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'99 Pontiac Grand Am SE 2.4L New Fuel Pump Won't Start Car


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Versa09
User

May 27, 2021, 2:22 PM

Post #1 of 20 (515 views)
'99 Pontiac Grand Am SE 2.4L New Fuel Pump Won't Start Car Sign In

'99 Pontiac Grand Am SE
2.4L, 130K miles, 100% stock

First, apologies for double-posting this to the Pontiac forums also, but I'm kinda working against the clock on this one...

My trusty old Grand Am stranded me at the grocery store earlier in the week. It cranked just fine but never even tried to start. After waiting several minutes it did finally start. No trouble codes were thrown and my mechanic said it had to be a fuel pump so he replaced the fuel pump yesterday, after which the car wouldn't start. They fussed with it a bit and got it to start, but it stranded me 20 minutes later. Happily, they'd shown me how to prime whatever serves for a carb on this engine so I hit the intake with some starter fluid, got it running, and drove it back to the shop.

The mechanic said the pump wasn't producing enough pressure so he ordered another brand and installed a second pump today (the car started fine today). After the pump was replaced, I had exactly the same situation... got stranded, got it running with starter fluid, drove back to the shop and the mechanic said the pumps weren't producing enough pressure to start the car and apparently, no other pumps (including genuine GM) are available due to the age of the vehicle (22 yrs)... also because Covid apparently wrecked the aftermarket market. Anyhoo...

I trust this mechanic but nobody can know everything... does this situation sound familiar to anyone? It seems more than odd that two different aftermarket fuel pumps would fail to start this car. It also seems odd that the two new aftermarket fuel pumps are having exactly the same problem that the original pump had in the first place, i.e. cranks, but no start.

Anyone have any thoughts for me?
-
1999 Pontiac Grand Am SE, 2.4 L
130K miles


Hammer Time
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Hammer Time profile image

May 27, 2021, 2:55 PM

Post #2 of 20 (511 views)
Re: '99 Pontiac Grand Am SE 2.4L New Fuel Pump Won't Start Car Sign In


Quote
I trust this mechanic but nobody can know everything... does this situation sound familiar to anyone? It seems more than odd that two different aftermarket fuel pumps would fail to start this car. It also seems odd that the two new aftermarket fuel pumps are having exactly the same problem that the original pump had in the first place, i.e. cranks, but no start.


When people charge for their knowledge, then they do need to know what they are doing. All these other possibilities should have been checked before charging you for a new fuel pump. The fuel pressure should have been verified before it ever left his shop. There are any number of possible causes, mostly electrical. You can have too much resistance anywhere in the circuit. They do have a known problem with the plug right at the fuel pump. He is pretty much full of crap when he tells you there are no parts available. Covid has become a convenient excuse for anyone that can't deliver.



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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.



Versa09
User

May 27, 2021, 4:17 PM

Post #3 of 20 (494 views)
Re: '99 Pontiac Grand Am SE 2.4L New Fuel Pump Won't Start Car Sign In


In Reply To
All these other possibilities should have been checked before charging you for a new fuel pump. The fuel pressure should have been verified before it ever left his shop. There are any number of possible causes, mostly electrical. You can have too much resistance anywhere in the circuit. They do have a known problem with the plug right at the fuel pump


I did read the cranks/no start sticky and those tests are a bit beyond me, but since the problem has survived three fuel pumps and since the engine starts with a shot of starter fluid in the intake, does that narrow things down at all?

Also, "the plug right at the fuel pump" - the pump's in the fuel tank so are we talking about an elctrical plug?
-
1999 Pontiac Grand Am SE, 2.4 L
130K miles


Hammer Time
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Hammer Time profile image

May 27, 2021, 4:34 PM

Post #4 of 20 (492 views)
Re: '99 Pontiac Grand Am SE 2.4L New Fuel Pump Won't Start Car Sign In

The plug is on the outside of the tank. Most aftermarket fuel pumps come with a new one.




Quote
ut since the problem has survived three fuel pumps and since the engine starts with a shot of starter fluid in the intake, does that narrow things down at all?


No closer than you are right now. You already know it is a fuel supply problem. You just haven't found the actual reason.

A tech with some electrical knowledge should be able to isolate the problem.



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

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.



Versa09
User

May 27, 2021, 5:32 PM

Post #5 of 20 (483 views)
Re: '99 Pontiac Grand Am SE 2.4L New Fuel Pump Won't Start Car Sign In

10-4. Thanks Hammer Time!
-
1999 Pontiac Grand Am SE, 2.4 L
130K miles


Versa09
User

Jun 14, 2021, 9:49 AM

Post #6 of 20 (394 views)
Re: '99 Pontiac Grand Am SE 2.4L New Fuel Pump Won't Start Car Sign In


In Reply To

Quote
... You already know it is a fuel supply problem. You just haven't found the actual reason.

