulted in better pressure, but a loss of fuel when running....it's related to the pump.

Could be bad seal, could be hole in line, could even be a bad pump.....but most definitely a fuel pump related problem. Tada, data!


Hammer Time
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Nov 18, 2013, 10:05 AM

Post #8 of 39 (1797 views)
  post locked   Re: $2000 Later, Still Low Fuel Pressure  


Quote
Since the new pump (and filter) I immediately was smelling fuel. Not the spilled kind of fuel, the kind where you just know it's not right, the odor gets stronger in the car the more you drive. Was still sputtering on occasion, and then started to stall again. (sigh)



You installed a new fuel pump and now you still have the same issue and a new leak.

That's a pretty strong indicator that the pump wasn't actually the problem. I don't see anywhere that you took fuel pressure readings again and found the pressure to be normal. Granted the guy may have caused a leak but the symptoms didn't change. That's really looking like a bad diagnosis.



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DamselInDistress
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Nov 18, 2013, 4:00 PM

Post #9 of 39 (1785 views)
  post locked   Re: $2000 Later, Still Low Fuel Pressure  


In Reply To

Quote
Since the new pump (and filter) I immediately was smelling fuel. Not the spilled kind of fuel, the kind where you just know it's not right, the odor gets stronger in the car the more you drive. Was still sputtering on occasion, and then started to stall again. (sigh)



You installed a new fuel pump and now you still have the same issue and a new leak.

That's a pretty strong indicator that the pump wasn't actually the problem. I don't see anywhere that you took fuel pressure readings again and found the pressure to be normal. Granted the guy may have caused a leak but the symptoms didn't change. That's really looking like a bad diagnosis.


The car is fixed (Thank You GOD)! Went out this morning and took the access panel off only to see the metal ring barely even had the pump mounted. Ugh Took the bracket off to pull the pump out, and there was no seal to check. Now I may be "a girl", but pretty sure this could indicate that...oh, I dunno...a bad seal maybe! lol

Went to the part store to try and get an o-ring for the base where I am quite certain I was losing fuel as it was bouncing down the road. (amazing how a plan can come together) They didn't have one, figured this new pump should have came with one I decided to search the garage, viola...there it was resting comfortably on the ground. Nice 1/4 inch thick never before used rubber seal.

Needless to say, never was a bad diagnosis, thank God I didn't pay more for "another bad diagnosis"

I let the car idle for about twenty minutes before a nice long test drive. No fuel smell in the car, no loss of pressure, and no stalling! Wink

Thank you to all who did "try to help."


Hammer Time
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Nov 18, 2013, 4:12 PM

Post #10 of 39 (1781 views)
  post locked   Re: $2000 Later, Still Low Fuel Pressure  


Quote
Took the bracket off to pull the pump out, and there was no seal to check. Now I may be "a girl", but pretty sure this could indicate that...oh, I dunno...a bad seal maybe! lol




Quote
Needless to say, never was a bad diagnosis, thank God I didn't pay more for "another bad diagnosis"




You may have found your fuel leak which a blind man/women could have anticipated and found but I assure you that gasket had absolutely nothing to do with performance issues or fuel pressure so you probably want to tone down your sarcasm because you're really looking foolish with those comments.



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We offer help in answering questions, clarifying things or giving advice but we are not a substitute for an on-site inspection by a professional.



Tom Greenleaf
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Nov 18, 2013, 4:19 PM

Post #11 of 39 (1780 views)
  post locked   Re: $2000 Later, Still Low Fuel Pressure  

Was following this. Can't argue with success and glad you found it. This "mobile mechanic" even if misdiagnosed totally messed up if you found the new gasket on the ground/floor where pump was replaced. No clue how that was overlooked.

Sorry this all cost so much most of which was that tow!

T



Discretesignals
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Nov 18, 2013, 5:35 PM

Post #12 of 39 (1768 views)
  post locked   Re: $2000 Later, Still Low Fuel Pressure  

If I was there, I would of punched that wanna be mechanic in the face. Then I would take the money you gave him and give it back to you. People like that gives us honest and good mechanics a bad name.





