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Chevy Venture Fuel Pump



  • Thank you so much for your post I almost went and bought the fuel pump. Then I read your post and took your advice about cleaning the plug, now the van starts up and runs better than it has ever. Again thank you
  • I will start with some history, a description of the problem, what I've tried, and what I've found to be the solution.

    A few years ago, my wife's 2000 Chevy Venture van would die at random times. Sometimes, while driving down the highway, sometimes while backing out of our garage, and at other times. the car simply wouldn't start at all. When this happened, the starter would turn the engine over, but the engine would not start. There were no error codes, no check engine lights, or anything else to point to the cause of the problem. We'd wait, sometimes a few minutes, sometimes a few days, and it would start running again, and not give us any problems for weeks.

    We originally bought the car because my wife uses an electric scooter for mobility. (No one buys car like this for its style.) It was one of the few vans on which the back door opening was tall enough that we could use the scooter lift to get the scooter in and out of the van without removing the seat from the scooter and/or folding the steering column on the scooter down.

    As you can imagine, being disabled, and having a van that doesn't run with 100 percent reliability isn't a good combination. We've had good luck with necessary car repairs at the GoodYear auto shop in Monroe, WA. One day, when it stopped running, so we had it towed to the GoodYear repair shop. They found that there was no fuel pressure, and after removing the gas tank and taking out the fuel pump, they determined that the fuel pump was defective. The logic was, replace the fuel pump, car runs, so problem solved. We had the fuel pump replaced at a total cost of just shy of $1000. The van ran great. We had no issues for several months, until the warranty on the parts/work ran out. Then, the exact same symptoms returned.

    As a former electrical engineer, I don't have a lot of faith in electrical problems magically fixing themselves. When a pump stops pumping, it's unlikely to start pumping again. When an electric motors shorts out, it's not going to run later on if you press the start button. When a fuse blows, it's not likely to fix itself. (You get the idea.) The fact that the car would run fine for weeks, then stop, then work again minutes, hours, or days later just doesn't fit with what I thought would apply to a defective fuel pump, especially with two different fuel pumps.

    Recently, while crawling around under the car (for whatever reason, I don't recall), I happened to look up and saw the wires running from the top of the fuel tank to a connector. From that connector, a short wiring harness runs to another connector that's mounted to the bottom of the van floor, just behind the driver's seat. From that connector, the wiring harness enters the body, so I didn't trace it any further. Examining that connector underneath the van behind the driver's seat, what I saw appears to be looks very poorly designed for where it's located. There are no weather boots to keep out water or any waterproofing of any kind. It's directly exposed to any water, mud, or crud that's kicked up while driving in wet weather. Basically, it's just a white Molex type electrical connector like you might find inside of a computer or stereo amplifier, but this is in a spot where it's exposed to years of weather and temp changes.

    Since that day, the van had died three times. Each time, I've poked my head under the van, gave that connector a little wiggle, and the car starts right away. It happened again this evening. It's not quite as easy for my wife to do, and I didn't have anyone else available to whom I could explain what needed to be done, so I drove 50 extra miles today to wiggle the wire.

    I'll stop by the dealer tomorrow and order the two cables that make up the two sides of this connector, and I'll use some heat shrink tubing when I assemble it to waterproof the connector. I'll put some dielectric grease on the connectors too to help prevent corrosion. I expect that this will solve the problem.

    If you are experiencing these symptoms, try giving that plug a little wiggle. If your car starts, you've pinpointed source of the problem. Good luck!
  • To all who posted info on similar problems with this van, I am most grateful. Recently our Venture exhibited similar symptoms with the fuel pump. After checking the harness connections where the wiring harness goes through the body (behind drivers seat), I found all of the terminals corroded and in need of replacing (both male and female ends). After searching for replacement connectors and coming up empty (even through Chevy), I eliminate the connectors by wiring the 2 halves together. Much to our delight, the fuel pump is now working. I would recommend that anyone with similar vans check the wiring harness connections prior to having the fuel pump replaced and making this check part of routine maintenance if the connectors are in good condition.
  • wq2121wq2121 Posts: 7
    FYI, the first time I had the problem of not starting, it WAS the fuel pump... know that because when I removed it from the gas tank, it was quite melted on the top. Lucky it didn't blow up, I think!

    Then, second time, I knew it probably wasn't the pump, as I had replaced it like a year earlier. So checked the connector under the van behind the front seats (about in the middle of the underside). There was no corrosion, but there was no voltage going TO the connector, even in that first two/three seconds before the voltage is cut out. Chevy cuts the power to the fuel pump after that time frame that so that the fuel pump doesn't run when the engine isn't running. Many people apparently put the ignition switch in RUN when they want to wait/sit and listen to the radio, instead of backwards to ACCESSORIES position. If it didn't shut down in a few seconds, that pump would continue to run continuously while the engine is off. Not sure why there is no voltage at that connector, but I ran 12v that is on ONLY when the ignition is on RUN, and that solved MY problem. Now I just have to always remember NOT to leave the ignition switch in RUN for more than a few seconds if the engine isn't running, since that would NOW make my fuel pump run.
  • was starting every few days. replaced fuel filter,its getting gas in it,but will not start at all now. everyone says its fuel pump but it acts like nothing is firing right. misses and does a putt putt,and nothing. battery has died now to!!
  • vanevavaneva Posts: 2

    @wq2121 said: So checked the connector under the van behind the front seats (about in the middle of the underside). There was no corrosion, but there was no voltage going TO the connector, even in that first two/three seconds before the voltage is cut out. Not sure why there is no voltage at that connector, but I ran 12v that is on ONLY when the ignition is on RUN, and that solved MY problem.

    **I am trying to find this connector as well, the dealerships around here acted like they had no idea what it even was. I was told to direct wire the fuel pump maybe through a relay or something. I also have heard of doing it the way you described here. Could you please tell me exactly what you did, and how you did it? I can't seem to find anyone who knows how to do this. **

  • wq2121wq2121 Posts: 7

    REMEMBER, PEOPLE... Ventures (Silhouetes, Montanas, etc) only have a 2- to 3-second time p[eriod to check for voltage! If the ignition key is on LONGER THAN THAT (and the engine isn't running), the computer shuts off the voltage to the fuel pump so the pump doesn't continue to run if the the engine doesn't!!!! Easiest thing to do is listen for the pump when you turn the key on to the "run" position... it should run for 2-3 seconds and then shut off. You DO NOT have to turn the key to START position to do that... Hope this helps. (And the fuel pump electrical connector near the front of the tank, under the van, is notorious for getting corroded... be sure it is nice and clean, otherwise replace it).

  • vanevavaneva Posts: 2

    where can I find one to replace it?

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