A tech with some electrical knowledge should be able to isolate the problem.

Quote


The mechanic refunded the fuel pump last week and I'm pondering my next step. Being a single retiree in a rural area means there aren't a lot of great choices for engine work (beyond a couple of GM dealerships) and having little cash and no nearby friends to call on for rides, etc., I want to do my homework before deciding on a course of action.

One thing I want to research is his statement that the available fuel pumps don't provide enough pressure for my car (they provide 48-50 psi). He says there are two versions of my engine ('99 Pontiac 2.4L) and that with an EGR, 48-50 psi is adequate). My engine version apparently doesn't have an EGR and requires ~55 psi, but he was unable to find a 55psi pump for my engine, saying that the only pumps available only provide 48-50 psi.

Does anyone know if that's true about there being two versions of my engine and different fuel pumps for each version? If so, how would I go about finding the part number and researching the availability of the fuel pump I need?
-
1999 Pontiac Grand Am SE, 2.4 L
130K miles

(This post was edited by Versa09 on Jun 14, 2021, 9:53 AM)


Hammer Time
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Hammer Time profile image

Jun 14, 2021, 10:01 AM

Post #7 of 20 (383 views)
Re: '99 Pontiac Grand Am SE 2.4L New Fuel Pump Won't Start Car Sign In

There is a difference in the fuel pressure for two situations but they would still use the same pump, just different regulators. The pressure is read with key on, engine off. When you start the engine, the pressure will drop some due to the regulator. The pump is capable of far more than the running pressure. Even if it only had 48-50, it should not cause the problems you are having.




FUEL PUMP PRESSURE
With the ignition switch "ON" and the fuel pump "RUNNING", the fuel pressure indicated by the fuel pressure gage should be:
With EGR .................... 284-325 kPa (41-47 psi).
Without EGR .................... 358-405 kPa (52-58 psi).

I assume you have already replaced the fuel filter.



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

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.



(This post was edited by Hammer Time on Jun 14, 2021, 10:12 AM)


Versa09
User

Jun 14, 2021, 3:22 PM

Post #8 of 20 (371 views)
Re: '99 Pontiac Grand Am SE 2.4L New Fuel Pump Won't Start Car Sign In


In Reply To
I assume you have already replaced the fuel filter.


Thanks much for that info on the pump & regulator. I didn't think I had the chops to DIY this issue but the more I learn, the more I think I might be able to figure out how to do the troubleshooting you're suggesting (and I really appreciate your help).

I haven't replaced the fuel filter yet (wasn't planning to DIY) but that would be a great next step. I'm considering whether I can safely jack the car up to crawl under it (it's all dirt out here, no concrete), or I might just pay someone to do it for me. I'll update the thread with the results once it's done.
-
1999 Pontiac Grand Am SE, 2.4 L
130K miles


Hammer Time
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Hammer Time profile image

Jun 14, 2021, 3:29 PM

Post #9 of 20 (369 views)
Re: '99 Pontiac Grand Am SE 2.4L New Fuel Pump Won't Start Car Sign In

You will likely need a special tool to remove the line on the filter.



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

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.



Versa09
User

Jun 14, 2021, 3:55 PM

Post #10 of 20 (364 views)
Re: '99 Pontiac Grand Am SE 2.4L New Fuel Pump Won't Start Car Sign In


In Reply To
You will likely need a special tool to remove the line on the filter.


One of these guys? https://amzn.to/3gogmkx (I gave up trying to figure out how to post an image).
-
1999 Pontiac Grand Am SE, 2.4 L
130K miles

(This post was edited by Versa09 on Jun 14, 2021, 3:56 PM)


Hammer Time
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Hammer Time profile image

Jun 14, 2021, 3:59 PM

Post #11 of 20 (360 views)
Re: '99 Pontiac Grand Am SE 2.4L New Fuel Pump Won't Start Car Sign In

Yes, that's one of the types. Not sure which type fitting you will have.

Posting pictures is not hard.

http://autoforums.carjunky.com/...LOAD_PHOTOS_P151389/



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

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.



Hammer Time
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Hammer Time profile image

Jun 14, 2021, 4:04 PM

Post #12 of 20 (358 views)
Re: '99 Pontiac Grand Am SE 2.4L New Fuel Pump Won't Start Car Sign In

Looks like you may not need a tool for this 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.



Versa09
User

Jun 14, 2021, 4:52 PM

Post #13 of 20 (344 views)
Re: '99 Pontiac Grand Am SE 2.4L New Fuel Pump Won't Start Car Sign In


In Reply To
Yes, that's one of the types. Not sure which type fitting you will have.