Since we volunteer our time and knowledge, we ask for you to please follow up when a problem is resolved.


DamselInDistress
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Nov 18, 2013, 5:36 PM

Post #13 of 39 (1766 views)
  post locked   Re: $2000 Later, Still Low Fuel Pressure  


In Reply To
If I was there, I would of punched that wanna be mechanic in the face. Then I would take the money you gave him and give it back to you. People like that gives us honest and good mechanics a bad name.


It was a pretty bad oversight! Lol


DamselInDistress
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Nov 18, 2013, 5:38 PM

Post #14 of 39 (1762 views)
  post locked   Re: $2000 Later, Still Low Fuel Pressure  


In Reply To
Was following this. Can't argue with success and glad you found it. This "mobile mechanic" even if misdiagnosed totally messed up if you found the new gasket on the ground/floor where pump was replaced. No clue how that was overlooked.

Sorry this all cost so much most of which was that tow!

T


Thanks T, this past couple weeks have been rough...but it's all good! Maybe this will all be a blessing to someone else one day. Wink


Discretesignals
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Nov 18, 2013, 5:40 PM

Post #15 of 39 (1759 views)
  post locked   Re: $2000 Later, Still Low Fuel Pressure  

Wonder what else he F'd up. Was there a strainer on the bottom of the pump?





Since we volunteer our time and knowledge, we ask for you to please follow up when a problem is resolved.


DamselInDistress
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Nov 18, 2013, 5:48 PM

Post #16 of 39 (1757 views)
  post locked   Re: $2000 Later, Still Low Fuel Pressure  


In Reply To

Quote
Took the bracket off to pull the pump out, and there was no seal to check. Now I may be "a girl", but pretty sure this could indicate that...oh, I dunno...a bad seal maybe! lol




Quote
Needless to say, never was a bad diagnosis, thank God I didn't pay more for "another bad diagnosis"




You may have found your fuel leak which a blind man/women could have anticipated and found but I assure you that gasket had absolutely nothing to do with performance issues or fuel pressure so you probably want to tone down your sarcasm because you're really looking foolish with those comments.


I came back to this comment to "own that accusation." Sarcasm is a character trait I try very hard not to engage in as it's wrong. Words (especially mine at times) can be as harmful as a weapon and I should not have "reacted" and do hope I act better in the future.

That said, I hope maybe that we both walk away with something from it. (no sarcasm intended) These past weeks have been something I wouldn't wish upon anyone. Had I known then what I know now, I would have done the job myself and saved all the money and aggravation. But from your original response, everything I heard from you seemed quite "condescending", and for me....that was the last thing I was hoping for on this forum. I just needed some help, not hearing the words "I told you so" spoken in so many different ways.

But regardless, today life is all about learning for me...and the sarcasm is not what I wish to be remembered for. I assure you, there are still issues with the car and plenty of humility in my future. I just needed to get her back on the road so I can get a job and begin to put one foot in front of the other again.

I was wrong and I am sorry for that.

PamBlush


DamselInDistress
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Nov 18, 2013, 5:50 PM

Post #17 of 39 (1753 views)
  post locked   Re: $2000 Later, Still Low Fuel Pressure  


In Reply To
Wonder what else he F'd up. Was there a strainer on the bottom of the pump?


Lol, YES, yes it was. Thank God that was the ONLY job I had him do, and I assure you....the only one he ever will.


Discretesignals
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Nov 18, 2013, 5:53 PM

Post #18 of 39 (1748 views)
  post locked   Re: $2000 Later, Still Low Fuel Pressure  

Sarcasm? You really don't know HT that well...LOL





Since we volunteer our time and knowledge, we ask for you to please follow up when a problem is resolved.


