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Ask GM Tech (Cam) Your Own Question
GM Tech (Cam)
GM Tech (Cam), Chevy Technician
Category: Chevy
Satisfied Customers: 29427
Experience:  GM Grand Master Technician 2007. 14 years experience.
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My 2003 Cavalier quit running yesterday. It turns over fine

Customer Question

My 2003 Cavalier quit running yesterday. It turns over fine but will not start. When the tow truck came to pick it up, the driver reached under the car and smacked the bottom of the gas tank a couple of times. The car then started and ran for about a minute. Can you tell me why this happened? What did hitting the tank do and how did that guy know that?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Chevy
Expert:  GM Tech (Cam) replied 1 year ago.

Hi there, I am Cam.

Your car has a failing fuel pump. The pump is a small electric motor inside the fuel tank. As it starts to fail, it might stop and get stuck or the position it hits between contacts. By hitting the tank, he jogged the pump which moved it slightly and allowed to to run.

The repair is a new fuel pump and fuel filter assembly. Driving it and hoping that smacking the tank each time will allow it to run will leave you stranded somewhere.

The fuel pumps are a very common issue on this and many cars so its just a matter of the odds. 8/10 you can likely hit the tank and make it run so.