Posting pictures is not hard.

http://autoforums.carjunky.com/...LOAD_PHOTOS_P151389/


Thanks for that. The site was hanging on the 3rd signup step so I thought it wasn't going through, but I eventually got a welcome mail from the image hosting site so I'm good to go for images now!
-
1999 Pontiac Grand Am SE, 2.4 L
130K miles


Versa09
User

Jun 28, 2021, 5:46 AM

Post #14 of 20 (273 views)
Re: '99 Pontiac Grand Am SE 2.4L New Fuel Pump Won't Start Car Sign In

HT, I finally got my Pontiac into the shop to have that fuel filter replaced and once they got under the car, they said it already had a new filter. New fuel lines too, apparently. I have no idea why that wasn't shown on the fuel pump invoice from the original mechanic, but the car's 22 years old, I've been driving it for eight years and have definitely never replaced the fuel filter so if it's shiny enough to look brand new, I expect it was replaced when they did the fuel pump a month ago.

I wanted to do a fuel pressure check but there's no service port on the rail on my car, so I'd have to use an inline gauge which they said was best done under the car back by the fuel filter.

They said they could do some troubleshooting for me so unless you think there's more troubleshooting I could do without a fuel pressure gauge, I'll probably take it back to the new shop in a couple weeks and let them have a go.
-
1999 Pontiac Grand Am SE, 2.4 L
130K miles

(This post was edited by Versa09 on Jun 28, 2021, 5:48 AM)


Tom Greenleaf
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Tom Greenleaf profile image

Jun 28, 2021, 6:12 AM

Post #15 of 20 (268 views)
Re: '99 Pontiac Grand Am SE 2.4L New Fuel Pump Won't Start Car Sign In

? Still at this. Now you want to test fuel pressure with no port for it. A better kit would have it see if rentable or toss the filter yourself, looking new isn't good enough. It could have plugged right away or quickly?
Many I think OE would use 5/8th and 11/16th flare nut wrenches (check) or can't know if fuel line was replaced those underside filters will lock flare nuts to line if not lubed or done a lot. I forget many have a cover strap need a 5/16th socket or 8mm is same as that.
Other trick: Go get a new one and a short bit of line that will fit outlet of that. Now you can use rubber and clamps to get to whatever pressure device is appropriate.
Last: A kit to fix line may not have worked out well? It needed checking again,


T



Hammer Time
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Hammer Time profile image

Jun 28, 2021, 8:52 AM

Post #16 of 20 (257 views)
Re: '99 Pontiac Grand Am SE 2.4L New Fuel Pump Won't Start Car Sign In

You don't have to go under the car. You can "T" into it at the engine.

There is an adapter you can use.





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

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.



Versa09
User

Jun 28, 2021, 9:40 AM

Post #17 of 20 (242 views)
Re: '99 Pontiac Grand Am SE 2.4L New Fuel Pump Won't Start Car Sign In


In Reply To
? Still at this.


Yeah Tom still at it. When the mechanic who's done all my work for years shrugs and says "can't be fixed," I gotta sit around in shock for a while instead of doing anything rash. I'm sure those are all great tips and I'm grateful for the help, but I think my next step is going to have to be letting these new guys troubleshoot the problem. After that... we'll see.
-
1999 Pontiac Grand Am SE, 2.4 L
130K miles


Versa09
User

Jun 28, 2021, 9:50 AM

Post #18 of 20 (238 views)
Re: '99 Pontiac Grand Am SE 2.4L New Fuel Pump Won't Start Car Sign In


In Reply To
You don't have to go under the car. You can "T" into it at the engine.


Yeah, I saw a YouTube of a guy doing this on a BMW and it looked pretty doable, even for me. The first problem I had was not knowing which was the supply line on my car, but that diagram looks exactly like my car's fuel rail so if you think I can rely on that diagram to show me which line to tee-off, maybe that first problem is now solved.

I'm probably still gonna let these new guys take a whack at it if they're going to actually troubleshoot instead of just assuming they know where the problem is. if they know what they're doing, theyll eventually find that blocked new-looking filter or plugged line as Tom suggests.

Can't tell you what a godsend it is to have fellas with your and Tom's expertise being willing to step in an help me out. Can't thank you enough guys, and I'll update the thread if/when anything changes.
-
1999 Pontiac Grand Am SE, 2.4 L
130K miles


Hammer Time
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Hammer Time profile image

Jun 28, 2021, 10:40 AM

Post #19 of 20 (232 views)
Re: '99 Pontiac Grand Am SE 2.4L New Fuel Pump Won't Start Car Sign In

The line coming from the regulator is always the return line. Most of the newer car are returnless now anyway.



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

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.



Versa09
User

Jun 28, 2021, 4:06 PM

Post #20 of 20 (209 views)
Re: '99 Pontiac Grand Am SE 2.4L New Fuel Pump Won't Start Car Sign In

Cheers for that, HT.
-
1999 Pontiac Grand Am SE, 2.4 L
130K miles






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