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what can someone do to mess up my fuel pump?

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last time I took my truck in to replace timing belt, spark plugs, MAF sensor, then went to a particular store to get a safety inspection.

after a few days the fuel pump went out.

this time I had a bunch of front end suspension work done to it at a different store... and went to that same place for the safety inspection.

after a few days the fuel pump went out.

okay now this is very suspicious.

knowing what someone can do to wreck my fuel pump won't help get it fixed. I just have to go pay someone to put a new one in.

I know the inspection place won't admit they did anything.

but I have to know what the @^&@&*@*@ someone can do to mess up my fuel pump! how is it possible? how is this being done?
 


adsm08

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Bleach or sugar will do it. Not much else.

Not replacing the filter when replacing the pump, or using a cheap, low quality, brand fuel pump can both lead to repeat failures in short order.
 

Mark_88

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Yes, check the manufacturer name on the fuel pump. There have been a few complaints about one particular type of pump that fails way too soon and often right after replacing them...can't remember the name but search TRS and you will find a fairly recent post on this...

Short of that...I went through 5 fuel pumps on my Tempo...all within a year or so of having them replaced...and all of them covered under warranty...but that's another story...

Just buy a better quality than the MIC stuff we see all too often...
 

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I doubt that anything except tar or cement would hurt the pump itself.
Bleach would foul the fuel system, causes it to rust, but that would take a long while to hurt fuel pump or lines.
And actually the sugar thing is a bit of a myth, you would need to pour 20 or 30 pounds of sugar into a gas tank, to block up the fuel pickup, sugar and gas don't mix, so sugar just sits at the bottom of the tank, so none would make to the injectors(or carb), filter would stop any grains that happened to be in suspension and got sucked up by the pump

Lowering the truck down from a lift very fast could trip inertia switch, especially if it has been tripped before(you need to replace inertia switches fairly soon after they are tripped the first time).
But then truck wouldn't start right then, not an hour or day later.

I think adsm08 and Mark_88 are on to something.
If you replaced original fuel pump after the first time with a 3rd party pump and then it failed within the first year that is the more likely answer.
3rd party pumps are a good deal, price-wise, but labor wise they can be a pain
 
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this is not just a fuel pump randomly conking out.

first time was in 2009. go to that inspection place, a few days later the fuel pump dies.

6 years later, in 2015, go to that inspection place, a few days later the fuel pump dies.

get it?
 

RonD

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I can't think of anything anyone could do to cause physical damage to the pump in the tank.
Someone could run higher voltage through pumps wires, but it would have to be just those wires, so disconnect wire at inertia switch, easiest access, and then run 50volts down that wire.
But again pump would be dead now, not a few days later.

What are they inspecting?
 
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the safety inspection required for renewing license plates.

I can't think of anything to add to the gas that would mess up the fuel pump, but apparently not jack up the rest of the motor at the same time.

that's why I don't know so I'm asking on the forum.

yep, if it was the inertia switch it would no-start right there and wouldn't start until reset.

if they zapped the fuel pump with voltage it would be DOA.

it takes a few days. I don't have a clue what could do this.
 

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Don't see anything on this safety inspection list that would hurt fuel pump:
This list is from Texas
Horn
Windshield wipers
Mirror
Steering
Seat belts
Brake system (parking – beginning with 1960 models)
Tires
Wheel assembly
Exhaust system
Exhaust emission system (beginning with 1968 models)
Beam indicator (beginning with 1948 models)
Tail lamps (2); (1) if 1959 model or earlier
Stop lamps (2); (1) if 1959 model or earlier
License plate lamp (1)
Rear red reflectors (2)
Turn signal lamps (beginning with 1960 models)
Head lamps (2)
Motor, serial, or vehicle identification number
All models – inspect for window tinting or coating
Gas caps on vehicles 2-24 model years old.
 

Mazda

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Only thing I can think of is it's just a cheap fuel pump (Airtex). Also the shop could be trying to save a few dollars and not replacing the filter sock and it's going bad prematurely.

I have not seen it on many Rangers but I do know of the Chevys S10 fuel pumps do not like it when you constantly run lower than a ¼ tank. It will heat up the pump and make it fail. Bad design I think. A friend of mine that's a manager at a parts store told me in one year the warranted 115 pumps for Chevy trucks, some of them 2 or 3 times.

I would have them put a actual Motorcraft pump in and see how it does.
 

Mark_88

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this is not just a fuel pump randomly conking out.

first time was in 2009. go to that inspection place, a few days later the fuel pump dies.

6 years later, in 2015, go to that inspection place, a few days later the fuel pump dies.

get it?
Again, probably coincidence...very strange and certainly worthy of note...so...what I would do...

Run an ad in a local paper and ask for input...problem is you will get some flakey people responding also...just don't mention names...and ask for confidentiality...and contact information...interview people...dig, dig, dig...

Or just don't go to that place when you need an inspection if possible...and watch them like a hawk while they are poking and prodding...tell them you are a voyeur and like to watch people fu%#@#g with your truck...
 

tomw

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One thing not mentioned, maybe, is the check of the tank & vent system to insure that it will hold pressure, and the evaporative canister will also hold pressure. I believe they will pressure test the gas cap, and then pressurize the tank & evap system to insure it will hold pressure. If the pump had some sort of diaphragm that could get popped by pressure, or the fuel pushed from the tank into the pump via tank pressure doing 'something' to the pump, that could cause a problem.
I would want to inspect the failed pump to know what actually failed. If it had a weak piece of fuel line connecting the pump output to the tank attachment or sender unit, the pressure of testing could dislodge the fuel line {I have seen pictures of terrible line install on brand new pumps} and make you think the pump failed, but it is actually the fuel line disconnecting or tearing.
Without pictures or word description of the pump failure, we're doing a long-distance guessing game.
I will add that running the tank low on fuel in hot weather can make the pump run hotter as it is bathed in fuel normally, which will dissipate the heat, at least until the level falls. Some pumps have purposeful leakage to drizzle fuel over the pump, again to cool the pump.
FWIW, If you pressurize the fuel tank, the pumped in air will put pressure on the top surface of the fuel in the tank, and try to force it up the fuel pump inlet, and out to the fuel line. That is the situation described above.
tom
 

Mazda

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Thanks for posting this Tomw.

I was thinking the same thing but dismissed it at least for me because here in California they only do this on 94 and earlier vehicles. Also have had it done to my truck 6 times and it never messed with my pump (the original by the way). Also most smog stations here can only test and do not do repairs so them messing up your truck doesn't financially help them.

I think it just cheap pumps. Bad luck
 

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