Hammer Time
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Nov 18, 2013, 5:56 PM

Post #19 of 39 (1747 views)
  post locked   Re: $2000 Later, Still Low Fuel Pressure  

Thank you. I appreciate the honesty. I'm aware I rub people the wrong way sometimes. I honed in on your original statement of how the symptoms had not changed in addition to the new problem. I could see that you hadn't been thorough enough and may have jumped to an incorrect conclusion about the pump. I still don't know if the pressure came up or not with the new pump. If you still have issues and want to troubleshoot them further, feel free to start a new question on that.



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We offer help in answering questions, clarifying things or giving advice but we are not a substitute for an on-site inspection by a professional.



Discretesignals
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Nov 18, 2013, 6:00 PM

Post #20 of 39 (1741 views)
  post locked   Re: $2000 Later, Still Low Fuel Pressure  




Did I just read that right? This is a MIRACLE!!!! j/k





Since we volunteer our time and knowledge, we ask for you to please follow up when a problem is resolved.


Hammer Time
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Nov 18, 2013, 6:03 PM

Post #21 of 39 (1739 views)
  post locked   Re: $2000 Later, Still Low Fuel Pressure  

Hahaha..................... I expected comments from the peanut gallery.



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We offer help in answering questions, clarifying things or giving advice but we are not a substitute for an on-site inspection by a professional.



DamselInDistress
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Nov 18, 2013, 6:07 PM

Post #22 of 39 (1737 views)
  post locked   Re: $2000 Later, Still Low Fuel Pressure  


In Reply To
Thank you. I appreciate the honesty. I'm aware I rub people the wrong way sometimes. I honed in on your original statement of how the symptoms had not changed in addition to the new problem. I could see that you hadn't been thorough enough and may have jumped to an incorrect conclusion about the pump. I still don't know if the pressure came up or not with the new pump. If you still have issues and want to troubleshoot them further, feel free to start a new question on that.


Thanks...really!
Would love to give a new psi, but the gauge I was using from O'Reilly stopped working, it wasn't registering any pressure at all...while it was running. Lol
Test drive was about ten miles or so and up to 70mph. She feels better (I can feel more power) and she didn't stall (which was huge at this point), but honestly there was two times she very mildly "sputtered", but nothing like before.

So there is some truth to the seal not being the entire answer, but at least she's drivable now. I do know she needs a tune-up badly, just literally down to nothing right now financially. When money changes I will start with plugs and wires, if she's not totally tip top after that, move onto vacuum leaks or whatever else. Lol This WILL be done at a shop with proper diagnosis. Wink


Hammer Time
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Nov 18, 2013, 6:10 PM

Post #23 of 39 (1733 views)
  post locked   Re: $2000 Later, Still Low Fuel Pressure  

The seals job is to keep the fuel inside the tank but it has no bearing on the fuel pressure. The pump will maintain pressure as long as it is submerged in fuel.



~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

We offer help in answering questions, clarifying things or giving advice but we are not a substitute for an on-site inspection by a professional.



DamselInDistress
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Nov 18, 2013, 6:21 PM

Post #24 of 39 (1728 views)
  post locked   Re: $2000 Later, Still Low Fuel Pressure  


In Reply To
The seals job is to keep the fuel inside the tank but it has no bearing on the fuel pressure. The pump will maintain pressure as long as it is submerged in fuel.


Hmmm, not sure what to say to that, kind of depressing that it may not be ok after all. :( I mean, the leaking fuel thing after the new pump was pretty darn scary, so grateful that's resolved. Just hope she doesn't start stalling again on me, cause she was stalling yesterday every time I took her for a much shorter test drive. Today she didn't, and although I made it a point to hit higher speeds...not going to lie here, I was still a bit "gun-shy" about opening her up on the Interstate. Just needed one "happy ending." Lol


Hammer Time
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
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Nov 18, 2013, 6:24 PM

Post #25 of 39 (1723 views)
  post locked   Re: $2000 Later, Still Low Fuel Pressure  

You really need to take a fuel pressure reading somehow. Autozone has a tool loaner program if you live near one.



~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

We offer help in answering questions, clarifying things or giving advice but we are not a substitute for an on-site inspection by a professional.







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