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Steve, Service Manager
Category: Chevy
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Experience:  25+ Years experience as a professional working automotive technician; ASE L1 master technician
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air in teh fuel line..engine is cranked..injection system..few seconds

Customer Reply

Customer: replied 8 years ago.
My wife''s 2004 Suburban apparently ran out of gas. I have put several gallons in, but it still won''t start. What''s the trick?
Expert:  Steve replied 8 years ago.


This model has an electric fuel pump located inside teh gas tank. This design pump relies on being submerged in liquid fuel for cooling and also more importantly for lubrication. If an electric fuel pump is continually operated with a low feul level, it will overheat and sustain internal damage. If it runs dry, it can cause the pump to lock up and not run.

What you can try is having someone try to start teh vehicle while you get underneath and sharply whack teh bottom of the fuel tank to try to jar the pump inside; a rubber mallot works well for this. If you can jar the pump while it is receiving power, this will often cause it to break free and start operating again.

Whether this causes the vehicle to start or not, you will need to repalce that fuel pump. Even if it starts running again for the time being, it is damaged and will eventually lock up again and at some point whacking the tank will not cause it to recover. its much easier to schedule pump replacement at your convenience!

hope this is helpful...

Customer: replied 8 years ago.
Reply to Steve7654's Post: someone has told me to loosen the fuel lines at the injectors to clear air from the fuel lines.

any thoughts?
Expert:  Steve replied 8 years ago.

That is not encessary; iif teher is air in teh fuel line then it will pass through the injectors as soon as the engine is cranked and teh injectors start to pulse open. Bleeding is not needed on this type of fuel injection system.

Your friend must be a truck driver; bleeding is only needed on some designs of diesel fuel injection systems...

have someone cycle the key while you listen back at teh tank for the sound of teh electric pump motor coming on and running for a few seconds. if you do not hear any humming noise inside the tank, the pump is not running. if the pump is not running, try whacking the fuel tank a few times; this is pretty much all you can do other than replace teh damaged pump.

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