Change fuel pump as preventative maintenance?

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Change fuel pump as preventative maintenance?

Postby Joshtjeerdsma [OP] » January 11th 2021, 12:35am

I am new to the forum, hopefully I posted this in the right place. I just purchased a 96 astro van awd with 140k miles. It seems to have been well taken care of judging by the quality of fluids, etc. But I have no idea about whats been performed for previous maintenance. I have replaced the tires, shocks, idler arms, and some misc other things with quality parts. I have also done a pretty thorough inspection. I plan to take it on a long ski trip soon and the only thing that makes me nervous is the fuel pump. It runs great now, but Id hate to get stranded in the mountains. Is the fuel pump worth changing as preventative maintenance if I don't know if its been done before? Or are you generally able to limp home when they go? Thanks, Josh
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Re: Change fuel pump as preventative maintenance?

Postby tungtide » January 11th 2021, 2:04am

Does your van have a fuel door cut into the floor, either by you or a previous owner? If not are you aware that you have to drop the fuel tank to change the pump. It can be quite a job. That being said I probably would not do it as a preventative measure. Others will chime in soon. I would say you will not limp home if it goes out.
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Re: Change fuel pump as preventative maintenance?

Postby Joshtjeerdsma [OP] » January 11th 2021, 2:21am

I am aware that the tank needs to be dropped unless you want to cut an access hole in the floor. As far as I can tell the carpet has not been disturbed to make an access panel.
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Re: Change fuel pump as preventative maintenance?

Postby AstroWill » January 11th 2021, 6:18am

It's really a crap shoot when they are going to go, could die at 60k, could go 300k, never know. If I was heading to South America with my van, I would probably consider changing it just for good measure or at least carry a spare. Otherwise I wouldn't change it unless there were some signs of it failing.

Replacing with a new pump does not mean that it's a better quality pump. I would however change the filter, it's cheap and easy to do(usually).

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Re: Change fuel pump as preventative maintenance?

Postby Leeann_93 » January 12th 2021, 2:09am

I'm with Will; I wouldn't replace it unless it was giving me signs that it was failing (flashing SES light under heavy load not attributable to ignition components, etc). But I definitely would replace the filter.
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Re: Change fuel pump as preventative maintenance?

Postby Joshtjeerdsma [OP] » January 13th 2021, 1:33am

Sounds good. I will leave it be. The fuel filter looks like it is pretty new, but Ill change it for good measure . Thanks for all the recommendations.
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Re: Change fuel pump as preventative maintenance?

Postby WinnieVan » January 13th 2021, 9:14am

I'm with others -- if it is working there isn't really a need to replace it -- but they can fail without warning.

If your ski trip is going to put you in a place where you have no access to mechanics/tools/parts warehouses/etc & you have the cash -- there is no harm in buying an ACDELCO Fuel Pump and putting it in your van just in case. That way if it does fail - you can get towed to the nearest shop and have them swap it -- and you won't get raked over the coals for a subpar part.

Also -- the fuel is used to cool the pump -- so don't run the tank too low -- the pump doesn't like it.


Also -- if the fuel pump does start cutting out -- usually a few swift kicks to the bottom of the fuel tank can bring it back to life for a small amount of time -- but there are plenty of stories of it simply going belly-up without warning.
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