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1999 GMC: V8..1/4 tank if I accelerate the van loses power..gas pedal…

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I have a 1999 GMC...
I have a 1999 GMC Savanna 3500 V8 5.7L that just recently started stalling. On hot days while driving with the gas being just below a 1/4 tank if I accelerate the van loses power and eventually dies, if I release the gas pedal and leave it to drive forward at about 0-5mph it stays on but as soon as I push the gas it loses power then stalls. If I pull over and let it cool off for a little bit it will run a little longer and start doing it again. So I put more gas in to 3/4 tank, let it rest, and it worked fine for days as long as I kept the fuel level above 1/4 tank. The other day it was getting close to the 1/4 tank and it did the same thing, I could hear it sputtering and when I pushed the gas it stalled. I put let it rest and headed straight to a gas station put more gas in and it's worked fine for the last few days. leaving on a trip but nervous about what the problem is. We replaced the fuel pump 2 years ago in the summer for almost the same problem. Thanks for any help, Gayle
Submitted: 8 years ago.Category: GM
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Answered in 2 hours by:
6/25/2010
GM Mechanic: GMWrencher, ASE Certified Technician replied 8 years ago
GMWrencher
GMWrencher, ASE Certified Technician
Category: GM
Satisfied Customers: 439
Experience: 100% GM Certified ASE Master Automobile Medium/Heavy Truck. Licensed State Auto Inspector
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Hello, I will do my best to help answer your General Motors Questions.

 

Based on your above description, Your vehicle is running out of fuel at 1/4 tank. #1 probable fault, your fuel level sending unit is bad, giving a false reading to your gauge. #2 probable fault, you have a faulty gauge, thats reading the sending unit incorrectly.



Edited by GMWrencher on 6/25/2010 at 3:27 AM EST
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GM Mechanic: GMWrencher, ASE Certified Technician replied 8 years ago
Remember I only receive credit when you choose accept
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Customer reply replied 8 years ago
I agree that it sounds like it's out of fuel, but how come when you let it sit and rest it will start again and run for some more time? I am wondering if the fuel pump is bad or overheating but hope that's not the case. When this happened a few weeks ago at below a 1/4 tank, I put fuel in and got it above 3/4 and would put more gas in every time I went a certain number of miles (just like it was on the bottom half of the tank). 2 days ago when it did it, I had not reached even 1/4 tank nor had I gone the number of miles I usually went. I cannot reproduce the problem @ a mechanic or even to my husband. It's usually when I am out running around for awhile. Thanks for any help!
GM Mechanic: GMWrencher, ASE Certified Technician replied 8 years ago
Ok thats new information now. Your vehicle is very sensitive to fuel pressure. If it happens to drop below a certain pressure even by as little as 2psi, the injectors don't spray, even if the pump continues to run. You have what is called a poppet injectors. It is likely by the description you have added, with the varying fuel level, and adding fuel correcting your issue , you may have dual problems. It sounds like you may have a fuel pump that is beginning to loose pressure after it is hot. I would also be curious to know if you have sediment in your tank, that has the potential to seize your pump when it is picked up. 2 Questions Have you had your fuel filter changed at all?, When you replaced the pump, was it good quality pump? Many cheapo aftermarket pumps just don't have the quality of the OEM. We have seen many issues concerning sediment, or dirt/rust from cheap fuel stations causing premature pump failures. Remember I only get credit for answers when you choose accept. I will continue to help you as best I can with JustAnswers.com. Thanks
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Customer reply replied 8 years ago
Thank you for your response, I didn't even think of sediment being in the bottom of the tank. Anyways to answer your questions, yes the fuel filter has been changed and as far as the pump, I am not sure. It was like a 300 dollar pump from checker.
GM Mechanic: GMWrencher, ASE Certified Technician replied 8 years ago

As bad as this may sound, If you want accurate diagnosis, you need to have the fuel pressure checked during the time the vehicle is failing. I realize its not a definite time and place this happens, but to accurately diagnose you problem testing fuel pressure is the #1 starting point. If that requires extra time at a repair facility to properly diagnose you vehicle then thats what I recommend you do. Based solely on your description I would recommend replacing the fuel pump with fuel sending unit, having your fuel checked for sediment. This is generally easily spotted when the pump is out of the tank and a tech simply looks inside carefully with a lamp looking for debris/sediment. If you have sediment, then it is likely an issue with your fuel supply. Simply flush the tank, replace the pump and sender (usually called a fuel pump module), replace your filter. A OEM pump is usually around $500 depending on you application and tank capacity.

I hope you are satisfied with my answers. Remember by choosing "Accept" does not mean we are through, I will still help you further, but accepting is the only way I get the proper credit for answering your question.

GMWrencher
GMWrencher, ASE Certified Technician
Category: GM
Satisfied Customers: 439
Experience: 100% GM Certified ASE Master Automobile Medium/Heavy Truck. Licensed State Auto Inspector
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GM Mechanic: GMWrencher, ASE Certified Technician replied 8 years ago

Thanks for Accepting my answer. I will keep and eye on the topic and help you further if you have any additional questions.

 

GM Wrencher

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